You snore a lot. You know a diagnosis of sleep apnea will mean sleeping with a mask strapped to your face every night for the rest of your life. So you resist. Before you make that decision to ignore a major health problem, let’s talk about what happens when you live with sleep apnea, and if a CPAP is your only choice.
Chronic Sleep Deprivation
You probably don’t realize it, but obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) prevents you from getting a full night of sleep every night of the week. You might not remember waking up, but you do. Or perhaps you do remember waking up. How many times did you have to go to the bathroom last night? How often did you wake up thrashing or kicking the bed? There are a lot of ways your brain will use to wake you up to breathe, which means you are chronically deprived of sleep. Then when you wake in the morning you have a headache, confusion, or have trouble remembering things.
He Could Fall Asleep Anywhere…
To go along with your chronic sleep deprivation, you’ll be able to fall asleep anywhere. Unfortunately, that’s not a marketable talent. Got an 11:00 am meeting? Make sure you stand up for the whole thing, because sitting down will make you overwhelmingly drowsy. The 3:00 pm slump has a whole new meaning when you don’t sleep! And forget about sitting down to binge-watch anything. You’ll just have to re-watch them. Anytime your body gets the signal that rest can occur, it will try to make that happen. Even in the car while you’re driving.
A Dangerous Spiral
Sleep deprivation travels with all of its friends. We’ve already mentioned the confusion and memory loss that can happen as well as headaches. But did you know that it can also cause depression? Depression causes people to withdraw from family and social connections. There’s no one to worry then, when you’re too tired to exercise or take time for self-care. Your weight increases and your health continues to decline. The OSA spiral is real, but there is hope.
Hope For A Restful Night
If you are resistant to get a sleep study because you don’t want a CPAP, you aren’t the only one. CPAPs work great, but only when the patient uses them. If you have a machine you won’t use, it’s not worth having.
There is another way, and Raleigh Dental Arts can get you there. But first, get that sleep study. Secondly, have your sleep doctor prescribe an oral sleep appliance. This is a custom fitted aid, like a cross between a mouthguard and a retainer. It manipulates the alignment of your bite to prevent your soft tissues from obstructing the flow of air. It is small, portable, discreet, and comfortable.
The fear of sleeping with a mask should not deter you from finally treating your sleep apnea in a comfortable, convenient manner. Call Raleigh Dental Arts to get referrals and a plan so you can sleep better in no time!