Try to deny it, but everyone in the household knows if you snore or even, maybe, have sleep apnea. Just ask. Gentle snoring is irritating enough, but some snorers boom so loudly, the spouse retreats to another room for shut-eye. A trained sleep dentist or sleep apnea dentist may be the person to call!
About 40% of adults, mostly men snore. During sleep, throat muscles relax and narrow the airway, especially if the snorer carries a bit of extra weight. Excess tissue vibrates with every breath, and anyone within earshot awakens.
Devices invented to stop snoring:
A masks that strap directly over the mouth to muffle snores; snoreballs, atennis ball sewn into the pocket of a T-shirt worn backwards (to turn the snorer over); snore alarms; respirators or CPAP machines; and, finally, a snore guard or snore appliance or dental sleep apnea appliance. This kind of dental appliance, something like an athletic mouthguard, keeps air passages open during sleep. It’s simple and it works. Find snore guards or dental sleep apnea appliances at a trained, sleep apnea dentist.
Getting a better night’s sleep
Meanwhile, snoring and sleep apnea research goes on. Studies at the University of Pennsylvania focus on English bulldogs, whose facial structure makes them prone to snoring. Some medications may be helpful. You could sleep in the garage. You’re getting sleepy...
One of the most elusive comforts of life is a simple good night’s sleep. Especially as we get a little older and our sleep requirements change, a night of tossing and turning or frequent awakening can change how you greet the next morning. Sometimes the damage goes beyond grumpiness to distraction, lapse of memory, or even physical lethargy.
The American Medical Association maps a common sense plan for fine-tuning your personal biological clock when getting to sleep becomes a chore. The goal: sleep deep when you do, and awake clear-eyed and alert. And sweet dreams
• Figure how much sleep you need by following a set schedule for about a month. Add or subtract 30 minutes, and assess how you feel.
• Stick to your new schedule, even on weekends. If you nap, do so at the same time every day. If you go to sleep late, get up at your regular time anyway.
• Exercise in the afternoon, if you can, rather than in the morning.
• No coffee, tea or cola late in the afternoon and beyond. Get enough sodium. Don’t go to sleep too hungry or too full.
• The bedroom is for sleeping and such, not for TV. A dark, quiet, secure place is best—just cool enough.
• Set the alcohol and sleeping pills aside.
• Don’t worry. Keep a notepad on the night table and write down what’s bothering you before you settle in.
There’s snoring and then there’s snoring
A simple yes to any of these symptoms could indicate you’re on your way to the dark side of snoring: sleep apnea, or obstruction of the airways during sleep. Lack of air isn’t something you should—or can—live with. Ask us to have a look, and we’ll discuss the extent of your symptoms.
What's your snoring or sleep apnea score?
■ Does your snoring bother your partner, wake you during the night, or send the dog howling?
■ Do you walk around in a stupor when morning comes?
■ Daytime, are you on the verge of falling asleep, or cranky and unable to concentrate?
■ Are you substantially overweight?
■ Do you awake and gasp for breath? No? Ask your partner.
If you or someone you know snores or may have sleep apnea I encourage you to contact us for help. Dr. Samuels is is a Gettysburg dentist trained in the fitting of snore appliances and can work with your physician, if necessary to help treat sleep apnea. Often this treatment is covered by medical insurance. Many people have difficulty tolerating CPAP machines and do much better with a dental sleep appliance.
Start with a snore guard dental appliance. Your family could likely use the zzzzzzs.