Sleep apnea is a relatively common condition that affects more than 200,000 Americans each year. Patients with sleep apnea experience short pauses in breathing throughout the night. While not immediately life threatening, the lack of oxygen over time can have a negative impact on a patient’s organs and overall health and can cause prolonged problems related to sleep deprivation. While sleep apnea is relatively easy to treat if addressed, many individuals may not even realize that they have the condition until it’s too late. Here are some common signs you should look out for if you think that you or a loved one might have sleep apnea.

Loud, Prolonged Snoring

A little snoring is completely normal, especially if you’re congested due to allergies or a cold. However, if your snoring lasts throughout the entire night and is loud enough to be heard from down the hall, you could be suffering from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

Sudden Waking with Shortness of Breath

If you frequently find yourself startled awake gasping for air or experiencing shortness of breath, you could be suffering from sleep apnea. A choking sensation in the throat is also a common symptom.

Grogginess and Exhaustion

Do you ever feel tired throughout the day for no explicable reason? If you’ve done everything you can to get a good night’s sleep and still wake up feeling tired, it could be a sign that sleep apnea is prohibiting your body from fully getting the rest that it needs during the night.

Dry Mouth

If you regularly wake up with a dry, dehydrated mouth in the morning, it could be a sign of sleep apnea. When you have difficulty breathing normally, your body’s response can be to gasp for air through your mouth. A prolonged period of this will dry out your mouth over the course of a night.

Relief for Patients with Sleep Apnea

Fortunately, sleep apnea is not an incurable ailment. Several solutions exist that can help offer relief for patients struggling with sleep apnea. Since most cases of sleep apnea exist in overweight people and are caused by excess pressure being put on the airway, simple lifestyle changes to lose some excess weight and boost respiratory health can go a long way in treating the condition. CPAP and airway orthotics can also help keep your airway open, making breathing easier. In more difficult cases, surgical options might be beneficial. If you think you or a loved one may be suffering from sleep apnea, contact our office for a consultation today!

195 Stock Street #310
Hanover, PA 17331
Phone: (717) 633-5874

When you think of mental health, sleeping problems might not be the first thing to come to mind. However, recent studies have shown a surprising relationship between sleep disorders like sleep apnea or insomnia and mental health. Learn more about the effects in our article.

What is Mental Health?

The World Health Organization (WHO) describes mental health as a state of well-being that allows an individual to fully realize their potential, cope with typical stresses, and contribute to society. Mental health is often compromised through disorders such as depression, substance addictions, or PTSD – but did you know that research has shown that sleeping problems can also play a role?

Poor Sleep

Inadequate or poor sleep has been shown to have a correlation with a higher risk for mental health issues, according to recent studies. For example, people suffering from insomnia are almost ten times more likely than normal sleepers to suffer from clinical depression. While the exact reasons for this relationship are still a mystery, researchers have discovered that poor sleep can alter the neurotransmitters or stress hormones that regulate emotion – and mental health.

Mental Health and Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a serious medical disorder where nightly breathing is stopped for several seconds at a time. Because of its detrimental effects on the quality of your sleep, it can also pose problems for mental health. Obstructive sleep apnea has been shown to lead to symptoms such as mood changes, irritability, and depression. It can also exacerbate existing psychiatric disturbances such as anxiety or panic disorder.

While sleep apnea can play a role in weakening mental health, it is also treatable. By tackling sleep apnea with proper treatment, you can limit its effects. As an active member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, Dr. Joan Werleman has the experience to bring you relief and a good night’s sleep if you suffer from sleep apnea. Contact our team to schedule a consultation today.

195 Stock Street #310
Hanover, PA 17331
Phone: (717) 633-5874

Getting enough sleep can be a difficult task. Whether due to work, stress, life, or travel, sleep deprivation can worsen your quality-of-life and lead to lasting issues with your health. For many, a few more hours of sleep per week can create a positive impact. For those suffering from sleep apnea, however, proper treatment is necessary. In this article, we explore the impact that insufficient sleep can have on you, and how to combat it.

Symptoms of Sleep Deprivation

Whether you are suffering from sleep apnea or simply not allowing enough time for rest, you may experience a variety of symptoms, including:

  • Excessive daytime drowsiness
  • Experiencing microsleeps, or brief episodes of sleep while awake
  • Feeling tired even when waking up from a full night’s rest
  • Mood swings, fatigue, or weight gain
  • Depression

The Impact on Your Health and Daily Life

Sleep deprivation can pose a number of risks to your daily life. Research has shown that poor sleep on a habitual basis can lead to issues such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension. In addition, your immune function can be disrupted, leaving you vulnerable to illness.

The immediate symptoms of sleep deprivation can also play a role in your work and daily life through reduced perception, judgement, and attention. This can lead to a loss in productivity at work, or even play into the safety of yourself and others while driving.

Sleep Apnea Treatment

If you suffer from sleep apnea and the insufficient sleep that it brings to your life, then know that you have options. Effective treatment begins with a simple visit for a screening. If you suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), Dr. Joan Werleman can provide comfortable appliances that help keep your airway open during sleep. This can help improve the quality of your sleep and your overall health by lowering blood pressure, reducing diabetic complications, and improving daytime energy or stamina.

Don’t let sleep apnea control your life. Contact our team today to schedule a consultation today.

195 Stock Street #310
Hanover, PA 17331
Phone: (717) 633-5874