Nighttime breathing problems make some people miserable. The problem is that it’s usually not the person with the breathing problem that’s miserable! Often, it’s the spouse who can’t sleep because of all that noise. While snoring has been cited as a reason for divorce, more people just choose to sleep in separate bedrooms. One study from a Toronto University found that between 30% and 40% of couples sleep apart at night – some because of snoring, but others due to a need for radically different temperatures or because one person is a covers-grabbing restless sleeper.
A snorer sleeping with a non-snorer can create stress in a relationship that never ends until a solution is found. After all, being well-rested is vital for all-around health and safety. A person’s immune system needs rest to keep a person healthy and a lack of sleep contributes to impaired work performance and higher numbers of traffic accidents.
Why Do People Snore?
If you only snore occasionally, it could be allergies, a cold, being overtired or alcohol, muscle relaxant or sleeping pill consumption that triggers the noise. For some people, sleeping on their backs brings on the snores.
If you snore chronically, factors such as overweight, nasal structure problems or aging could be causing the problem.
Pregnant women may snore even if they’ve never snored before in their lives. In the third trimester, weight gain paired with hormone changes that swell nasal passages can start a pregnant woman snoring. In a few cases, this snoring can be a sign of a dangerous problem such as gestational diabetes or a shortage of oxygen supply to the baby so this should be mentioned to one’s doctor as soon as it’s noticed.
Sleep Apnea is NOT Just Heavy Snoring
Sleep apnea is a far more serious problem than simple snoring. With sleep apnea, the sleeper pauses in his breathing for periods lasting from a few seconds to whole minutes. This can occur 30 or more times an hour. There may be choking or gagging when the person finally grabs a breath. A person with sleep apnea typically wakes up feeling tired and drained. Other symptoms of sleep apnea include a general lack of energy, morning headaches and gastroesophageal reflux (GERD).
Some people think that if they are not overweight and male, they can’t have sleep apnea. That’s not true. While overweight men have higher than average risk factors, women past the age of menopause are just as likely to suffer from this problem as men.
Sleep Apnea Can Affect Your Overall Health
If you have been told you suffer from sleep apnea, it’s vital to take this up with your doctor immediately. It’s a risk factor for heart attack, stroke, diabetes and other serious conditions. In fact, 65% of people who have had a stroke also had some kind of breathing disorder during sleep. And nearly 79% of patients with severe sleep apnea also have hypertension.
When snoring or sleep apnea is making life miserable, realize that these problems can respond to the care of a doctor or dentist who specializes in breathing problems. In other words, there can be an end to the misery and the fatigue.
Solutions to Sleep Apnea
Our StarBrite Dental staff has experience working with sleep specialists and can help fit you for an oral appliance to improve your breathing during sleep. The TAP (Thornton Adjustable Positioner) is a popular and well-known appliance for correcting sleep apnea. After decades of struggling to breathe, you can finally experience restful sleep! It must be fit to you correctly and that’s where we come in.
If you suffer from snoring or sleep apnea, come see us for a consultation to find out how you can stop snoring and sleep better every night. Please call (301) 770-1070 or use the form below. Your spouse will thank you – and your long-term health will benefit!
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