how sleep loss affects your life

How Sleep Loss Affects your Life

how sleep loss affects your lifeServing Brentwood, Belle Meade and Green Hills Areas of Nashville TN

In order for your body to function at its best, you need to make sure you get enough quality sleep. Failing to get the proper amount of quality sleep can affect both your physical and mental health, impeding your performance at work or school as well as your general quality of life.

What causes sleep loss?

For some people, not getting adequate amounts of sleep is a casualty of a demanding lifestyle or a work schedule that includes shift work or working overnight. For many others, sleep deprivation actually is stemming from an undiagnosed sleep breathing disorder, which refers to any condition that makes it more difficult or prevents you from breathing during sleep. The category of sleep breathing disorders includes issues include snoring, a primary indicator of obstructive sleep apnea, a potentially life-threatening condition that occurs when the airway becomes blocked, impeding or completely stops breathing. If airflow is completely cut off, your brain rouses you from sleep as a fight-or-flight response when the brain becomes deprived of oxygen.

For a patient with severe sleep apnea, these awakenings may take place hundreds of times in a single night. The ultimate result? A general lack of sleep, leaving you feeling fatigued, hindering your performance, and risking your overall health.

What are the consequences of sleep loss?

Many of us experience a sleepless night once in a while, but a consistent deficit of adequate amounts of sleep will add up and have a major impact on your physical and mental health. Not getting enough sleep over a prolonged period will change your mood as well as your behavior. You may become irritable and short-tempered, which can strain your relationships with family and friends. Since snoring is a symptom of many sleep-breathing disorders, your lack of sleep also can keep your partner awake at night.

Short-term consequences of sleep loss include the following:

  • Problems concentrating
  • Poor judgment
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty or inability to fully enjoy your favorite activities
  • Poor performance at work and/or school
  • Weight gain

If you do not find a remedy for your lack of sleep, the failure to get proper rest can have significant long-term consequences, including:

  • Cognitive decline
  • Memory loss
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Loss of libido
  • Impotence
  • Depression
  • Overall decline in your physical health

If you have sleep apnea, the health risks are magnified.

A case of sleep apnea that goes untreated or undiagnosed can increase your risk of chronic and potentially fatal health conditions such as the following:

  • Heart disease
  • Hypertension and/or stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity

More people than you may realize are at risk of these serious diseases due to untreated sleep apnea. According to the SleepApnea.org web site, an estimated 22 million Americans currently suffer from sleep apnea, with 80 percent of those with moderate and severe cases of obstructive sleep apnea going undiagnosed. That represents a staggering 17.6 million people, and you could be one of them.

How can the dentist help with sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea dentistry is a specialty of dental science. A sleep apnea dentist has post-graduate training and education to diagnose and treat sleep-breathing disorders by addressing the root of the problem—the airway issue that is creating the blockages and, in the case of sleep apnea, causing you sleep loss. Sleep apnea dentists use their special training to perform an airway evaluation, which can identify if there is an obstruction or blockage.

Click here to learn more about how your local Nashville sleep apnea dentist at Devine Dentistry provides treatment for a case of sleep apnea.

Should I see a sleep apnea dentist?

First, be sure you know the symptoms of a sleep breathing disorder.

  • Snoring
  • Daytime fatigue
  • Irritability and/or mood swings
  • Lack of focus
  • Problems with memory
  • Weight gain

Snoring is considered the primary warning sign of a sleep breathing disorder. If someone observes that your breathing becomes labored or completely interrupted during sleep, then you may be suffering from sleep apnea and should seek care as soon as possible.

Make no mistake that sleep apnea is a serious condition that will not just go away on its own. This disorder must be diagnosed and treated by a properly trained medical professional. Otherwise, your case of sleep apnea only will get worse, exponentially increasing your risk to the chronic ailments listed above.

Sleep Apnea Treatment in Nashville

Everyone needs and deserves to get the proper amount of sleep so that he or she can feel and perform their best. Let the Green Hills sleep apnea dentists at Devine Dentistry help you find relief—and rest. The consequences for every aspect of your life are too dire not to get help! To learn more about our program of sleep apnea treatment or any of the other services we offer at Devine Dentistry, contact our Nashville office today by calling (615) 269-4209.

Devine Dentistry is proud to serve patients living in the areas of Belle Meade, Green Hills, and Nashville, Tennessee.