If you wake up lacking energy, even after a full night of sleep, you may have sleep apnea. Sleep apnea occurs when you have pauses in your breathing while you are asleep. These pauses disrupt your slumber, knocking you out of the restorative deep sleep stage and into the less refreshing light sleep stage.
If you are diagnosed with sleep apnea, there are a few ways you can alleviate the symptoms and get a restful night's sleep. In some cases, you may be advised to utilize multiple treatment options for the best results.
1. Wear an Oral Appliance
An oral appliance is similar in appearance to a mouth guard. You insert it while you are sleeping, and it helps keep the jaw in a position that opens up your airway, preventing the cessation of breathing associated with sleep apnea. Benefits of an oral appliance are that it is unlikely to interfere with your sleep, and it is small, enabling you to easily take it with you when you travel.
If your doctor feels like you are a good candidate for an oral appliance, you will receive a referral to a dentist who specializes in oral appliance therapy at a dental office like Jerry C Hu DDS Family Dentistry LLC. There are multiple appliance options, and your dentist will help you find the one that best suits your needs. Your dentist will also work in conjunction with your doctor to effectively treat your sleep apnea.
Once you select an oral device, your dentist will take the necessary molds of your mouth and jaw. These molds are sent to the lab that will produce your new oral appliance.
2. Invest in a CPAP Machine
A continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine is another option for treating sleep apnea. This device comes with a mask that you wear over your face; the mask connects to a tube that blows air into your mouth. The flow of air keeps your airway from closing.
For the CPAP to be effective, you need to wear it every night. Some patients find that it takes some time to get used to sleeping with the machine; trying a different type of mask may make it more comfortable to sleep with a CPAP machine.
3. Achieve a Healthy Weight
Patients who are overweight have a higher likelihood of suffering from sleep apnea. Achieving a healthy weight through diet and exercise is one way to help alleviate the symptoms of your sleep apnea.
It takes time to achieve a healthy weight. In the meantime, combine your weight loss efforts with a device that instantly improves your sleep apnea, such as an oral appliance or CPAP machine.