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A Sleep Machine Review: What Works and What Doesn’t

By January 25, 2024February 4th, 2024Sleep Medicine
black man wearing sleep machine in bed

Quality sleep is part of a balanced lifestyle, but many of us struggle to get restorative rest every night. Fortunately, there is a wide range of sleep medicine solutions, including oral appliances and a sleep machine. These devices help sleepers get the rejuvenating rest they need to thrive. 

Is the snooze button your best friend? Are you struggling to get through the day without yearning for a nap? If so, you may be living with a sleep disorder. Timothy E. Mickiewicz, D.D.S., can help. With simple yet effective solutions, our sleep dentist in Sacramento, CA, can help you catch more zzz’s without breaking the bank. Find out if a sleep machine or other appliance is right for you by calling (916) 469-9178 now.

A sleep machine is a device that helps people get better sleep. Some are prescribed by medical professionals while others are offered over-the-counter. In today’s blog, our sleep doctor reviews different kinds of sleep devices to help you determine what works and what doesn’t for your needs. 

Medical Sleep Machines

Sleep apnea is a condition in which air coming in and out of the lungs gets disrupted, usually by ultra-relaxed oral muscles. Bruxism is a condition in which patients unknowingly and unintentionally grind or clench their teeth while slumbering. 

While sleep conditions are fairly common (with experts estimating that 50 million Americans are currently suffering from chronic sleep disorders), there are plenty of sleep solutions to help patients get better rest, including medical sleep machines.

Medical sleep machines are devices that medical professionals prescribe to patients to help them:

  • Keep their airways clear during sleep
  • Reposition their jaws and tongues during rest
  • Supply a steady stream of air to the lungs

 A medical sleep machine may include devices like:

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Machines

Doctors often prescribe CPAP machines for individuals with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) or central sleep apnea (CSA). These devices work by pumping a steady stream of air through a mask, which helps prevent airway obstruction. 

CPAP is highly effective in maintaining open airways during sleep, reducing snoring, and improving overall sleep quality.

Bi-level Positive Airway Pressure (BiPAP) Machines

One drawback of CPAP machines is their inability to change pressure while in use. BiPAP machines, however, are capable of changing from high to low pressure, which helps facilitate regular inhalation and exhalation while sleeping.

This type of sleep machine can be particularly beneficial for individuals who find continuous pressure uncomfortable. BiPAPs are also great for patients with sleep apnea who require additional respiratory support.

Automatic Positive Airway Pressure (APAP) Machines

For many, APAP devices are the gold standard of sleep machines. These devices automatically adjust air pressure based on the user’s breathing patterns throughout the night. 

This dynamic feature makes APAP a versatile option for individuals with varying sleep apnea severity. APAP machines are also great for patients who struggle to sleep well with CPAP or BiPAP machines, as they feel more natural to the user. 

Oral Appliances

Oral appliances are prescription devices that reposition the lower jaw and tongue. By doing so, they help maintain an open airway and prevent teeth grinding. Subsequently, these devices are ideal for individuals with bruxism or mild to moderate sleep apnea

For many, oral appliances are a great place to start treating sleep disorders, as they are less invasive, less expensive, and often much more comfortable than traditional CPAP masks. 

Combination Devices

Some individuals may experience both sleep apnea and bruxism. Luckily, there are solutions to treat both conditions at the same time. 

Combination devices offer a comprehensive solution to address obstructive sleep apnea and teeth grinding. Depending on the patient’s needs, these devices may integrate features of CPAP, BiPAP, or oral appliances for a well-rounded and effective approach to sleep health.

Over-the-Counter Sleep Machines

Over-the-counter sleep machines are devices that anyone can purchase on the free market. However, rather than treating sleep apnea or bruxism, these devices help create a conducive sleep environment. They may include machines like:

White Noise Machines

White noise machines produce a consistent, unobtrusive sound intended to mask background noises. This creates a soothing environment, helping individuals to relax and drown out disruptive sounds

For many, white noise is an ideal way to fall asleep and stay asleep. However, despite these machines’ relaxing qualities, they may not prevent sleep apnea or bruxism

Sound Machines

Similar to white noise machines, sound machines help mask background noises by offering a variety of soothing sounds. These machines can include calming tracks featuring ocean waves, rain, or birdsong

For many, these sounds have a calming effect, which helps reduce stress and anxiety. As a result, the likelihood of experiencing stress-related sleep behavior may be reduced. 

Smart Sleep Devices

Smart sleep devices monitor sleep patterns and adjust environmental factors (like temperature and lighting) to optimize sleep quality. Some may also integrate features such as guided meditation or relaxation exercises to enhance the overall sleep experience.

Users can track their sleep quality and quantity with these devices, helping them see trends in their daily activities and sleep activity. As a result, users can adjust their lifestyles to make the most impact on their sleep health.

Aromatherapy Diffusers

Aromatherapy diffusers disperse delightfully-scented substances (like essential oils) into the air. The effect creates a relaxing atmosphere, helping sleepers relax and unwind before drifting off. 

While these devices may not treat sleep apnea or teeth grinding, scents like lavender can help reduce stress and promote a relaxing environment, which may deter harmful sleep behavior. Furthermore, aromatherapy is a natural and non-intrusive way to promote relaxation before bedtime.

Sleep Tracking Devices

Wearable devices or smart mattresses equipped with sleep-tracking technology help users monitor their sleep patterns. These devices provide insights into sleep duration, quality, and disturbances throughout the night

By understanding one’s sleep patterns and behaviors, individuals can make informed lifestyle adjustments to improve overall sleep health.

Need a sleep machine? Timothy E. Mickiewicz can help!

Selecting the right sleep machine for you depends on your individual needs and preferences. So, if you’re interested in exploring sleep machines, contact Timothy E. Mickiewicz, D.D.S., in Sacramento, CA, today. You can request a sleep machine consultation online or at (916) 469-9178.