Sleep Apnea and Exercise: How Physical Activity Can Alleviate Symptoms

Sleep Apnea and Exercise: How Physical Activity Can Alleviate Symptoms

Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that can have negative impacts on an individual’s overall health and well-being. It is characterized by frequent pauses in breathing while sleeping, leading to poor sleep quality and other health issues. 

While there are various treatment options for sleep apnea, including the use of a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine, exercise is an effective way to manage and reduce the severity of sleep apnea. In this blog, we will explore the connection between weight and sleep apnea and how weight loss through exercise can help to alleviate the symptoms of sleep apnea.

The Connection Between Weight and Sleep Apnea

One of the leading causes of sleep apnea is excess weight, particularly in the form of excess fat around the neck and throat area. This excess fat can cause the airway to become obstructed during sleep, leading to the occurrence of pauses in breathing. Additionally, obesity can lead to other health issues such as high blood pressure and heart disease, which can further exacerbate sleep apnea.

Women doing exercise to treat sleep apnea

How Weight Loss Can Help

Weight loss through exercise is an effective way to reduce the severity of sleep apnea. By reducing body weight, individuals can reduce the amount of excess fat around the neck and throat area, which can help to improve airflow and reduce the occurrence of pauses in breathing during sleep. Additionally, regular exercise can help to improve cardiovascular health, which can reduce the risk of other health issues associated with obesity and sleep apnea.

A 10% reduction in body weight can lead to a significant reduction in the severity of sleep apnea, as measured by the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI). The AHI measures the number of pauses in breathing per hour of sleep, with a higher number indicating more severe sleep apnea. The study found that individuals who lost 10% or more of their body weight had a significant decrease in their AHI score, indicating a reduction in the severity of sleep apnea.

Additionally, exercise can help to strengthen the respiratory muscles, including the diaphragm and intercostal muscles. By strengthening these muscles, individuals can improve their ability to breathe and reduce the occurrence of pauses in breathing during sleep. Regular exercise can also improve lung function and increase oxygen uptake, both of which can contribute to a reduction in the severity of sleep apnea.


Let Exercise Be Your First Solution

If you or someone you know is struggling with sleep apnea, consider incorporating regular exercise into your routine as a way to manage and reduce the severity of symptoms. Talk to your healthcare provider about the best exercise plan for your individual needs and start taking steps towards improving your overall health and well-being. While weight loss may not solve everyone’s sleep apnea struggles, it can often provide a solution without the need for medication or sleep devices. Remember, small changes can make a big impact, and taking control of your health starts with taking action. 

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Managing Sleep Apnea Symptoms at Work

Exhaustion at work caused by sleep apnea

Managing Sleep Apnea Symptoms at Work


Sleep apnea affects many people and causes interruptions in breathing while sleeping, which can lead to feelings of tiredness and irritability during the day. This can make it hard for someone to work and do their job well. Sleep apnea can cause other problems, like headaches, dry mouth, and chest pain. These symptoms can make it hard for someone to complete their tasks or be productive in certain work environments. 


Headaches caused by sleep apnea can make it difficult to focus on assignments. Fatigue can lead to drowsiness and decreased productivity. A dry mouth can make it difficult to speak. Chest pain can cause discomfort and make it hard to focus on tasks. All of these symptoms can impact an individual’s work performance, leading to decreased productivity, increased errors, and even absenteeism.


Individuals with sleep apnea should manage their symptoms to maintain optimal work performance. If left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to long-term health problems, and can negatively impact one’s personal and professional life. Employers should also be aware of the potential impact of sleep apnea on their employees, and work with them to provide accommodations to help manage the condition. Making changes to your lifestyle can also help. Losing weight, quitting smoking, and drinking less alcohol can help improve symptoms of sleep apnea. If you think you may have sleep apnea, it’s essential to talk to a doctor and get treatment as soon as possible.


Overall, managing sleep apnea symptoms is crucial for maintaining excellent health and productivity. With the right treatment and lifestyle changes, people with sleep apnea can improve their quality of life and continue to perform well at work.


If you’re struggling with sleep apnea, don’t wait any longer to seek help. The Encino Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders is here to provide you with the specialized care and treatment you need to manage your condition and improve your quality of life. Our team of sleep specialists is dedicated to helping you get the restful sleep you need to feel refreshed and energized during the day. We offer a wide range of treatments, including the latest technology and therapies to help you manage your symptoms and get the relief you need. 


Don’t let sleep apnea control your life any longer. Call our Encino, CA, office today at 818-300-0070 to schedule a consultation with one of our specialists. Don’t hesitate to take the first step towards better sleep and a healthier life.

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Sleep Apnea & Children

Child with Sleep apnea

Helping children catch a good night’s sleep: Understanding and managing sleep apnea

Pediatric Sleep Apnea, although uncommon, can still be a troubling condition. There are stark differences between Adult Sleep Apnea and PSA. There are differences in causes and effects. Where adults may be a bit irritable and tired during the day, children may develop behavioral and learning difficulties at school, among many other difficulties. 

Causes of Sleep Apnea in Children

Although the most common cause of sleep apnea in adults is excess weight, this is rarely the cause for children. While obesity can be a factor, more often than not, enlarged tonsils or adenoids can cause Pediatric Obstructive Sleep Apnea (POSA) in children.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea in Children

During the night, sleep apnea symptoms may seem very common in sleep apnea:

  • Snoring
  • Pauses in breathing
  • Restless sleep
  • Nighttime sweating
  • Bed-wetting
  • Night terrors

However, during the day, the most noticeable symptoms may be:

  • Poor grades
  • Attention difficulties
  • Learning problems
  • Behavioral problems
  • Poor weight gain
  • Hyperactivity

Treatment for Sleep Apnea in Children

If your child is suffering from sleep apnea, your best bet is to have their throat examined. The most common cause of POSA is oversized tonsils, and your child may need to have them removed. If your child’s sleep apnea is not being caused by an obstruction, we recommend seeing your local sleep dentist.

Don’t Wait to Get Your Child a Good Night’s Sleep

If you suspect your child may have sleep apnea, don’t wait any longer to seek help. Contact our sleep apnea specialist today to schedule a consultation and take the first step toward a better night’s sleep. Don’t let sleep apnea control your child’s life. Take control of your child’s sleep health now.

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Sleep Apnea & Depression

Depression caused by Sleep apneaSleep Apnea & Depression

Keep An Eye on Your Mental Health

Sleep apnea can wreak havoc on your life — it causes both physical and mental health issues. At our Encino sleep dentist’s office, we want to make sure your treatment goes seamlessly. But that isn’t always possible. Lack of sleep can be a dangerous thing, and if you aren’t paying attention, serious mental health conditions can sneak up on you. 

Effects of Sleep Apnea on the Body

Sleep Apnea occurs when your body stops breathing periodically while you sleep. When you stop breathing, blood oxygen levels are reduced and there’s a strain on your heart and cardiovascular system. People with untreated sleep apnea have an increased risk of hypertension, stroke, diabetes, arrhythmias, depression, reflux, impotence, and more.

Effects of Sleep Apnea on Mental Health

As one can imagine, reduced oxygen to the brain isn’t good for any part of living life. Not only does it have an effect on your physical health, but also on your mental health. Lack of sleep can leave you feeling sluggish and make it difficult to focus on even the smallest of tasks. 

All of these effects can leave you at higher risk for depression and other mental health issues such as anxiety.

Symptoms of Depression

Depression can be easy to spot if you are in the depths of it. So if you suffer from sleep apnea, be on the lookout for these symptoms:


  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Social isolation


  • Apathy 
  • General discontent
  • Guilt 
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities
  • Mood swings


  • Dramatic change in appetite
  • Fatigue

Where to Find Help

At the Encino Center for Sleep Disorders & TMJ, we offer state-of-the-art methods for sleep apnea diagnosis and treatment to help treat your physical health needs. If you feel you are suffering from depression caused by your sleep apnea, we encourage you to seek professional psychiatric treatment. 

For sleep apnea treatment, call our Encino office at 818-300-0070 or fill out the online contact form

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Sleep Apnea and High Blood Pressure: Risks and Complications

Sleep Apnea and High Blood Pressure: Risks and Complications

testing high blood pressure from Sleep apnea, obstructive sleep apnea  treatment in Encino, CA

If you suffer from sleep apnea, there’s a very good chance you may also have high blood pressure (hypertension). Sleep apnea prevents your body from breathing properly while sleeping. When this happens, your body and brain cannot get enough oxygen to function correctly. Your heart begins to work harder to get oxygen, causing hypertension.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) has always been closely associated with high blood pressure. That’s why treating sleep apnea can be the first step to lowering hypertension. Sleep apnea treatments vary from using a CPAP machine to lifestyle changes to oral appliances. 

At the Encino Center for Sleep and TMJ Disorders, we offer comprehensive treatment and education for sleep apnea. When patients understand what factors can put them at risk, and what health matters may arise, we can all be better prepared to treat OSA. 

Risk Factors

In addition to sleep apnea, other factors that can put a patient at risk for high blood pressure include:

  • Excessive weight
  • Age
  • Smoking 
  • Poor diet
  • Taking cold medicine
  • Lack of exercise

Many of these factors can be easily remedied. Taking steps such as quitting smoking and improving your diet can not only improve your high blood pressure but improve your overall health as well. 

Consequences of High Blood Pressure

Without intervention, high blood pressure can cause serious health risks such as:

  • Heart complications such as heart disease and heart attacks
  • Stroke
  • Chronic Kidney disease
  • Preeclampsia, if pregnant
  • Eye damage


What can be done to prevent high blood pressure? And what can be done to treat it once hypertension has been diagnosed? The first step is to eliminate your risk factors. Our sleep dentist, Dr. Simmons, may recommend certain steps to minimize your OSA symptoms. 

Some of these steps include:

  • Weight loss
  • Improved Diet 
  • Refraining from tobacco or alcohol products
  • CPAP treatment
  • Sleep positioning
  • Oral appliance treatment

Once those steps have been taken, you may be referred to a cardiologist to help prevent any further damage. 

Your Sleep Powers Your Mind and Body

You need sleep. Without it, both your brain and body suffer. At the Encino Center for Sleep and TMJ Disorders, we know what a diagnosis can do for someone. If you think you may have sleep apnea, contact our Encino office at (818) 300-0070 to schedule a consultation. 

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5 Common Causes of Sleep Apnea

5 Common Causes of Sleep Apnea

Man snoring in his bed / Sleep apnea treatment in Encino, CA

When dealing with sleep apnea, patients sometimes feel desperate to uncover the root cause of their sleep disorder. Sleep apnea can cause high blood pressure, lack of sleep, irritability and so many other health concerns that finding the cause can feel like an immediate need. There are many causes of sleep apnea, and it may take some time to determine the root cause.

At The Encino Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders, we’ve compiled a list of five of the most common causes of sleep apnea. This list is non-exhaustive— if you think you may be suffering from sleep apnea, contact us to set up a consultation and see if you may benefit from a sleep study.

Excess Weight

Excess weight is one of the easiest causes of sleep apnea to eliminate. When fat deposits settle near the throat, your airway can become obstructed. This may be the first thing your doctor looks at to treat sleep apnea. While losing weight may not come easy to every patient, it’s far easier to remove weight than it is to discard age or genetics.


Sometimes the odds are just against us. Some genetic factors, such as gender and family history, can leave patients predisposed to living with sleep apnea. According to the Mayo Clinic, men are 2 to 3 times more likely to have sleep apnea than women.

Alcohol Use

Alcohol, sedatives, and tranquilizers are depressants, which means they relax muscles. When the throat and tongue muscles relax beyond their normal rate, it can obstruct the airway and make breathing difficult during sleep. If you’re dealing with sleep apnea, it’s best to avoid such substances so your apnea doesn’t get worse.

Health Conditions

Many health conditions, from hormonal disorders to heart failure to type 2 diabetes, can have an effect on sleep and the throat muscles. At the Encino Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders, we recommend talking to your doctor about treatment for your condition in tandem with a sleep dentist to alleviate your sleep apnea.


This cause may just take some time to solve. Congestion clogs the airway and causes difficulty breathing. You can alleviate these difficulties by taking allergy medications, sleeping with a humidifier, or taking a steamy shower to clear the congestion.

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3 Tips for Traveling With Sleep Apnea

Travel Worry Free

When the quality of your sleep and your health depends on a piece of medical equipment, planning a trip can seem like a daunting task. If you are taking a vacation, rest and relaxation are at the top of the to-do list. With sleep apnea, the key to getting some R&R is bringing your CPAP machine with you on your trip.

It can be intimidating to think about bringing your medical machine with you on a trip or a plane. Thankfully, Encino Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders has put together the top 3 tips for worry-free traveling with sleep apnea.

Keep Up With Maintenance

Before you even leave your house, make sure your equipment is in tip-top shape. Clean your CPAP machine, dry it, and make sure you have any old parts replaced. Proper maintenance is essential to making sure you can breathe well during your sleep and ensure that there are no issues with your machine.

Bring Your Own Pillow

You can’t rely on hotel pillows to always give you the proper support you need when you have sleep apnea. To free your airway as best as possible, it is recommended to have your head elevated while you sleep. To guarantee you get the support you need to have a peaceful sleep, bring your pillow with you from home. This will allow you to rest while your airway gets the proper elevation at night.

Make Sure Your CPAP Is Following Airline Guidelines

Every airline has different requirements for traveling with a CPAP machine. We advise confirming with your airline what you need to do to travel on their planes. Some things you may find helpful during air travel are:

  • Calling the airline’s accessibility desk and inform them if you plan to use your CPAP machine on the plane
  • Transport it in a plastic bag and keep a copy of your CPAP prescription on hand to make for easier TSA passage
  • Do not check your CPAP machine in with luggage. The last thing you want is for your medical equipment to be lost. Always bring your CPAP as a carry-on.

Breathe Easy In Encino, CA

At Encino Center for Sleep and TMJ Disorders, we want to make sure you’re getting the best care for your sleep apnea. If you think you may suffer from sleep apnea, please talk to your primary care physician and contact us at (818) 300-0070 or by filling out our online contact form.

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5 Tips For a Better CPAP Experience

5 Tips For a Better CPAP Experience

Living with sleep apnea can make falling asleep and, more importantly, staying asleep a nightly struggle. Even using a CPAP machine can come with its own challenges. Some patients find the mask difficult to keep on while they sleep. Others struggle because their machine’s settings aren’t customized for them, or because there are features on the CPAP machine that they’re unaware of. 

At the Encino Center for Sleep and TMJ Disorders, we know that proper use of a CPAP machine can make a world of difference. To give our patients the best chance at a good night’s sleep, we’ve compiled a list of some of the top tips for CPAP success. 

Make Sure Your Mask is the Correct Size

If your CPAP mask doesn’t fit properly, it can make it difficult for you to breathe easily through the night. An ill-fitting mask can also result in a dry throat or a stuffy nose. If your mask is too tight, you may notice red marks on your face when you wake. However, if it’s too loose, you won’t receive the full benefits of your CPAP machine.

Finding the right fit may take some trial and error, as there’s a wide variety of mask shapes, sizes, and styles. However, once you’ve found the perfect mask, you can begin to enjoy a more restful night’s sleep. 

Keep it Clean

Your CPAP can come into contact with any number of things between uses. Skin cells, bacteria, and moisture can interfere with CPAP machines or make them unsanitary to use, which is why it’s so important to keep your CPAP clean. A clean CPAP runs more smoothly and will help you avoid getting sick.

While purpose-made cleaning supplies are available, they aren’t necessary. Simply wash the pieces of your machine with warm water and mild soap before hanging them to dry during the day. 

Give It Some Time

Sleeping with a mask over your face can take some getting used to. If you’re feeling claustrophobic at night, it can be helpful to wear the mask around your house during the day. This isn’t something you’ll be used to the first night you bring it home, but remember that treating your sleep apnea is highly beneficial to your long-term health. 

Put the “Ramp” Feature to Use

Some people have difficulty falling asleep with the airflow from their CPAP machine at full force. Luckily, many CPAP machines have a “ramp” feature. This setting will slowly build the air pressure over time, so you won’t even notice the change in pressure as you drift to sleep. 

If you’re considering using this feature, talk with your doctor to determine the optimal air pressure levels for treating your sleep apnea.

Make Sure You Have The Right Machine

Just like masks can vary in size and shape, many CPAP machines are available as well. Shop around for CPAP machines to find one that has settings and features that will enable you to sleep in complete comfort. Talk with your doctor to discuss your needs and find the best machine for you. 

Find Relief From Your Sleep Apnea

At Encino Center for Sleep and TMJ Disorders, we want to make sure you’re getting the best care for your sleep apnea. If you think you may suffer from sleep apnea, please talk to your primary care physician and contact us at (818) 300-0070 or by filling out our online contact form.

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Can Sleep Apnea Cause Anxiety?

woman with anxiety sitting in an office - Can Sleep Apnea Cause Anxiety?

Can Sleep Apnea Cause Anxiety?

Sleep apnea is a dangerous condition that can wreak havoc on almost every aspect of your life. Night after night, patients with sleep apnea are deprived of the quality sleep they need to feel their best and make sound decisions. When you consistently fail to reach deep levels of sleep, your body doesn’t have a chance to fully repair itself. You’ll end up feeling exhausted with a number of serious health consequences just around the corner.

Sleep apnea has been associated with posttraumatic stress disorder, psychosis, substance abuse, schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety. In one study, it was found that patients with sleep apnea are almost three times as likely to suffer from depression. Patients with sleep apnea are also twice as likely to have anxiety. Sleep apnea patients also have a significantly higher risk for panic attacks than individuals without the condition.

The Link Between Sleep Apnea & Anxiety

Repeatedly losing sleep creates a deficit in your sleep bank which makes it difficult to handle stressful situations and can lead to anxiety. While there’s a definite connection between sleep apnea and anxiety, it’s unclear whether the loss of sleep is causing anxiety or anxiety that is causing the disorder.

Unfortunately, it may also be a two-way connection. Patients who suffer from anxiety might be at a higher risk for developing a sleep disorder, such as sleep apnea. This means that if you treat one of the conditions, you should alleviate the other as well. 

Our Treatments For Sleep Apnea 

Now that you understand the link between sleep apnea and anxiety, you may wonder which treatment is best for you. Treating anxiety typically consists of medication in combination with long-term counseling. While this may be a solution for some, medication comes with its own list of dangerous side effects.

Fortunately, Dr. Simmons offers a conservative approach that consists of the use of an oral appliance and lifestyle modifications. An oral appliance works by gently shifting your jaw forward to prevent your airway from collapsing. In addition to an oral appliance, Dr. Simmons will recommend certain lifestyle alterations, such as regular exercise and positional therapy. This will ensure you’re getting a well-rounded treatment that can address your sleep apnea and your anxiety.

Conservative Treatment Without Medication 

When you’re faced with sleep apnea and anxiety, Dr. Simmons can help treat your sleep apnea, which can in turn solve your anxiety. Contact our office to schedule a consultation with Dr. Simmons by calling (818) 300-0070. We’ll help you get the rest you need to treat both your anxiety and your sleep apnea. 

Dr. Simmons is an American Dental Association recognized specialist in orofacial pain and has his master’s degree in sleep medicine from a leading international medical school sleep medicine program. Dr. Simmons is also double-board credentialed in both orofacial pain and dental sleep medicine by the two leading internationally recognized credentialing organization

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Is Sleep Apnea Genetic?

Is Sleep Apnea Genetic?

Sleep apnea is caused by a variety of factors–some of these are environmental factors that we can control, while others are handed down at birth. Genetic predispositions are inherited and interact to form characteristics that makeup obstructive sleep apnea, also called OSA. 

Genetic traits that are known to cause OSA include a combination of the following: Model of DNA

  • Sleep-wake cycle
  • Narrowed airway
  • Communication between nerve cells
  • Large tonsils
  • Small lower jaw
  • Large neck circumference
  • Appetite control
  • Shape of your face and skull
  • Body fat distribution
  • Heart disease
  • Neural control of the upper airway muscles. 

In fact, between 35 to 40 percent of sleep apnea cases are due to your genetic makeup and the more relatives you have with sleep apnea, the greater your risk for developing the dangerous disorder. If a parent has sleep apnea, you’re 50% more likely to suffer from the condition. Unfortunately, it’s not just the disorder that’s hereditary– the severity of the condition can also be inherited.

While many people associate obesity with sleep apnea, it’s important to realize that people who are fit, or even children can suffer from the condition, especially if there’s a family history of the disorder. While lifestyle factors makeup the majority of cases for sleep apnea, genetic causes shouldn’t be overlooked. 

If you’re experiencing sleep apnea symptoms and have a family member with sleep apnea, it’s vital that you undergo a sleep study for a proper diagnosis so that we can begin treatment right away.

Your Journey to a Healthy Night’s Rest Starts Now

There are various causes of sleep apnea and Dr. Simmons has the knowledge and expertise to minimize your symptoms so you can enjoy the benefits of a healthy night’s rest. Contact our office to schedule a consultation by calling (818)-300-0070

Dr. Simmons is an American Dental Association recognized specialist in orofacial pain and has a Masters in sleep medicine from a leading international medical school sleep medicine program. Dr. Simmons is also double-board credentialed in both orofacial pain and dental sleep medicine by the two leading internationally recognized credentialing organizations in these two fields of study. 

With his decades of experience and extensive education, he can perform a thorough evaluation and find a treatment that serves you best.

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