Posted on Friday, August 28th, 2020 at 12:44 am
Microsleep is exactly what it sounds like: periods of sleep that last only a few seconds. These short bursts of sleep can happen at any time. You could experience microsleep when you’re at work, driving your car, sitting in class, or watching your kids.
It’s not just an innocent nap; it can be a symptom of a serious health problem. According to Healthline, microsleep is usually a side-effect of more troubling sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea, insomnia, or narcolepsy. Visiting a sleep specialist can help you determine which, if any, of these sleep disorders is causing your microsleep.
You’re more likely to experience microsleep if you’re sleep-deprived, and millions of us are. Approximately 1 in 5 American adults don’t get enough sleep. There are a number of reasons why you might be sleep-deprived, including:
- Working late nights or overnight shifts
- Being unable to sleep because of stress
- Sleep disorders
Some of the most common warning signs that you might be experiencing microsleep are:
- Sudden and uncontrollable body jerks
- Not being able to remember the last few minutes
- Slow blinking
- Excessive yawning
- Repetitive head dropping
Many of the symptoms of microsleep are similar to what you experience right before falling asleep at a natural and healthy time of day. But microsleep can happen at any time and anywhere. This’s part of what can make microsleep dangerous.
Luckily, there are simple ways to treat microsleep. Making small changes to your daily routine could help you fall asleep more quickly and get a deeper sleep. This could include cutting your caffeine intake a couple of hours before bed, turning off your phone, laptop, and TV earlier, and keeping your room cooler. If these changes don’t make a difference and you still experience periods of extreme tiredness during the day, it might be time to call a sleep expert.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a Sleep Expert
Silent Night Therapy is open again and ready to help patients just like you! Schedule your appointment today to discuss any problems you have with sleeping or staying asleep. If you’re experiencing microsleep, you might need treatment for a more serious sleep disorder such as sleep apnea. Consult with one of our team members today to diagnose and solve your problem. Call our office at 631-983-2463 to speak with a sleep specialist.
Posted on Monday, November 4th, 2019 at 4:14 am
The Mayo Clinic states that the average age a woman experiences menopause is 51, but some women may experience menopause even earlier in their 40s, and some women may not experience it until their late 50s. The bottom line is that menopause is a natural biological process.
The problem with menopause is that many of its symptoms can overlap with the symptoms of sleep disorders such as sleep apnea. Women who think of their symptoms as only being associated with menopause may be ignoring potential signs of a sleep disorder.
Some of the most common symptoms of menopause that can also be signs of sleep disorders may include:
- Weight gain
- Irregular periods that vary in frequency or intensity
- Hot flashes
- Joint or muscle pain
- Difficulty sleeping
- Decreased sexual interest or discomfort
- Poor concentration or memory loss
- Vaginal and urinary problems
- Mood swings or irritability
Other symptoms of sleep apnea may be dismissed as being the effects of growing older. Loud snoring or other pauses in breathing while sleeping are some of the most common signs of sleep apnea and deserve to be examined more closely.
Menopause can increase the likelihood of sleep apnea because the levels of estrogen and progesterone that are high before a woman undergoes menopause will decline and become much lower after menopause. One study of women in multiple age groups found that the prevalence of moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea increased less than 1 percent in women between 20 years of age and 44 years of age, 2 percent in women 45 years of age to 64 years of age, and 7 percent in women 61 years of age to 100 years of age.
A post-menopausal woman who underwent hormone replacement therapy had much lower rates of sleep apnea prevalence than women who did not receive hormone replacement therapy. Grace Pien, an assistant professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins Sleep Disorders Center, said postmenopausal women are two to three times more likely to have sleep apnea compared with premenopausal women.
Hormone replacement therapy involving estrogen and progestin can be beneficial to many women in addressing sleep apnea issues. In other cases, exercise could be recommended, and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or hormone replacement therapies could also be used.
Contact Silent Night Therapy
Women who are dealing with signs of menopause that could also be symptoms of sleep apnea should contact Silent Night Therapy for help. Dr. Clifford Brown has been helping New York residents with sleep apnea since the 1970s and is a member of The American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) and The Academy of Clinical Sleep Disorder Disciplines who is trained in Dental Sleep Medicine and Oral Appliance Therapy.
We work with most insurance companies so clients can avoid paying most out of pocket expenses. We can talk about how our team can help you when you call (631) 983-2463 or contact us online.
Posted on Tuesday, June 12th, 2018 at 5:50 pm
What to Eat and Avoid Eating Before Bedtime
Health experts recommend people avoid eating between two and four hours before they go to sleep, but going to bed hungry causes problems. As the body sends out signals to the brain that you are hungry, it’s harder to fall asleep peacefully and stay asleep. Here are some foods that are okay to eat before bedtime because they have a reduced impact on your quality of sleep:
- Greek yogurt – With lots of protein and less sugar than other styles of yogurt, Greek yogurt helps satisfy your dairy craving before bed without dramatically increasing your heartbeat.
- Peanut butter and wheat bread – If you are hungry for something more substantial, try eating an open-faced peanut butter sandwich on whole grain bread. Peanut butter is high in protein and healthy, unsaturated fats. Wheat bread offers fiber and more complex carbohydrates than white bread, keeping your blood-sugar levels stable while you sleep.
- Banana – With only 100 calories per fruit, bananas are a great source of nutrients that the body needs to stay healthy. Potassium is needed to contract muscles throughout the day, and pectin is a significant source of fiber that helps with your body’s digestion.
- Turkey – This lean cut of meat contains more tryptophan than other types of deli meat, and it’s lower in fat, saving you calories. Tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin which breaks down into melatonin, the chemical in your brain that makes you sleepy.
Foods to Avoid
Research indicates that if you go to bed hungry and wake up ravenous, you are more likely to eat an unhealthy breakfast and start the day with poor nutrition. Instead of fighting yourself through the unnecessary, internal struggle of deciding whether or not you should eat before bed, choose a healthy snack. Here are some foods to avoid because they make sleep worse:
- Pizza – The crust is quickly broken down into glucose which elevates blood-sugar levels and stimulates the body to be more active. Grease from toppings and cheese cause the body to focus on digesting instead of sleeping.
- Burgers – Many places that stay open late at night have a similar menu: burgers and fries. Even without the bun, this pre-bedtime snack is full of nutrients that prevent your body from sleeping well.
- Alcohol – You may think of it as a “nightcap,” but alcohol makes falling asleep much more difficult. When you do finally fall asleep, the toxic effects of alcohol keep you from sleeping deeply, and you wake up feeling more tired.
- Chocolate – Dark chocolate is credited with many health benefits, but helping you fall asleep isn’t one. Caffeine and sugar from chocolate both stimulate the body and reduce your quality of sleep.
Posted on Tuesday, March 21st, 2017 at 2:24 pm
We know that being overweight isn’t healthy, and we also know that a lack of sleep is also unhealthy. Neither of these facts are too surprising.
The question is, what is the exact relationship between sleep apnea and gaining weight? That’s a little more difficult to answer. The reality is that “it’s complicated.”
Does sleep apnea contribute to weight gain, or does weight gain contribute to sleep apnea? It’s quite the “chicken and the egg” conundrum!
In this article, we’re going to share some thoughts on sleep apnea, weight gain, and the complex relationship between these two dangerous (and often related) issues that go hand in hand.
First things first: How sleep apnea can contribute to weight gain
One of the main theories regarding the relationship between sleep apnea and weight gain is that sleep apnea causes sleep deprivation, which can release hormones that cause us to carry a bigger appetite and eat more food, packing on the pounds in the process.
In fact, when your body doesn’t get the amount of sleep that it requires, the body produces more Ghrelin, which is a hormone that is known to stimulate hunger. In addition to an uptick in Ghrelin production, the body also decreases the amount of Leptin it produces, which is responsible for signaling to the brain that your body doesn’t require anymore food.
Here’s a link to the article to learn more about the relationship between sleep apnea, weight gain, and hormones:
If you aren’t sleeping well, it can lead to weight gain, which of course is something you want to avoid, as obesity is highly correlated with a variety of serious medical conditions.
Here’s how weight gain can lead to sleep apnea
While sleep apnea can clearly lead to weight gain, the reverse is also true.
When a person gains weight, more “effort” is required just to stay alive. An overweight or obese person taxes their body excessively, which is why many overweight individuals are constantly “catching their breath.”
When a person has higher levels of body fat, breathing becomes more of a challenge, which can lead to apnea episodes, and eventually a diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea.
In fact, a person’s risk for sleep apnea increases as they gain weight according to this article from the National Sleep Foundation. So the answer is clear: as you put on more weight, you are at a higher risk of developing obstructive sleep apnea, and by default also developing some of the serious health issues that go along with it.
The bottom line: Get tested for sleep apnea
We can discuss the science behind the relationship between sleep apnea and weight gain all day long, but the application is actually quite simple; if you aren’t sleeping well, it can lead to a whole host of health issues including:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Chronic fatigue
- Daytime sleepiness
And so much more. If you aren’t sleeping well, or if you find yourself waking up during the night gasping for air, we encourage you to contact our location nearest you (Babylon Dental Care at Great South Bay or Babylon Dental Care at Gateway Plaza).
While snoring or losing out on a little sleep may seem harmless enough, it can actually be very dangerous and have significant effects on your long term health and wellbeing. At Babylon Dental Care, we offer at-home sleep apnea testing as well as oral appliance therapy; meaning you can get the sleep apnea treatment you need without CPAP.
So give our location nearest you a call today to schedule your sleep apnea consultation.
Posted on Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017 at 2:53 pm
It seems that train accidents are becoming more and more common these days, with the most recent example being the January 4th, 2017 LIRR crash in Brooklyn that injured 100 people. Thankfully, no one was killed in the accident.
The incredibly alarming aspect of this is that, once again, sleep apnea may have played a role in the crash just as it did in Hoboken in 2016 and another fatal LIRR crash in 2013. You can click the link below to read a previous article covering those accidents:
According to sources, the train engineer during this accident did not remember the last 2 to 3 minutes of the train ride.
In fact, the source also stated that the train’s movement just before the crash (and other factors) raised suspicion among investigators since the 50-year-old engineer (who has not been identified) suffered from obstructive sleep apnea — a disorder that can contribute to fatigue (source: http://www.newsday.com/news/new-york/sleep-apnea-may-have-played-role-in-lirr-brooklyn-crash-source-says-1.12878632).
Sleep apnea testing for locomotive engineers
With this being the third accident in the New York area in the last few years, many citizens are now concerned about their safety riding the train, which millions of people rely upon every day.
Federal legislators are pushing for sleep apnea testing among train engineers, and the MTA has already begun a pilot testing program to screen their engineers for sleep apnea (an action that was taken following the deadly Bronx crash in late 2013).
What is sleep apnea? Who is at risk?
Obstructive sleep apnea often causes people to experience drowsiness, daytime sleepiness, and a variety of other symptoms. Sleep apnea is more common in men than women, and overweight or obese men are more likely to suffer from obstructive sleep apnea.
While many people think that CPAP is the only treatment available for sleep apnea, but that simply isn’t true. In fact, at Babylon Dental Care we treat patients with sleep apnea without the use of bulky CPAP machines.
You can read more about the sleep apnea testing and treatment options we provide in the links below:
Why is sleep apnea so dangerous for engineers?
Sleep apnea is a dangerous (and potentially deadly) condition for anyone. However, engineers have many other peoples’ lives in their hands at any given time. It’s absolutely necessary that engineers are tested for sleep apnea, as it is without question a public safety issue.
After all, the FAA tests their pilots and will ground pilots who are found to have sleep apnea.
This is done to protect innocent passengers on airplanes and it is our position that the same strict standards should be administered regarding sleep apnea testing for engineers, as well.
Are you suffering with undiagnosed sleep apnea? Know someone who is?
If you or someone you know may be experiencing any symptoms associated with sleep apnea, then please give our office a call today. We treat patients from all around the South Shore of Long Island at either our West Babylon practice (Babylon Dental Care at Great South Bay) or our Patchogue practice (Babylon Dental Care at Gateway Plaza). Obstructive sleep apnea is a dangerous condition, so don’t wait. Give our location nearest you a call today to schedule your appointment!
Posted on Friday, January 13th, 2017 at 5:00 pm
It’s no secret that many people suffer from stuffy noses, cracked lips, and a general feeling of lethargy and discomfort during winter months. While some blame the cold air and below freezing temperatures, there are also other possible culprits– your furnace or heater.
While the heat may warm you up, it can also dry out your nasal passages and your throat, making breathing more difficult.
It’s often during the winter that many people visit the doctor only to get a potentially surprising diagnosis — sleep apnea.
The 2012 study on sleep apnea
When it comes to studies regarding the worsening of sleep apnea during winter months, the data is sparse. However, there are a few great points worth examining where trends start to emerge.
The first is a 2012 study that examined over 7,500 patients who had visited a sleep clinic within a 10-year period. According to their records, the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI), which measures disrupted breathing, was much higher in patients who underwent sleep evaluations in the winter months.
In addition to other data points, approximately 6% more patients exhibited symptoms of severe sleep apnea during winter months. Read more of the study by clicking here.
The “big data” approach from the internet age
While empirical data from a scientific study is often the “gold standard” when it comes to research, many insights can be gained by looking at sleep apnea internet search trends.
Using Google search traffic from the United States and Australia, researchers were able to conclude that many sleep apnea related terms saw an increase in search volume from 5% to as much as 50% during the winter and early spring months.
The internet study, which was published in Sleep & Breathing, concluded the following:
“Our findings indicate that there are significant seasonal trends for both snoring and sleep apnea internet search engine queries, with a peak in the winter and early spring. Further research is indicated to determine the mechanisms underlying these findings, whether they have clinical impact, and if they are associated with other comorbid medical conditions that have similar patterns of seasonal exacerbation.”
While the data may not be 100% conclusive, there is a lot of information to suggest that sleep apnea worsens, or is diagnosed more, during winter and early spring.
Why is sleep apnea worse in the winter months and early spring?
So that really brings us to the next question — why?
Why does it seem that patients suffer from sleep apnea more in the winter and spring than in other months?
There are a few reasons:
- It’s cold and flu season.
- Running more heat in a confined area can lead to dry conditions, which can impact your breathing.
- Higher pressure and other weather conditions are prevalent.
Among many others. Also, patients may be more likely to notice their symptoms as they are generally not as active during winter months, and thus may be more likely to see a doctor regarding their issues.
What should you do about it?
If you believe you may be suffering from sleep apnea, it’s important to schedule an appointment immediately.
If you live in or near the South Shore of Long Island, we have two locations (Great South Bay in West Babylon & Gateway Plaza in Patchogue) where we diagnose and treat sleep apnea.
While sleep apnea may seem like a harmless condition, it can potentially lead to stroke, heart attack, and a variety of other health issues if left untreated. So don’t wait to seek treatment.
Posted on Monday, December 12th, 2016 at 4:18 pm
While many people dismiss sleep apnea as nothing more than harmless snoring, it can have far more serious effects. In the case of a NJ transit engineer, it led to a deadly crash that killed one woman and injured 108 others.
After the accident, engineer Thomas Gallagher told investigators he had no memory of the crash. In fact, the last thing he remembers is looking down to see that he was traveling the appropriate speed (10 mph), and then blowing the horn and ringing the bell before pulling into the station.
Mr. Gallagher had undergone a physical in July, and was cleared to operate the train.
Jack Arseneault, Mr. Gallaghers attorney, told WCBS-TV in a statement:
“My client was diagnosed with severe sleep apnea just recently, during an examination by an expert that I arranged after the accident. Those results were forwarded to the NTSB on Oct. 31. The diagnosis made sense to Mr. Gallagher in light of the fact he couldn’t remember anything about the crash. The last thing he remembers was checking his speed at 10 mph and blowing the horn then ringing the bell as he approached the station.”
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time that sleep apnea has been in the news regarding a train accident.
You may recall in 2014 that LIRR engineer William Rockefeller’s train derailed, killing four and injuring 70. It was later discovered that Mr. Rockefeller suffered from severe obstructive sleep apnea, and had admitted to accidentally nodding off shortly before the crash.
What are the signs of sleep apnea?
Everyone is different, and therefore obstructive sleep apnea may manifest itself in different ways to different people. Below are a few of the most common signs and symptoms that individuals suffering from sleep apnea normally report experiencing:
- Daytime drowsiness
- Brain fog or a feeling of disorientation
- Waking during the night struggling to catch your breath
And many more. For a more complete list of symptoms, visit our signs and symptoms page here (www.sleepbetterny.com/what-is-sleep-apnea/).
What treatments are available for obstructive sleep apnea?
Many people actually don’t seek treatment for sleep apnea because they believe the only treatment available is a CPAP machine with the mask. Fortunately, there have been significant advancements in treating obstructive sleep apnea, and other options are available.
At our office, we have found that many patients respond well to oral appliance therapy. This involves wearing a device that’s similar to a mouthguard to bed each night, which keeps the airway open.
Unlike CPAP the device is small, lightweight, less-intrusive, and much easier to travel with! If you think that you may be suffering from sleep apnea but have resisted seeking treatment, we think you may be very interested to see what oral appliance therapy can do for you.
What can I do to help?
If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms above, then we encourage you to call us today and book your appointment.
However, maybe you aren’t experiencing these symptoms yourself but know someone who is (a spouse, friend, family member, coworker, etc.). Many people are unaware of how dangerous (and even deadly) sleep apnea can really become if left untreated.
If you know someone who is experiencing signs and symptoms associated with sleep apnea, we encourage you to talk with that person openly and candidly. It’s an easy conversation and maybe you can educate and encourage them to take an at-home sleep apnea test, as well.
We know how big of an underlying problem obstructive sleep apnea is in our society (as evidenced by the recent railway accidents), and want to do everything we can to help as many people as possible.
Posted on Monday, September 26th, 2016 at 9:11 pm
What comes to mind when you think of sleep apnea? Is it loud snoring? Do you imagine a spouse or partner being so frustrated with their significant other because they are keeping them awake at night?
While the above scenario is quite common, there is much more to sleep apnea than meets the eye. The fact of the matter is that sleep apnea is a serious medical condition that, if left undiagnosed and untreated, can lead to serious health problems and even death.
What most people don’t realize is that there are two distinct types of sleep apnea that people suffer from. The most common disorder (and the one that is most treatable) is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The other type of sleep apnea that is more difficult to treat is known as central sleep apnea (CSA).
In this article, we are going to share more information with you regarding both obstructive and central sleep apnea so that you will be better informed on the similarities and differences between these two medical issues.
The most important thing we want to share with you is this:
If you think you may be suffering from any form of sleep apnea, it is important to get properly tested and diagnosed. At our West Babylon and Patchogue locations along the South Shore of Long Island, Dr. Brown and his team of sleep apnea professionals provide sleep apnea evaluations, diagnosis, and treatment options that do not include using a CPAP machine.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s move on.
Central Sleep Apnea:
According to this article, central sleep apnea is a dangerous condition that is often linked to heart and kidney failure. In addition, it is also believed to be linked to a variety of neurological issues due to the signals in the brain (that tell the body to breath regularly) that cease to function correctly.
In effect, there is no effort made to inhale or take a breath because the brain is not signaling the body to do so. Since central sleep apnea is more than just an issue of a blocked or obstructed airway (which is the cause of obstructive sleep apnea), typical sleep apnea treatments such as CPAP or oral appliance therapy may be limited in their ability to treat central sleep apnea.
Many individuals who suffer from central sleep apnea will also suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. In this case, oral appliance therapy may be an effective measure to treat sleep apnea.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea:
Unlike central sleep apnea which has a neurological basis as the primary cause, obstructive sleep apnea is caused when the airway becomes blocked and oxygen cannot reach the lungs properly.
This results in a struggle to breathe, which often leads to sleep apnea sufferers waking up in the middle of the night gasping for air.
As you can see, one of the key differences between central sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea is that, with OSA you are trying to take a breath, whereas with CSA the brain isn’t properly signaling the rest of the body.
The good news about obstructive sleep apnea is that it is a treatable condition, with the most common treatment being oral appliance therapy (which is what we offer).
Treating Obstructive Sleep Apnea
One reason a lot of patients do not seek treatment for sleep apnea is because they assume that CPAP is the only treatment. After all, who wants to sleep with a loud, bulky mask on all night? Not to mention a CPAP machine and mask are a nightmare to travel with.
Fortunately, obstructive sleep apnea treatments have come a long way in the last few years, and now dentists like Dr. Brown are able to provide oral appliance therapy as a simple, straightforward, viable alternative to bulky, expensive, CPAP machines.
For a more in-depth look at treatment alternatives, you can read this article that we wrote:
If you think you may have sleep apnea (either central or obstructive), it is important to visit a doctor who can properly screen and diagnose you.
If you feel that you may have obstructive sleep apnea and you live near the South Shore of Long Island, we encourage you to contact our office nearest you today to schedule your consultation with Dr. Brown!
Posted on Monday, August 29th, 2016 at 6:21 pm
When you first think of sleep apnea, your initial thoughts may be something along the lines of an overweight man snoring really, really loud and his wife wanting to knock him upside the head with a pillow.
While this is certainly a common scenario, it isn’t the only scenario because women suffer from sleep apnea, too!
The problem— since women don’t fit into the “normal profile” of a classic sleep apnea sufferer, the condition oftentimes goes undiagnosed or unreported.
In this article, we’re going to address specific issues that female sleep apnea sufferers face. If you’re a woman and think you may be suffering from sleep apnea, we encourage you to seek treatment immediately. Although many people see snoring as just a harmless nuisance, obstructive sleep apnea, if left untreated, can have serious consequences.
Sleep Apnea: Why the Masculine Label?
While it seems quite ridiculous now, there was a time when heart disease was considered a man’s disease. Fortunately, the scientific literature began to take a closer look at heart health in women and, of course, found out that heart disease and a variety of other cardiac-related problems affect both men and women.
In the current medical landscape, it seems obstructive sleep apnea has taken the place of heart disease as primarily a “man’s problem.” After all, when an overweight man goes to the doctor because his wife is complaining about his loud snoring, one of the first things considered is obstructive sleep apnea.
With women, this isn’t always the case.
Why are Women Often Misdiagnosed?
Since we all know women are smarter than men and are much more complex (somewhat joking…but probably true), it makes sense that their symptoms would potentially be more widespread, thus making a sleep apnea diagnosis not so obvious.
While men are more likely to experience the “classic symptoms” of sleep apnea like snoring & gasping for air, women who are eventually diagnosed with sleep apnea display a wide variety of symptoms making a diagnosis more difficult to pin down.
What are the Most Common Symptoms of Sleep Apnea in Women?
As mentioned above, women tend to display a wider range of symptoms that make a sleep apnea diagnosis more difficult. Here are signs and symptoms present in women that may indicate obstructive sleep apnea is to blame:
- Cardiac or pulmonary illnesses
- Fatigue from overwork
- Menopausal changes
Obviously these are a broad range of symptoms and just because you are experiencing a few of these symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean you have sleep apnea. Then again, if you are experiencing several of these problems, it is probably a good idea to contact a sleep apnea doctor to get evaluated.
If I Think I Have Sleep Apnea, What is My Next Step?
A couple of the most common reasons that women don’t seek treatment for sleep apnea are:
- They think that sleep apnea is mostly a male issue, and thus, don’t consider it as a possible root cause of all of the problems they are experiencing.
- They mistakenly believe the only effective treatment for sleep apnea is a bulky CPAP machine (which absolutely is not true).
In fact, if you are a woman in the South Shore Long Island area and think you may be suffering from sleep apnea, we encourage you to contact our West Babylon or Patchogue office today in order to schedule your consultation and take an at-home sleep apnea test.
We provide sleep apnea treatment in the form of a small, easy-to-use oral appliance that is cost effective, travel friendly, and much less cumbersome than traditional CPAP treatment. For more information, give us a call today!
Posted on Tuesday, July 12th, 2016 at 9:23 pm
While snoring may conjure up playful images of women hitting their spouse or partner with a pillow in the middle of the night, obstructive sleep apnea is no laughing matter. In fact, according to an 18-year study from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, individuals with severe, untreated sleep apnea died at a rate more than 3X that of those without sleep apnea.
You can read more about the study here: http://www.uwhealth.org/referring-physician-news/death-rate-triples-for-sleep-apnea-sufferers/13986
What does this mean?
It means that snoring is no laughing matter, and if you think you or a loved one may be suffering from sleep apnea, diagnosis and treatment could potentially prevent a premature death.
A few risk factors that increase your chances of suffering from OSA
According to an article from Mayo Clinic, roughly half of the people who suffer from sleep apnea are overweight. This is likely due to fat deposits around the upper airway that may obstruct breathing in some individuals.
If you are overweight or clinically obese, going on a healthy nutrition and exercise regiment may reduce your risk for developing sleep apnea, or help manage your current condition. And vice versa– treating sleep apnea has been proven to help weight loss.
Large Neck Size
Males with neck circumferences over 17 inches and females with neck circumferences over 16 inches may be increasing their risk of developing sleep apnea. A thick neck with excessive fat deposits can narrow your airway, making breathing a struggle.
If you have a larger neck and find yourself waking up in the middle of the night gasping for air on occasion, you should visit a sleep apnea treatment specialist immediately.
Being a Male
Quite simply, men are twice as likely to suffer from sleep apnea symptoms as women. If your husband or significant other snores and exhibits other risk factors listed in this article, you may want to encourage him to get checked out.
High Blood Pressure
Obstructive sleep apnea and hypertension often go hand in hand. If you’ve been diagnosed with high blood pressure, your chances of developing obstructive sleep apnea may be higher than those who do not have high blood pressure.
Everyone knows that smoking is bad for your health. It can ruin your teeth, lungs, heart, and much more. There are a variety of programs on the market to help smokers quit, and while it’s easier said than done, building up the courage and determination to quit smoking could save your life.
Excessive Alcohol Consumption
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, excessive consumption of alcohol can lengthen the duration of sleep apnea episodes. This is a serious issue that you can read more about here: http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/aa41.htm
The bottom line: Do not consume alcohol close to bedtime as it can lead to obstructive sleep apnea episodes.
What’s the next step?
If you are currently experiencing any of the above risk factors, we encourage you to contact your doctor for a sleep apnea evaluation. If you are in or around West Babylon, Patchogue, or anywhere along the South Shore of Long Island, we can help.
We provide at-home sleep apnea evaluations for patients who feel they may be suffering from obstructive sleep apnea. In addition to at-home testing, we also provide alternative treatments to CPAP that have been shown to be very effective (without the use of a loud, bulky CPAP machine).
If you would like to learn more about at-home sleep apnea testing or the oral appliance treatment options we offer, give us a call today to schedule your sleep apnea consultation.