Serving Brentwood, Belle Meade and Green Hills Areas of Nashville TN
Are you often sick? Maybe you find yourself battling a cold that just won’t go away. Or, perhaps feeling “under the weather” seems like a perpetual state of being. Your health, good or bad, can be linked to how much sleep you are getting. Your sleep apnea dentists in Nashville at Devine Dentistry wanted to take a deeper look at how a lack of sleep over an extended period of time can do damage to your immune system.
Proper rest is crucial to maintaining your immune system
When we sleep, our bodies produce proteins that help fortify our immune system. These proteins guard against inflammation, stress, and help to neutralize any viruses or illnesses that you become exposed to during your daily life. Consistently failing to get the right amount of sleep—seven hours per night for most adults, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—hinders the production of these proteins and eventually compromises your body’s natural ability to ward off diseases and infections.
Medical research continues to establish the link between sleep loss and a limited immune system. A 2017 study by scientists at the Medicine Sleep Center at the University of Washington in Seattle examined 11 sets of twins who were identical, except that one of them was living with sleep loss. In each case, the twin living with sleep deprivation exhibited signs of a depressed immune system, in addition to increased inflammatory response.
Remember that, when it comes to sleep, quality matters more than quantity. It is better to get six hours of deep sleep, for example, than it is to have eight or more hours of more interrupted sleep.
If you have a sleep breathing disorder like obstructive sleep apnea, this sort of ailment can disrupt the sleep cycle and deprive you of the mental and physical restoration that occur during the deepest stage of sleep known as the REM stage of the sleep cycle. According to the American Sleep Association, as many as 50 to 70 million adults in the United States suffer from a sleep disorder of some kind. For patients with sleep apnea, there is some sort of impediment in the airway, making breathing more difficult or interrupting airflow altogether. A person with a severe, untreated case of sleep apnea may experience these blockages hundreds of times per night. Sleep apnea is a serious medical problem that needs to be identified and treated by a medical professional in order to go away. Left untreated, people with sleep apnea have a higher risk of falling prey to any one of a wide array of chronic, systemic, and even life-threatening ailments including stroke, cardiac disease, diabetes, and even certain forms of cancer.
Get help for sleep loss in Nashville
Are you living with sleep loss? Certain environmental factors may be hindering your ability to get a good night’s rest. These include creating a comfortable, dark sleeping area with the temperature between 60 and 67 degrees, eliminating distractions by turning off the television and any handheld devices at least 30 minutes before bedtime, reading a book or listening to relaxing music before trying to go to sleep, maintaining a consistent bedtime seven days a week, and limiting consumption of alcohol and caffeine too close to bed time.
If you still don’t feel rested after getting enough sleep or are experiencing disturbances during the night, you may be suffering from a sleep breathing disorder. Get screened for one by letting the Nashville sleep dentists Dr. Brian Devine and Dr. Russell Mack perform an airway evaluation. Schedule yours today by calling Devine Dentistry at (615) 269-4209.
Devine Dentistry provides comprehensive oral health care to our patients in the areas of Belle Meade, Green Hills, and Nashville, Tennessee.