How Sleep Apnea Affects A Family
“Do you have to make so much noise?”
Mrs. Jones was in a bad mood again this morning. For the third night in a row, she barely got any sleep because Mr. Jones’s snoring kept her from falling asleep.
Their son Billy was just trying to make a bowl of cereal when his mother snapped at him. He could tell she hadn’t slept well, and when his dad stumbled into the kitchen, it was clear he hadn’t had a good night’s sleep either.
“Do you have to be so loud?” Mr. Jones said to Mrs. Jones.
“You’re one to talk,” Mrs. Jones replied. “Maybe I’d be in a better mood if the noises you make didn’t keep me up all night.”
Mr. Jones may not realize it, but his snoring is a symptom of sleep apnea, a serious sleep disorder that can prevent him and people he loves from getting the healthy sleep that they need.
Beaumont Family Dentistry may be able to help. We treat patients from as far as Richmond and Danville at our three Lexington area locations. If people complain frequently about the effect of your snoring on their sleep, it may be time to get help.
How Sleep Apnea Affects You
If you are the person, like Mr. Jones, who has sleep apnea, here is how it could affect you.
When you lay down to sleep, your body stops breathing. If you have obstructive sleep apnea (which is the most common type), your airways become restricted. As the muscles in your throat relax, this allows the soft tissue to press into your airways and cut off your breath.
These stoppages can last 10 seconds or longer. Someone with mild sleep apnea may stop breathing up to 14 times per hour throughout the night. A person with severe sleep apnea can stop breathing 30 or more times per hour.
When you stop breathing, you body will wake you up long enough to start again. You may not remember this, but each time it happens, your sleep is interrupted and you start your sleep cycle again.
As a result, you may not reach the deep stages necessary for healthy sleep. This can lead to sleep deprivation, which can lead to frequent daytime sleepiness. This may explain why people with untreated sleep apnea are more than twice as likely as other people to be involved in automobile accidents.
The breathing stoppages have other effects as well. These lead to an increased risk of high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiovascular issues.
How Sleep Apnea Affects Your Family
We will start with your spouse, who probably wants to sleep as much as Mrs. Jones.
That’s hard to do when the person next to you is snoring constantly. Keep in mind that snoring can be as loud as a vacuum cleaner or an alarm clock.
And since the snoring is keeping your spouse awake, he or she may be very aware of the times when you stop breathing. Imagine what that is like for a moment, listening to love of your life stop breathing multiple times throughout the night.
That can create a sense of worry, which can make it harder to sleep.
Down the hall, your children may be having trouble sleeping, too. (You may be surprised how loud your snoring can be.) Even when they do sleep, they may have to deal with a pair of irritable, sleep deprived parents in the morning.
Yes, children sometimes do things that annoy us, but when we are sleep deprived, we may be quicker to snap at them than usual.
How You Can Help Yourself And Your Family
You can start by getting in touch with the nearest Beaumont Family Dentistry location. If you have not been tested, we can help you arrange a sleep study to confirm whether you have sleep apnea.
When this has been verified, we can create an oral appliance for you to wear while you sleep. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has approved appliances as first-line treatment for people with mild or moderate sleep apnea. It’s also a secondary treatment for people with severe sleep apnea who have problems using a CPAP machine.
The oral appliance changes the position of your jaw so your airway remains open and you can breathe easier.
This can greatly reduce your snoring and allow you (and your loved ones) to get the healthy, restful, and refreshing sleep that you need.
Don’t Keep Up With The Joneses
If you saw something familiar in our fictional Jones family, then it’s time for you to find out if you have sleep apnea. If you do, then you owe it to yourself and your family to do something about it.
Beaumont Family Dentistry wants to help. Call any of our Lexington dentist offices or fill out our online form to schedule your appointment today.