Sleep apnea disrupts the sleep and can cause sufferers to feel tired and irritated throughout their day. The disorder occurs due to the collapse of the soft tissues of the oral cavity. As the tissues relax and collapse into the throat, they block the airflow that is needed for proper breathing. The disruption of respiration prompts the brain of the sleep apnea patient to wake the sleeper so that breathing can restart.
Often, multiple episodes of sleep apnea occur throughout the night. As a result, the sleep of a person with sleep apnea may not be restful.
Nevertheless, there are things that a sleep apnea sufferer can do to promote better sleep. Here are a few of them:
Talk to a Dentist About a Sleep Appliance
A sleep apnea appliance differs from a CPAP machine, which fits about the head and blows a small amount of air into the face of the patient. The airflow helps promote consistent breathing. However, the machine is bulky, and many CPAP users find the device bulky and restrictive.
A sleep appliance fits in the mouth like a mouthguard. As a result, there is no bulk around the patient's head as he or she tries to rest. In addition, the appliance does not require a power source and can be easily packed for travel.
The oral appliance works by holding the tissues of the mouth in proper position to prevent collapse. As a result, the airway remains open, and the patient can breathe freely as he or she rests.
Sleep on Your Side
If you suffer from sleep apnea, it is often best to avoid sleeping on your back. As you lie on your back, the tissues of the mouth are better able to collapse into the throat.
Instead of sleeping on your back, try sleeping on your side. To help you maintain a side position, specialized pillows can be used to prevent you from rotating onto your back.
People who smoke are at increased risk of developing sleep apnea. Thus, by quitting their tobacco habit, sleep apnea sufferers may see an improvement in their condition.
If you smoke and suffer from sleep apnea, discuss any concerns about stopping your tobacco usage with your physician or dentist. He or she can advise you of ways to lessen withdrawal symptoms to make quitting easier.
In addition, if you are interested in a sleep appliance, schedule a consultation with a dentist in your local area, such as Jerry C Hu DDS Family Dentistry LLC.
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