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5 Surprising Signs You May Benefit from Sleep Medicine in Sacramento, CA

By May 23, 2023Uncategorized
Woman in a striped shirt lying on the bed

Sleep apnea patients often suffer from the same classic symptoms. Snoring, daytime fatigue, and nighttime wakings are among the most common side effects. But lack of sleep can affect nearly every aspect of your mental and physical wellness, with some perhaps surprising consequences. If you suffer from any of the symptoms listed below (especially in conjunction with the more well-known signs of OSA), you may benefit from sleep medicine in Sacramento, CA

Dr. Timothy Mickiewicz, DDS, focuses exclusively on sleep apnea, TMJ disorder, and other conditions related to jaw position and function. Because he far exceeds the state’s requirement for continuing education each year, he is fully up-to-date on the latest research and treatment techniques. Most importantly, he combines his expertise with a true love for the science and compassion for his patients. 

To learn more about sleep medicine in Sacramento, CA, contact our office today.

What is sleep apnea?

There are two types of sleep apnea – obstructive and central. Central sleep apnea (CSA) is a neurological condition. CSA sufferers may require treatment from a pulmonologist, a neurologist, psychologist, or other specialist.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), on the other hand, is far more common. OSA occurs when your airways close off while you sleep. Your throat may constrict, or your soft palate, tongue, or other soft tissues may droop down, blocking the normal flow of air. Because these abnormalities are often linked to jaw position, a specially trained dentist can provide highly effective treatment.

When you stop breathing, you will wake up so that normal air flow can resume. You may be aware of these interruptions, but they could also be so brief that you don’t remember them in the morning. Either way, they dramatically affect the quality of sleep, causing you to feel exhausted, even when you plan for 8 or 9 hours of sleep. 

William Shakespeare once called sleep “nature’s soft nurse.” In other words, sleep nurtures your whole body. When you don’t get enough sleep, it can affect your long term health, your mood, and even your marriage!

1. You Have High Blood Pressure 

Up to half of all patients with sleep apnea may have high blood pressure. Moreover, those with sleep apnea are more likely to be resistant to hypertension medications.

But what is the exact correlation between the two conditions? Typically, your blood pressure lowers 10 to 20% while you are sleeping. If you suffer from severe sleep apnea, your blood pressure will drop by less than 10%. And sleep apnea affects blood pressure during the day, too. The lack of sleep can cause your nervous system to go into overdrive so that you experience a flight or fight response. When your body is chronically stressed, it can lead to an elevated blood pressure. 

2. You Have Chronic Dry Mouth

Over 30% of sleep apnea patients report suffering from morning dry mouth, compared to just 3% of patients without the sleep disorder. Dry mouth is not only annoying. It also increases the risk for tooth decay and gum disease, as well as bad breath. This is because saliva helps to wash away oral bacteria.

Experts speculate that this correlation is due to the fact that sleep apnea patients are more frequent mouth breathers, as they try to alleviate their blocked airways. 

3. You Frequently Wake Up to Use the Restroom

If you wake up more than twice most nights to urinate, you may think you need to visit the urologist. But frequent night urination – or nocturia – is also a warning sign of sleep apnea. This is especially the case for women over the age of 60

There are several reasons for these seemingly unconnected conditions: 

  • When you wake up repeatedly, your heart releases atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP). This hormone helps to release pressure in the blood vessels when your body is deprived of oxygen. In addition to dilating your blood vessels, it also stimulates your body to produce more urine.
  • The struggle to breathe increases pressure in your abdomen, which then puts pressure on your bladder.

When your sleep is interrupted, you are simply more aware of your need to urinate.

4. You Struggle with Sexual Dysfunction and/or Low Sex Drive

It may be hard to believe that sleep apnea treatment could improve your sex life. But, increasingly, evidence points to a strong link between OSA and erectile dysfunction. This is because lack of sleep interrupts the body’s production of testosterone, a necessary hormone to maintain an erection.

Men are not the only ones affected. Low testosterone can also impact a woman’s libido, as well as the pleasure she experiences in sexual activity.

5. You Suffer from Anxiety and/or Depression

Everyone who has experienced a bad night’s sleep can tell you that it impacts their mood the next day. So if your sleep is poor every night, it will come as no surprise that it can cause chronic mood disorders

Anxiety and depression are complex conditions, so the link between OSA, anxiety, and depression is still being studied. In part, interrupted sleep affects the neurotransmitters in your brain. In turn, this reduces your energy and increases your risk for depression. Further, some risk factors for OSA, such as being overweight, are also risk factors for depression. And there is the most obvious connection – when you feel terrible, your mood will suffer.

Your Treatment Options

When you seek sleep medicine in Sacramento, CA, Dr. Mickiewicz will supply you with an oral appliance known as a mandibular adjustment device (MAD). The custom-made appliance will reposition your jaw while you sleep. Pushing your lower jaw slightly forward, it will simultaneously tighten your soft tissues to keep your airways open. 

MADs are subtle and comfortable, and you should adjust to wearing one quickly. In fact, you could be enjoying a better night’s sleep and reduced sleep apnea symptoms after just a few nights.

Learn More about Sleep Medicine in Sacramento, CA

Contact our office today to learn more about sleep apnea and Dr. Mickiewicz’s expertise. 

You can reach us online or call us at 916-469-9178.