National Sleep Awareness Week – Why Should You Be Aware?

*March 6-13 is National Sleep Awareness Week*

Why is it vitally important for each one of us to be aware of our sleep patterns? Well, the National Institute for Health has estimated that sleep related breathing problems such as snoring and obstructive sleep apnea effect 50 to 70 million Americans – both adults and children.  Many are not even aware they are being effected by it!

Sleep Apnea Tacoma, National Sleep Awareness Week

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea refers to small interruptions in the breathing cycle while someone is sleeping. These pauses in breathing cause a slow suffocation effect. That feeling of suffocation causes continual awakenings from sleep to breath, hindering the reaching of much needed REM sleep.

How Can You Know if You Have a Sleep Related Breathing Problem?

Here is a quick test that will help you know if you should be evaluated for a sleep disorder:

  1. Do you snore?
  2. Do you often experience morning headaches?
  3. Do you wake feeling unrefreshed and unrested?
  4. Have you or your sleep partner noticed that you choke, gasp or stop breathing during sleep?

It is also good to watch and listen to your children as they sleep. They should be evaluated for a sleep disorder if they meet any of the following:

  1. Do they wake in the same position in which they fell asleep?
  2. Are the bed sheets strewn all over?
  3. Do they have trouble concentrating while awake?
  4. Do they have dark circles under the eyes?
  5. Do they snore?

Sleep apnea is a serious disorder. Lack of sleep not only makes you tired, there are a wide range of health problems resulting from the cumulative effect of poor oxygenation and loss of sleep, such as:

  • Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease
  • High Blood Pressure and Stroke
  • Heart Attack
  • Dysfunctions of the Nervous System
  • Craniofacial Pain – TMJ/TMD

The good news is that sleep apnea can be cured! A common reason for the medical condition known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a poorly positioned jaw or tongue which can lead to a blocked airway and poor breathing. A custom fabricated dental oral appliance can be the simple answer.

At Giesy Family & Implant Dentistry we are dedicated to non-surgical treatment of sleep apnea in Tacoma and we understand the unique needs of both adults and children. Call us today at (253)752-6630 or contact us for a consultation. Take the first step towards a restful night’s sleep and protecting your health.