Missing out on good quality sleep night after night will certainly take its toll on you physically, cognitively, emotionally, and mentally. There are several reasons people don’t sleep well; some reasons are psychological, some are physical, some are environmental, and many people experience some combination of sleep-depriving factors

tired adult man laying his head on his desk at work

Everyone knows how great a good night’s sleep feels. You have energy the next day, your focus is razor sharp, your patience is increased, your mood is lighter, and you feel you can deal with any challenge that comes your way at work and in your personal life. 

When you’re not sleeping well, however, the negative impacts are serious and plentiful:

  • Poor concentration
  • Daytime fatigue
  • Lack of focus
  • Irritability
  • Moodiness
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Slowed reaction time
  • Forgetfulness

So, Why Aren’t I Sleeping?

One very common cause of poor sleep is medically known as “Obstructive Sleep Apnea” (OSA); it’s a serious sleeping disorder that millions of Americans suffer from, yet many go undiagnosed for years and even decades. While there are a few different types of sleep apnea, Obstructive Sleep Apnea is, by far, the most common, and it’s the one that leads many people to seek help from a Wilmington, Delaware, sleep apnea dentist.

What, Exactly, Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

First and foremost, it’s very important that you understand that while there are several signs and symptoms of OSA, this sleep disorder can only be “officially” diagnosed by a medical professional trained to perform sleep studies. 

In a nutshell, people with Obstructive Sleep Apnea will choke and gasp for air hundreds of times throughout the night because their airway has become so relaxed that it’s collapsed. The breathing stoppages may last ten seconds or more and can take place over the entire night. Just think about how hard your body is working to get air to breathe over the course of an eight-hour sleep cycle. Many people with OSA don’t even realize how often they are gasping for air.

People with sleep apnea often snore because snoring is the sound produced when you’re trying to get air through the blocked airway. If you snore, it’s highly likely that you have Obstructive Sleep Apnea, and if you have OSA, the chances are very high that you snore. If your partner has booted you to the guest room, or those with whom you live constantly complain about your snoring, it’s probably time to get a sleep study and help from a sleep apnea dentist in Wilmington, Delaware.

Are Sleep Studies Still Necessary to Diagnose OSA?

Yes, sleep studies are necessary even if you exhibit all the signs and symptoms of sleep apnea. A sleep study will provide valuable information about your sleep disorder; that information will help your sleep apnea dentist create a treatment plan designed especially for your particular issue.

In the pre-Covid era, sleep studies were almost always done at a medical facility and involved people having to stay awake for many hours before the sleep study. Staying awake that long is never fun, but it’s necessary to sleep during the sleep study.

The person having the sleep study would report to the facility, no doubt very tired and irritable, and get hooked up to monitors, so their sleep could be monitored over the course of several hours. Sleep studies study you while you sleep. The results of a professional sleep study will give a Wilmington, Delaware, sleep apnea dentist the information they need to treat you if you have Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

Now, times have changed, and many sleep studies are performed right in the comfort of your own home in your own bed. The findings of sleep studies performed at home under the guidance of a medical professional will be just as accurate as the results of a sleep study done at a medical facility. 

Once your Wilmington sleep apnea dentist explains what’s going on with your sleep, sleep apnea treatment plans can be discussed. Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT) has been hugely successful with many sleep apnea patients, and it allows the person to get more restful sleep in no time at all. Your sleep apnea dentist will discuss the other treatment options available, and a plan will be put in place.

Learn More About OSA in Wilmington, Delaware, Today

If you’re reading about OSA and feel you may have this frustrating sleep disorder, please get in touch with Wilmington, Delaware, sleep apnea dentist Dr. Michael T. Rosen today {lct_phone). Why suffer from poor quality sleep another night? 

While CPAP has been the gold standard for treating sleep apnea for many decades, there are more conservative and more comfortable sleep apnea treatment methods available today. If using a CPAP mask, hose, and apparatus does not appeal to you, please get in touch with Dr. Rosen and his dental team by filling out our online contact form. You may ask questions or schedule a new patient consultation.