What’s one thing that can ruin your relationship and your health at the same time? The not-so-silent mood-ruiner, sleep apnea (surprise! It’s not bad reality TV). Around 22 million Americans are estimated to suffer from sleep apnea, which is a serious condition that can significantly impact your quality of life. The good news is there are many ways you can treat it naturally, while regaining your wellbeing and allowing your loved one to get the rest they deserve after a long day at work. Read on to learn more.
Worried about sleep apnea? Contact us to find a solution.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea occurs when breathing halts during sleep because the tongue or throat muscles are blocking the airways. It usually skates away by being labeled as loud snoring or trouble sleeping. This is because sometimes unknowingly, a person will wake up due to the panic response that the brain triggers from the lack of oxygen. The health implications caused by sleep apnea can be very serious, leading to long-term issues.
What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?
The symptoms of sleep apnea could very easily slip on by, masked as either a bad night’s sleep or as a general feeling of being unwell or slightly under the weather. We’ve put together a list of the top 10 symptoms to look out for so you can combat early signs of sleep apnea:
- Daytime sleepiness
- Suddenly waking up by gasping or choking
- Dry mouth or throat
- Headaches in the morning
- Lack of focus/forgetfulness during the day
- Depression, irritability, or mood swings
- High blood pressure
- Night-time sweating
Why is sleep apnea so serious?
Sleep apnea is more than just snoring or hitting the snooze button a few extra times in the morning. This is something that has real long-term effects if not addressed. These are some of the high-risk dangers to look out for:
Heart disease: Untreated sleep apnea increases the risk of heart failure but 140% and the risk of stroke by 60%, according to the Comprehensive Sleep Care Center.
High blood pressure: When the airways are blocked due to sleep apnea, stress hormones are released which leads to an increase in blood pressure. Over a long course of time, this can make high blood pressure a risk factor.
Stroke: People who suffer from sleep apnea have a higher chance of having a stroke due to common high blood pressure. Strokes are also much more difficult to recover from sleep apnea.
Cognitive impairment: Sleep apnea causes a lack of oxygen that can impair the brain and cause many issues such as memory, learning, functionality, dementia, and delayed attention, over time.
How can you cure sleep apnea naturally?
Finding help for sleep apnea from the right doctor is always a good solution. Depending on your lifestyle and situation, you could also benefit from natural solutions to sleep apnea. Here are some of the ways you can naturally combat sleep apnea.
See a holistic dentist: A holistic dentist will provide a range of treatment options that may be able to help you catch the extra sleep you need. Keep reading, because we’ll dive into this in a moment.
Manage your weight: Having extra weight around your neck can be a big factor in sleep apnea symptoms, especially snoring. Even losing 10% of body weight could effectively help sleep apnea symptoms.
Exercise regularly: Being active regularly can help strengthen your heart, energy levels, and sleep. Yoga has also been known to help because it increases oxygen levels.
Alter your sleep position: In more than half of all sleep apnea cases, the condition arises because of sleeping position, according to a 2006 hospital study. Sleeping on your back or with your head propped up can be especially helpful because it opens the airways.
Use a humidifier: A humidifier adds more moisture to the air, which can help congested airways and make breathing easier.
Use oral appliances: A CPAP machine is a mask you use when you sleep that increases air pressure in your throat so the airways can’t close and suffocate you. A sleep apnea mouthguard has a strap that pushes the lower jaw and tongue forward, keeping your airway open. Both options lead to a better night’s sleep which can reduce many of the harmful symptoms.
Why you should see a holistic dentist first
Seeing an integrative or holistic dentist for sleep apnea can make all the difference for you. Unlike regular dentists who only focus on oral health, Integrative dentistry looks at the big picture. They are founded on the belief that oral health and the health of your entire body are tied together.
When you see a dentist who practices holistic dentistry for sleep apnea, they will look for the causes of sleep apnea, not just the obvious symptoms. Their focus is much more on how your sleep apnea is affecting the health of your entire body, not just your loss of sleep. They target root problems that may go unnoticed such as poor jaw or tongue alignment, mental stimulation, or breathing problems.
Seeing a holistic dentist like Dr. Mandanas can help you assess your sleep apnea and find solutions that would best first your lifestyle, naturally. If you (or your loved one) are suffering from sleep apnea, there is still hope to get a good night’s sleep. We will work with you to find a solution.
Ready to schedule an appointment? Contact us today!