Sleep Apnea Treatments in Windermere Edmonton
As adults caring for children, we are acutely aware of their sleep needs. We go to great lengths to ensure that they’ve had enough rest, both during the night and throughout their day by allowing adequate napping time. When a child is irritable or crying, we intuitively look to the top 3 suspects: are they hungry, sick, or tired? The younger the child, the more often overtiredness wins the debate.
While we take care to ensure that our kids get enough rest, many of us are guilty of minimizing the importance of restful sleep for ourselves and our partners. The burden of our responsibilities are numerous, and often get prioritized over proper rest – and when tension is high, we need rest the most!
The Importance of Quality Rest
Everyone is familiar with what it feels like to be tired every so often, and often daydream about being at home having a nap while we are out at work or running errands. Still, most of us don’t understand the true importance of quality rest at night, and often sacrifice sleep for productivity or fun.
When we go to sleep at night, so many processes are running in our body as we are off in dreamland. New neurological pathways are put into place, information is assimilated, and the brain is preparing to take you through a series of sleep cycles as it prepares its processes for the next day.
Children face growth and development concerns with inadequate sleep and chronic waking. The effects of lack of sleep impacts the whole-body system. The results can be disastrous if lack of sleep results in an accident or fatal mistake. More often, however, the effects of chronic lack of sleep is impaired memory, decreased reasoning abilities, and decreased ability to regulate emotions and impulses.
This means that lack of sleep actually decreases our ability to interact with our environment without anger, impatience or overwhelm.
Physical symptoms of chronic lack of sleep may be a headache and/or dry throat on waking, decreased ability to concentrate and retain information and a lethargy that persists throughout the day even if you think you slept for long enough to feel fine.
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Although there are several potential causes of lack of quality sleep, a frequent cause of chronic fatigue is sleep apnea. Sleep apnea occurs when the body takes extended breaks in breathing, and often it is presented with severe snoring.
There are two ways that sleep apnea can present: central or obstructive. In the first case, the central nervous system, which is responsible for carrying the impulse to draw a breath is impaired and therefore the breath stops. The second cause of sleep apnea is called obstructive sleep apnea because it results from a tissue obstruction in the airway. When someone with sleep apnea lays on their back, the tissues of the throat may collapse and lead to a full blockage of the airway.
Sufferers of sleep apnea are more likely to have high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and stroke. Sleep apnea is not restricted to adults and can occur in the pediatric population as well.
How to Treat Sleep Apnea
If you are concerned that you may not be getting the right sleep, first address sleep hygiene. This involves turning light down an hour before bed, turning off screens in lieu of a book or quiet conversation and getting any to-do’s done that could cause worry while trying to get the brain to settle into sleep. If you share a bed, it is important to talk to your partner about your breathing and snoring at night (though they likely have already told you!). Once you have reason to believe that your sleep quality is lacking, talk to your dentist about having a sleep study completed to confirm. Once your sleep professional has confirmed that there is evidence of sleep apnea and to what degree, you may be offered a custom dental appliance (known as Mandibular Repositioning Device) or other treatment options to assist you in getting proper rest. For obstructive apnea, a mandibular repositioning device can be worn to maintain your airway while you sleep.
Continuous Positive Air Pressure (CPAP) machines may also be offered as part of your sleep quality program. These devices rest over the nose and mouth and continuously blow air into the nostrils in order to keep airway tissues from collapsing. If you have questions about these or other services offered by our general dentist, contact our clinic today!