Snoring isn't just about noisy sleeping...
We've had some real success with a snoring device call Silent Night, so if you or a sleep partner is struggling with this problem, give us a call!
Here's a personal story you might relate to:
The last time I saw my brother, I mentioned that he didn't look as "energized" as he has to me for years.
He has always been the picture of "vigor" to me: he is a former F-15 fighter pilot, incredible multi-tasker, and very brainy.
But he and I are nearing 55 years old now and our genetics for high blood pressure AND weight problems are starting to creep up on us both. His wife tells me she can barely sleep in the same room with him anymore from his snoring. I asked him if he's getting the same kind of restful sleep as he did in his 40's.
That's when he snapped back at me with, "Now don't you start lecturing me too about wearing one of those crazy masks when I sleep. I don't even want to discuss it. I'm fine."
Unfortunately, that response is typical. No one wants to start down the path towards using a C-Pap machine when sleeping, but the good news may be that our Silent Night device could help before you go to more extreme measures.
I didn't even know much about the subject until I really dove in and started studying about 10 years ago. Then we got busy at Fiddlehead Dental to find the best solution available for our patients.
WE CAN HELP...
We make a fabulous devise, a mouth splint, for our patients who snore and 95% of them are thrilled with the change it makes in their lives. This device is so useful that our local sleep disorder clinic refers their patients to us when they are unsuccessful using a C-PAP machine. To see if this device is right for you please contact us to schedule an appointment.
Here's some background information:
"Sleep disorders" may be defined as any condition that keeps you from getting an adequate amount of fully restorative sleep most nights. Snoring can fit that definition perfectly for both the snorer and the sleeping partner.
Problems with sleep can involve failure to fall asleep or failure to stay asleep, and snoring can include both of those problems. That's why it's important to look at your sleep patterns, or those of your sleep partner and honestly ask yourself if you are both getting a "restorative" kind of sleep. If not, then the snoring is a problem and should be looked after.
So why should you care about snoring if you are the snorer?
Well... snoring is a symptom of a breathing problem. Essentially, if your breathing is not smooth and quiet, you are not getting enough oxygen while you sleep. Your body can not recover and sleep does not have a restoring quality. Over a long period of time, a lack of properly oxygenated blood will incapacitate many of your body systems and health problems will crop up.... ALL of them seemingly unrelated.
We see people all the time who are struggling to manage their weight, keep their blood pressure under control, or manage their diabetes, and no one has asked them about their sleep patterns. But when we do, we often find that sleep problems are at the heart of the situation.
The physical explanation of snoring is that the tissue at the back of the mouth is narrowing or blocking the airway completely, leaving the snorer's to even break out into gasps or stop breathing all together. The Silent Night device pulls the jaw and therefore all that tissue forward just enough to leave a nice sized airway.
A little about healthy, restful sleep...
There are essentially 6 stages of sleep and each night you cycle through them all about four to six times:
1. Autogenisis: The first 30-35 seconds prior to stage 1. It is characterized by relaxation of muscles.
2. Stage One: The 'dozing' stage characterized by slow rolling eyes. 5% of non-REM sleep is in this stage.
3. Stage Two: Characterized by no eye movements. 45% of non-REM sleep is in this stage.
4. Stage Three: This is the critical RESTORATIVE stage of sleep. It is usually 12% of non-REM sleep. Characterized by the individual being difficult to arouse.
5. Stage Four: When a person is aroused out of this stage they are disoriented and groggy.
6. REM Sleep: Most dreaming takes place during this phase of sleep. REM sleep makes up 25% of the sleep cycle in normal adults.
Of particular concern can be how long it takes to get from Stage 1 to the first REM episode. Normally this is about 90 minutes. Then the cycle begins again. But if you are snoring (or a partner is snoring and keeping you awake) your ability to get to and stay in stage 3 for an adequate amount of time can be quite irregular.
That's why many snorers and their partners are also good nappers in the afternoon. They are simply exhausted by 2 o'clock in the afternoon.
But good science tells us we should not need naps until we are well into our 60's and 70's.
Considering the Source?...
Most importantly, try to remember that snoring is not a character flaw to be teased about. Almost every one of us will struggle with some sleeping issue at some point in our lives. Snoring might just be the one that visits you. Also remember that our bodies change and very specific issues can trigger or worsen snoring.
Factors that can change the sleep cycle (see below) can be:
- Weight gain
- Drug Interactions
- Antidepressants (Elavil, Prozac. Wellbutrin, Pamelar): can change sleep stages.
- Breathing problems
- Posture while sleeping
Click here to schedule an appointment with us to learn more!
If you'd like more information on any of those issues, we find the website at the famous May Clinic is a great resource for solid, scientific answers to medical questions. You can find some great information through them by clicking here.