Snoring & Sleep Apnoea
A good night’s sleep is the basis of good health, feeling well and being happy. Sleep allows our mind and body to recover and rejuvenate. Snoring and sleep apnoea can have a devastating effect on your health, your work and your relationships.
If you don’t sleep well every night or you disturb your partner’s sleep quality, what are the consequences…
- can’t think clearly
- short tempered
- partners sleeping in separate rooms
- relationship breakdown
- impact on career/ job
- increased risk of heart attack
- increased risk of stroke
- increased risk of type 2 diabetes
- increased risk of depression
- increased blood pressure
- increased risk of motor vehicle and work place accidents
What is sleep apnoea?
Apnoea means “cessation of breath”. It also means that the normal sleep cycles are interrupted repeatedly when you stop breathing at night. Apnoeas may last for seconds or in severe cases over a minute. (try holding your breath for a minute when you are awake) You may be snoring loudly, or you may be gasping or experiencing a choking feeling. If you have sleep apnoea, your airway collapses during sleep and prevents air from getting to your lungs. You stop breathing momentarily which prompts your brain to release adrenalin to wake the body up and start breathing again. This can happen many times every hour to interrupt a restful sleep cycle.
How do I know if I have sleep apnoea?
Key signs and symptoms…
- excessive snoring (although you can have snoring without having sleep apnoea and the reverse is also possible)
- partner notices you have stopped breathing
- choking sensation during sleep
- frequent visits to bathroom during the night
- falling asleep during day
- lack of energy
- poor concentration/ memory
- daytime tiredness
- a sleep study confirms the level of apnoea events on any one particular night
Once diagnosed your physician will discuss treatment options with you.
Sometimes this will include health and sleep hygiene, positional therapy, weight loss, CPAP or a SOMNODENT oral appliance. CPAP is suggested for severe sleep apnoea and SOMNODENT oral appliance for mild and moderate sleep apnoea or snoring. Patients who can’t tolerate a CPAP machine can also use a SOMNODENT oral appliance.
The Somnodent oral appliance is a custom fitted dental device worn while you sleep that fits over your upper and lower teeth and is designed to keep your airway open by holding your lower jaw forward. It is easy to use, comfortable and discreet. Most patients have no problem wearing this oral appliance all night every night.
Recent data from New England Journal of Medicine Sept 2016 confirms average CPAP use to be 3.3 hours per night while average Somnodent oral appliance use to be 7.5 hours