Posted on Monday, May 16th, 2022 at 10:32 am
Sleep Apnea and Aging
Beauty may only be skin deep, but your skin is important. It’s a reflection of your overall health. If you don’t look well on the outside, chances are you’re not doing well on the inside, either. Sleep apnea affects your skin in ways you probably didn’t realize, and by the time it shows on your skin, your organs are being impacted too.
Sleeping and Your Skin
Sleep does more than improve your mental health. It refreshes your organs as well. The skin is the largest organ of your body, and, like the rest of you, it requires an appropriate amount of sleep. Sleep deprivation has been shown to wreak all kinds of havoc on your skin.
- Wrinkles. The skin produces new collagen while you sleep. Less collagen means more wrinkles.
- Baggy eyes. Blood flow is restricted if you don’t get enough sleep. That means waste products aren’t removed, and they pool where your skin is thinner, like under your eyes.
- Dry skin. When blood doesn’t flow, neither does water. Dry, flaky skin and dull hair are the results.
Getting your beauty rest isn’t just an old story. Your skin needs a long rest to stay healthy and elastic.
Stressful Sleep and Cortisol
If you have obstructive sleep apnea, you’re not getting the deep, restful sleep you and your skin need. With obstructive sleep apnea, you’re waking up many times per night, even if you don’t notice it. Each time you stop breathing, your body wakes you up for a split second, and this disrupts your sleep.
Untreated sleep apnea increases the level of a stress hormone called cortisol. Cortisol is used by the body to regulate your immune response. Too much cortisol has been associated with weight gain, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Cortisol breaks down collagen (which keeps your skin elastic and youthful) and produces fat.
If you’re not getting the sleep you need, your body becomes stressed and produces more cortisol, which leads to less restful sleep, and thus more cortisol production and even less restful sleep. What’s a body to do?
Sleep Apnea Treatment
When you get good, restful sleep, your body can reverse these effects almost as fast as they began. Once the excess cortisol production has been switched off, your skin will begin repairing itself, removing the waste products and smoothing out the wrinkles and bags.
The first step is to see a doctor for a sleep assessment to determine that you have no other underlying health issues. Sleep apnea specialist Dr. Clifford Brown will conduct a sleep study to determine the cause of your issues. Then our team will get to work preparing the best oral appliance to correct whatever caused the sleep apnea and get you back to sleep.
There’s no reason to delay. Call Silent Night Therapy for a complimentary consultation about your sleep problem today at 631-983-2463. We’re waiting to help you get the good night’s sleep you deserve.
Posted on Monday, April 4th, 2022 at 4:31 am
What You Should Know About Weighted Blankets and Your Sleep
Sleep disorders are a serious health challenge that can affect every aspect of a person’s life. Getting proper sleep is necessary to promote optimal functioning of both your mind and body. A chronic lack of quality sleep can increase your risk for several different diseases, including heart disease, obesity, and anxiety.
There are a variety of treatment options for sleep apnea, from medicines, therapies, natural remedies, and even weighted blankets.
Benefits of Using a Weighted Blanket to Sleep
A weighted blanket is designed to be heavier than a normal blanket. They can be used on the bed while sleeping or on the couch while you’re relaxing and watching TV or reading a book. For several years, they have been prescribed for children in therapeutic settings before they became more popular with all ages.
There are several benefits to using a weighted blanket. However, if you have obstructive sleep apnea, it’s important to work with your healthcare provider to ensure you’re not adding additional resistance to your breathing.
Obstructive sleep apnea is a type of sleep disorder that results in a limited amount of oxygen to the brain. When left untreated, it can increase your risk for serious disease and heart attack.
It may be possible to get some of the same benefits by using a weighted blanket from the waist down as you would over your entire body. So, if your healthcare provider wants you to keep a weighted blanket away from your chest, ask about using it on the lower half of your body.
Weighted blankets can help manage feelings of stress and anxiety and calm the nervous system as they reduce the secretion of cortisol. This stress hormone can cause you to get poor quality sleep. The pressure of a weighted blanket can also positively affect your nervous system by lowering your heart rate and reducing symptoms of anxiety.
Each of these factors can improve your sleep quality and help you wake up feeling more refreshed. The pressure of a weighted blanket can also increase the production of serotonin to stimulate your body to relax and the production of oxytocin. Both are often referred to as “happy hormones.”
How Do They Work?
In addition to past research, several studies released in 2020 and 2021 note weighted blankets may offer relief from physical pain and other medical disorders. For example, weighted blankets were an effective option for people who had attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, higher levels of anxiety, and insomnia. Another study showed that weighted blankets reduced stress and improved sleep quality in participants over a 6-week period.
The effects of using a weighted blanket may be related to a therapeutic technique called deep pressure stimulation. This technique involves the use of firm, controlled pressure over a large area of the body which is known to induce calm feelings. It’s believed weighted blankets may work for adults in the same way newborns sleep better when they are swaddled tightly. Weighted blankets promote a sense of security and comfort.
The deep pressure stimulation may also increase levels of melatonin, which is the hormone that helps you sleep. Melatonin is also an essential and powerful antioxidant that helps protect your brain.
What Weight Should I Choose?
Weighted blankets should never be so heavy that you don’t have enough strength and physicality to get the blanket off when necessary. Manufacturers typically recommend that infants and children should not use weighted blankets as they can accidentally trap a child.
The blankets are usually sold in weights from 7 pounds to 25 pounds. Typically, you could purchase a weighted blanket in twin, full, queen, and king sizes. They are more expensive than a regular comforter, ranging between $100 and $300.
Adults generally prefer a blanket that is approximately 10% of their body weight. The thickness of the blanket will be dependent on the type of filler used. Some use glass beads, while others use plastic pellets.
Some weighted blankets are sold with extra filling to increase warmth, while others use a cooler cover material. Whatever your preference, there is likely a weighted blanket to fit your needs.
Call Silent Night Therapy Today for a Complimentary Consultation
If you are ready to evaluate how your current sleep patterns are affecting your overall health, it’s time to schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Brown and his team. You don’t have to function with poor-quality sleep or sleep apnea. Quality sleep and the benefits of rest are within reach. All it takes is the right customized solution to address your issues with sleep apnea. Call us today at 631-983-2463 to schedule your complimentary consultation.
Posted on Thursday, February 17th, 2022 at 10:04 pm
Is My Snoring Sleep Apnea?
Snoring is definitely a pain, especially for our sleep partners. But did you know that snoring can also be a sign that you are suffering from sleep apnea.
How can you know the difference?
The only way to know whether your snoring is related to sleep apnea is a sleep test, but you can definitely ask yourself some simple questions that will give you insight into whether your snoring may in fact be related to sleep apnea.
Question One – How loud is your snoring?
Snoring occurs when your airway narrows while sleeping which leads to changes in the airflow that then causes vibrations in your nose, mouth or throat.
Sleep Apnea occurs when your airway isn’t just narrow, but actually collapses when sleeping which cuts off your body’s air supply.
The level of your snoring can actually tell you when airway narrowing is more likely to lead to collapse. Deep, loud snoring means that the airway is narrowing in your mouth or throat where collapse is more likely.
High-pitched snoring can mean there is narrowing in your nose and is less likely to be linked to airway collapse. Meaning, it is less likely to be related to sleep apnea.
Question Two – Does your snoring end in gasping and choking?
Many times your sleep partner can and will actually hear your airway collapsing. This sounds more like a snore that ends in gasping and or choking. Often times there may even be a slight pause between when your snoring stops (because you are essentially being strangled by your throat) and then your gasping or choking starts (your brain is detecting oxygen shortages and fights to start breathing again).
When this happens you may even wake from your sleep, but many times you will not. In this state, it is possible that you stop breathing hundreds of times in your sleep – not even knowing it. For our sleep partners, this all is very frightening.
What Are Sleep Apnea Symptoms?
Snoring is definitely a very noticeable symptom, but it is not the only one. Here are other symptoms to be aware of:
- Waking up tired, even after a full night’s sleep.
- Having a headache when you immediately wake up.
- Going to the bathroom often at night.
- Feeling sleepy during the day.
- Literally dozing off during the day, at work, watching TV or even while driving.
- Needing extra caffeine in the morning to feel energized.
- Loss of interest in things that you enjoy.
- General difficulty concentrating.
- Memory loss.
Some of these symptoms may seem “normal”. Nowadays it is common to hear people say, “everyone is tired” or “we all need coffee in the morning.” This is definitely true in many of our lives, however, that does not mean that one may not be suffering from sleep apnea, that is undiagnosed.
If any of this resonates for you, your sleep partner or even your friends and family, it is wise to consider the next steps to get a sleep study done.
What Are Your Next Steps?
A sleep test is the only true way to diagnose sleep apnea and if in fact what you are experiencing is sleep apnea. Traditional tests are done in a sleep lab, but many major medical insurance companies now recognize take home sleep studies. These studies are done in the comfort of your own bed and home. The readings that are measured while you sleep are analyzed by a Pulmonologist and you will then get your true diagnosis of whether you are suffering with mild, moderate or severe sleep apnea.
Your best treatment will depend on your sleep apnea. The gold standard has always been a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Therapy (CPAP). However, in recent years many Doctors are recommending the use of oral appliance therapy. Even patients diagnosed with severe sleep apnea who have been CPAP intolerant, oral appliance therapy has great success with these patients.
Meet Our Sleep Apnea Team at Babylon Dental Care
Do you believe you may be suffering from sleep apnea? Let our sleep dentist, Dr Clifford Brown and his team help you get a take home sleep test. If your test shows that you are in fact suffering from Sleep Apnea, Dr Brown can create a custom sleep appliance for you.
Dr Brown has over 20 years of experience in oral appliance therapy. Our sleep team will work with you to navigate the process, as well as, ensuring your needed care is covered by your medical insurance company.
To learn more about taking the first steps in seeking treatment, contact us.
Or take 3 minutes to take our sleep assessment now. Together we look forward to returning you to a safe and restful night’s sleep.
Posted on Saturday, January 1st, 2022 at 3:48 pm
Some people may not put a lot of thought into what kind of mattress they have. But when you realize that your quality of sleep has been taking a back seat in your busy life for far too long, you may start to consider whether it’s time to purchase a new mattress.
Believe it or not, buying a new mattress isn’t as simple as walking into your local mattress store, pointing at the first mattress you see, and having it delivered to your home the next week. Well, actually, it can be that simple, but only if you’ve done your research first about what you want and what you need out of your mattress.
How Your Mattress Could Affect Your Sleep
You’ve probably fallen asleep on the floor as a kid with no effect on your seemingly boundless energy the next day. Even if you didn’t, try sleeping on the floor tonight and see how you feel when you wake up the next morning. You’ll discover quickly that it matters what you sleep on.
Your sleep can be greatly affected by the quality of your mattress. If your mattress doesn’t properly support your body and its needs, it can cause you to have poor sleep night after night. Eventually, the effects of your poor sleep will start affecting your body’s ability to function at its best when you need it to.
Sleep allows your body a chance to refresh and recharge itself after a long day’s work of supporting you. When your sleep isn’t restful, your body misses out on this important function.
Things to Consider When Picking a Mattress
When you’re in the market for a new mattress, you can be overwhelmed by the many mattress brands available. From self-cooling and temperature regulating to mimicking the feel of clouds, mattresses have come a long way from the straw-stuffed pallets of olden times.
When you’re shopping for mattresses, you’ll want to consider various features and choose the one that best meets your objective: a good night’s rest.
How hard or soft do you want your mattress to be? The firmness of mattresses can range from cloud-like soft to medium soft to firm to extra firm. Different firmness levels may be preferred based on what position you like to sleep in. Consider which position you spend most of your time sleeping in: on your stomach, your side, or your back? Generally, softer mattresses better support side sleepers, and firmer mattresses better support back and stomach sleepers.
When it comes to current mattress offerings, you’ll find that mattresses with box springs just aren’t as comfortable, even though they may be more affordable.
Today, there have been advancements in materials used for mattresses. The following are some of the mattress types you can choose from based on your preferences:
- Latex – eco-friendly, less toxic than some other mattress materials, and can offer some forming to your body
- Foam – made completely of foam and can fully form to your body
- Airbed – core is filled with air and offers customizable firmness throughout the mattress
- Hybrid – a combination of spring and either latex or foam
While other considerations may be more of a priority, you can’t neglect to consider your budget. Mattresses range in price from hundreds of dollars to thousands of dollars. Many of the above considerations will impact the price of the mattress. For example, the higher quality the material of the mattress, the more expensive it will be.
The best way to pick a mattress that’s within your budget is to decide what you can comfortably spend. Then decide on the most important benefit that you want out of your mattress. Is the material of the mattress non-negotiable for you? Is the softness of the mattress your top priority? You can tailor your priorities, align them with your budget, and choose from there.
Contact Silent Night Therapy If You’re Ready for Better Sleep
Silent Night Therapy is the team of sleep apnea specialists you need to help restore your sleep and get your body back to working its best. Our goal is to identify and treat sleep disorders and sleep apnea so you can tackle each day feeling your best. We treat every patient like they’re one of our loved ones.
Restful sleep is within reach. Call Silent Night Therapy today at 631-983-2463 or contact us online to schedule a complimentary consultation with our sleep specialists.
Posted on Monday, December 20th, 2021 at 9:14 pm
After a long and exhausting week, the best part of the weekend is sleeping in late. It is a chance to cuddle up in bed, snuggle under the covers, and catch up on some much-needed rest. So why are you up before the sun on a Saturday morning? How come you feel tired, but your body just won’t let you sleep in an extra few hours?
The answer to why you can’t sleep in may be complicated. Several factors could be keeping you from getting the rest you need. If you find that you are waking up too early, can’t sleep in, or don’t feel rested after you get up in the morning, consider these potential issues.
Your Weekday Routine
If you only have problems not being able to sleep in on the weekends, it may be because of your body’s internal clock. The body is all about maintaining patterns. If you habitually get up at 7:00 a.m. each morning, your body knows to start its wake-cycle just before that time. You have effectively set your body’s clock to recognize this pattern. Your body doesn’t know the difference between Monday morning and Saturday morning, so it doesn’t recognize the need to “sleep in.”
Blue Light and Electronics
We live in a society dominated by technology. Computer screens, phones, televisions, and tablets surround us, even at night. If you are always checking your phone before bed or are watching TV in bed, you are subjecting your brain to blue light. Blue light from electronic devices suppresses melatonin production. Melatonin is a sleep-inducing hormone that helps you fall asleep and stay asleep. Blue light may also disrupt your sleep-wake cycle.
Thinking about what you must do tomorrow, money woes, stress from your job, there is no shortage of anxiety-inducing thoughts. Anxiety can make it difficult to fall asleep. Once you finally fall asleep, anything that wakes you up can trigger another round of anxious thoughts. These thoughts can float through your head and keep you awake.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea is a medical condition where a person’s airway becomes blocked off while they sleep. This obstruction causes the individual to stop breathing for a period of time, waking them up even if they are not fully aware they are awake. Sleep apnea can be a serious condition that prevents a person from sleeping in. It can also degrade their quality of sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea can also lead to other serious health complications.
Start Sleeping Better Today
Caffeine consumption, restless leg syndrome, alcohol consumption, and insomnia can also contribute to being unable to sleep in. If you are having trouble sleeping in or you don’t feel well-rested after a full night’s sleep, it may be time for a sleep consultation.
At Silent Night Therapy, we want to help people improve the quality of their sleep and overall health. Our team can help diagnose sleep disorders and give you the answers you’ve been looking for. Don’t settle for an okay night’s sleep. Schedule a complimentary sleep consultation with our office today or call us at 631-983-2463 today.
Posted on Wednesday, December 1st, 2021 at 4:12 pm
If you are someone who loves to cuddle up with Fido for the night, you have good company, even as far back as ancient history. Egypt’s Rameses the Great’s dog, Pahates, actually had the title “Bed Companion to the Pharoah.” Alexander the Great, and, thousands of years later, Queen Victoria and Czar Peter the Great slept with their pooches as well. So there must be something to the joys of bed-sharing with canines because today, 42 percent of dog owners indulge in the practice as well. There is no question that dog lovers are on to something health-wise. But there are downsides to this practice as well.
The Pros of Sleeping With Your Dog
Many folks say they feel more relaxed when sleeping with their dogs, and studies illustrate even more benefits:
- Sleeping with your dog may help you feel less depressed and anxious since it mimics snoozing under a weighted blanket.
- Dogs can provide security by alerting you to unusual movements or sounds while you are sleeping.
- Veterans, crime victims, and others who have post-traumatic stress disorder report experiencing relief from their nightmare issues when they sleep with their service dogs.
- People who sleep with their dogs help to strengthen their bond with their canine pets.
- If you sleep and/or live alone, dogs may help you to feel less lonely.
So while you may be reaping some important benefits by sleeping with your dog, there are negatives as well. If you suffer from sleep apnea, asthma, insomnia, or allergies, these issues may be aggravated when you slumber with your dog. The insects and bacteria that Spot brought into your home and your bedroom may infect you. Also, if you share your bed with a human, your relationship may suffer.
The Cons of Sleeping With Your Dog:
- If you are one of the millions of people in the U.S. who suffers from obstructive sleep apnea, the most common type of apnea, you are unfortunately familiar with starts and stops in your breathing when you sleep. Having your dog in bed with you can make your condition worse because dogs are sometimes restless and tend to move around, causing you to awaken even more often. Additionally, obstructive sleep apnea decreases the oxygen in the blood, which at some point may negatively affect your major organs.
- If you have asthma, your symptoms can become worse when you come into contact with animal dander. You might experience tightness in your chest and be forced to gasp for breath. You could even suffer a full-fledged asthma attack. (Usually, this occurs when an asthmatic is allergic to dog dander).
- If you have either short- or long-term insomnia, you have difficulty getting to sleep and/or staying asleep. There are many different reasons why people have insomnia, but it seems logical that sleeping with your dog won’t help the situation. In one study, 20% of participants labeled their pets as disruptive when sleeping in the same room as they do.
But it all depends on your dog’s size, your bed’s dimensions, and your dog’s tendency to toss and turn. If your dog is tiny, and your bed is large, sleeping with your dog may not make your insomnia worse. However, since dogs’ sleep cycles are much shorter than those of humans, the possibility of their being awake and changing their position during one or more of your sleep cycles is high, and that fact may keep you awake.
- If you are allergic to dogs, you should lessen your exposure to this trigger by not allowing your dog to sleep with you in bed. You may experience symptoms such as congestion, a runny nose, an itchy rash, or watery eyes, preventing you from sleeping soundly. Non-allergenic dogs (and cats) do not exist.
- Taking your dog outdoors on a regular basis to play and do their business is great for your canine, but the dirt and feces that they drag inside and onto your bed can make you ill. Also, your animal’s saliva can be infused with bacteria, their coats can become infested with fleas, and they can carry in dangerous ticks. You can easily be infected by these unwanted visitors.
- If your dog interferes with cuddling your partner by lying between you, it’s possible he may be ruining your relationship. Your beloved pet may be disrupting you and your partner’s intimacy, lessening the amount of attention you can give to each other, and interrupting both your and your loved one’s sleep time.
If You Have Sleep Apnea, Call the Sleep Specialists at Silent Night Therapy
Even if you don’t sleep with your dog, you may have a serious sleep issue known as sleep apnea. If you suspect that you do, why not call Dr. Brown at 631-983-2463 to schedule a complimentary consultation? He and our team take pride in treating each patient as a member of our family. If you are dealing with sleep issues that may be a result of sleep apnea, Dr. Brown will devise a treatment plan designed to address your specific issues. You can even start right now on your journey to better health by taking our online quiz. Call today. We all have to sleep well to live well.
Posted on Saturday, November 20th, 2021 at 12:51 am
Are you one of the lucky few who drift right off to sleep the second that your head hits the pillow? It turns out those who are quick to drift off to dreamland may not be getting as much rest as they think. The ability to fall asleep too quickly, nap at any time, or fall asleep anywhere may be an indication that a person has an undiagnosed sleep disorder.
How fast is too fast, and when should you seek professional help? The team at Silent Night Therapy can help shed some light on when falling asleep too quickly may be a troubling sign.
How Long Should It Take to Fall Asleep?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Different people require different amounts of sleep. Generally, the quality of sleep a person gets is more beneficial to their overall health and wellbeing than the amount of sleep. When a person falls asleep too quickly, it may be a sign that they are fatigued and need either more or better-quality sleep.
On average, a healthy adult should fall asleep within 15 minutes. If it takes longer than 30 minutes to fall asleep, that could be one sign of insomnia. However, if it takes five minutes or less for a person to fall asleep when their head hits the pillow, it could be indicative of an unhealthy level of sleepiness.
Sleep Deprivation and Sleep Deficiency
Drifting off too quickly on a routine basis may indicate that an individual is suffering from some form of sleep deprivation or sleep deficiency. Sleep deprivation generally means that a person is not getting enough rest. Sleep deficiency is a broader term that means an individual:
- May not be getting enough sleep
- Sleeps at the wrong time of day
- Doesn’t experience quality sleep
- Has a sleep disorder that prevents them from sleeping properly
Sleep deprivation and sleep deficiencies can cause excessive sleepiness and fatigue. When the body experiences excessive sleepiness or fatigue, a person may fall asleep more quickly.
What Causes a Person to Fall Asleep Too Fast?
Several underlying conditions may contribute to a person being sleep-deprived and falling asleep too fast. An undiagnosed sleep disorder like sleep apnea may be one of those causes. Sleep apnea is a condition that causes a person to periodically stop breathing while asleep. When a person stops breathing, whether they are aware it is happening or not, their sleep pattern becomes interrupted. This form of fragmented sleep can cause sleep deprivation, sleep deficiency, and overall fatigue.
Some of the most common symptoms associated with sleep apnea include:
- Gasping for air
- Dry mouth or sore throat after waking up
- Night sweats
- Daytime fatigue
- Waking up frequently at night
- Difficulty concentrating
- Dental problems
If you constantly feel tired or fall asleep too quickly, you may have sleep apnea or another undiagnosed sleep disorder. The experienced team at Silent Night Therapy can help get to the root cause of your sleep issues and offer you a more restful and satisfying sleep experience. Don’t despair. Sleep apnea and other sleep disorders can be treated.
Ready to get a better night’s sleep? Contact the experienced team at Silent Night Therapy to schedule a free sleep consultation.
Posted on Monday, November 8th, 2021 at 4:34 pm
Life is a balancing act — from work, to home, to family, to friends, it’s easy for us to get wrapped up in always being busy with something. When this happens, whether it’s for a few days, a few weeks, or it’s just our way of life, our health and our sleep often end up on the back burner.
Maybe you can function for some time with minimal sleep, but after a while, your body and mind will tell you that you could really use some sleep. Finally, you get a long stretch of sleep, and maybe you feel re-energized. But for some people, it still isn’t enough. If you’ve ever wondered why you’re having a hard time catching up on sleep, the answer is only two words: sleep debt.
The Importance of Sleep
Your body needs sleep. Not just any sleep, but restful, quality sleep. In order for your body to function and for your body’s systems to continue performing the actions that keep you healthy and alive, they need time to rest. Quality sleep allows your brain, your heart, and your muscles, just to name several, to take a break from all the work they do to keep you going when you’re awake.
When you lose sleep or only get a few hours of sleep each night, the losses compound and create what is now called “sleep debt.” It works the same way finances do, in a sense. The more sleep debt you rack up, the more sleep you’ll have to get to catch up on the sleep you lost on top of still get trying to get the right amount of sleep you need each day.
A chronic lack of quality sleep can harm you and your health in the long term.
Catching Up on Sleep
A recent study found that lack of sleep impairs cognitive function and that it lasts much longer than many people may think. Simply catching up on the six hours of sleep you missed a few days ago isn’t enough.
A recent study examined participants who lost sleep for ten nights in a row. After testing the participants’ cognitive function and reflexes, the researchers discovered that their cognitive function had declined. The participants then slept for their normal amount of time for seven straight days. When their cognitive function was measured at the end of that seven days, the participants were still performing less than optimally. In other words, the participants still had not recovered from the sleep debt they incurred a week earlier.
What You Should Do
The best way to prevent sleep debt is to not create it in the first place. Of course, it’s easier said than done these days. But try to get at least seven to eight hours of sleep every night so your body can rest properly. If you have trouble sleeping, try a few of these tips here.
Having Trouble Sleeping? We Can Help
If you find it difficult to get to sleep or stay asleep, we can help. Call Silent Night Therapy at 631-983-2463 for an appointment with one of our sleep specialists today.
Posted on Monday, November 1st, 2021 at 8:14 pm
Consistent quality sleep is rare for many people. Some people sleep in on the weekends after a busy week at work, while others find themselves exhausted all the time from jam-packed schedules. You might treat the summer months as an opportunity to enjoy the warm weather and spend the cold winter nights bundled up in bed trying to catch up on sleep.
Every person is different. Sleep schedules ebb and flow with the changing of the seasons. Although it might seem tempting to hibernate during the winter, you likely have various responsibilities keeping you busy. You’re planning family gatherings, preparing for the holidays, and working so you can support yourself and your family. There’s limited time to rest and recharge.
Unfortunately, a lack of sleep interferes with the body’s circadian rhythm. It can lead to an erratic sleep schedule, preventing you from getting the full night’s sleep you need to tackle your obligations the next day. Poor sleep quality can also affect mental health and cause various medical issues.
Below are tips you can follow to sleep better this winter.
Keep the Thermostat Low
If you live in a cold climate, you might want to turn up the thermostat to keep yourself warm. However, some experts suggest keeping the temperature between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit at bedtime. This is the optimal temperature range for restful sleep.
It might seem too cold for you, but you can use an extra blanket if necessary. Keeping the temperature lower at night prevents your body from getting too hot. If you feel hot, it can disrupt your sleep cycle, causing you to awaken in the middle of the night. Additionally, setting the thermostat at a higher temperature can create dry conditions in your bedroom and lead to respiratory issues.
Schedule a Time to Worry About Responsibilities
Winter schedules can be demanding. Many people feel anxious this time of year and can’t stop thinking about everything they need to get done each day. If you have a long to-do list to tend to, you should set aside time every day to worry about your responsibilities.
Thinking about the tasks you need to complete at the same time every day can program your brain to worry at specific times. Instead of experiencing anxiety all day, you can train your brain to focus on future tasks at scheduled times.
Set aside fifteen minutes a day to feel stress but make sure it’s more than one hour before bedtime. That way, when it’s time to go to sleep, your brain can shut down so you can fall asleep easier.
Wake Up at the Same Time Every Day
Set your alarm clock for the same time every morning. If you wake up at different times of the day, it can throw off your circadian rhythm and prevent a night of restful sleep.
You might have trouble going to bed and waking up at the same time each day with holiday celebrations and other events to attend, but you should try to maintain a steady bedtime. It can improve your quality of sleep, boost your mood, and promote better overall health.
Go Outside in the Morning
Expose yourself to light in the morning. Light exposure supports a better circadian rhythm, whether you look out the window or go for a quick walk outside.
You should also avoid light when it gets dark at night. Dim the light on the screen of your computer or phone while using it. Put your electronic devices away and read a book instead as it gets closer to bedtime. Keeping your environment dark or dim can help your body prepare for sleep.
Boost Your Mood
You can improve your quality of sleep with a good mood. Practicing gratitude before hitting the pillow can reduce stress and promote better sleeping habits. Think about several things you’re grateful for at the end of the day to ensure you’re in the right state of mind. It’s easier to fall asleep and stay asleep when you feel content, and your mind isn’t racing with your daily responsibilities and the stressors in your life.
Silent Night Therapy understands the consequences of poor sleep. It’s harder to focus and can negatively affect your health. If you notice excessive tiredness during the day, it could indicate an underlying medical condition.
Sleep apnea is a common problem affecting millions of adults in the United States. It causes a range of symptoms that prevent quality sleep and can diminish the quality of your life. Our team of professionals has the experience and resources necessary to diagnose your medical condition and advise you about a treatment plan that could help you sleep more soundly.
Call Silent Night Therapy today at 631-983-2463 for a complimentary consultation.
Posted on Wednesday, October 13th, 2021 at 7:53 pm
Sleeping is the body’s way of relaxing and recharging for the next day. You might look forward to getting a good night’s sleep after a busy and exhausting schedule. You start to wind down after dinner and experience euphoria once your head hits the pillow. Then suddenly, your partner starts to snore, preventing you from falling asleep as easily as you had hoped.
Snoring is a common problem. According to statistics from the Sleep Foundation, around 40 percent of women and 57 percent of men snore. It’s disruptive for the person who shares their bed and is unable to fall asleep and stay asleep. However, it can be extremely unhealthy for the snorer.
When someone snores, it means their brain isn’t receiving adequate oxygen. Their airway becomes obstructed for some reason as they sleep, causing them to gasp for air. This leads to consistent disruptions throughout the night and doesn’t allow the person to get the quality sleep they need to function the next day.
What Happens When a Person Snores?
Before we can dive into solutions for your partner’s snoring problems, you first need to understand what happens when someone snores. The sound produced during snoring occurs when the air flowing through the throat or nose becomes restricted.
When a person lies on their back, their tongue and muscles at the back of their throat relax, obstructing the airway. Total blockage can occur if the muscles relax too much, causing them to stop breathing entirely.
The body’s natural reflex is to cough or gasp for air, waking the sleeper in the process. The cycle of awakening to regain control of their breath and falling back to sleep all night disrupts sleep quality for both people in the relationship.
Common Causes of Snoring
Snoring can happen for many reasons. The most common include:
- Structural issues – Some people can’t avoid snoring because of the structure of their bodies. Someone with a deviated septum has a more challenging time receiving the air they need while they sleep. The only thing that could fix a deviated septum is surgery, and most people don’t have the finances for it.
- Lifestyle choices – Obese individuals can carry excess weight around their neck. The fat surrounding the upper airways can interfere with breathing and lead to snoring. Losing weight, especially the fat around the airways, could alleviate this problem and even eliminate the snoring entirely.
- Obstructive sleep apnea – Obstructive sleep apnea is a common breathing disorder. It causes someone to start and stop breathing repeatedly as they sleep. Loud snoring could be a warning sign that your partner has sleep apnea, especially if you notice them gasping for air as they sleep.
How to Stop Your Partner from Snoring
If your partner snores, you might struggle with daytime fatigue and other problems that affect your routine and overall quality of life. Below are some tips you can use to deal with your snoring partner so both of you can sleep better.
Different Sleeping Position
Inform your partner of the best positions to sleep in so they don’t snore. Experts recommend side sleeping to manage sleep apnea symptoms and reduce the occurrence of episodes.
If your partner can’t comfortably sleep on their side, they could try to sleep on their stomach with their head turned to either side. This allows gravity to pull the tongue and muscles at the back of the throat forward, so they don’t rest against the airway.
The worst sleeping position is on the back. This obstructs airflow through the nose and mouth, resulting in snoring.
Diet and Exercise
Everyone knows how important it is to maintain a healthy weight and eat the right foods for overall good health. However, what you might not realize is living a healthy lifestyle can also reduce instances of snoring.
If your partner is overweight, encourage them to begin a diet and exercise regimen. Losing fat in their neck could reduce the pressure placed on their airways so they can breathe easier as they sleep.
It’s not ideal, but if you’ve tried various remedies that haven’t stopped the snoring, you might have no choice but to sleep in different rooms. Although the idea of sleeping separately can be undesirable, it will allow you to get the sleep you need to be at your best the next day.
Seek Medical Care
When all else fails, you can take your partner to a sleep clinic to determine whether their snoring is due to sleep apnea. Alternative treatments, such as lifestyle changes, might not be enough. If your partner snores because of a medical condition, they will likely need a professional’s help to manage their symptoms and episodes of sleep apnea.
If your partner snores and seems not to get enough sleep at night, contact Silent Night Therapy right now. Our team of professionals can determine whether your partner has sleep apnea and advise them about the available treatment options so you both feel well-rested when you wake up in the morning.