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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Tracking Your Sleep Using a Fitbit

A hand holding a Fitbit watch in the dar

Tracking Your Sleep Using a Fitbit

A good night’s rest is vitally important to nearly every aspect of your life. If you’re getting quality rest, you’ll have less stress and better overall health. On the other hand, if you’re spending your nights tossing and turning, you’re at a higher risk for heart disease, strokes, high blood pressure, obesity, weight gain, and a weakened immune system. 

Luckily, there are gadgets on the market that track the quality of your sleep so you can ensure that you’re getting the rest you need for a good day ahead. 

Fitbit Breaks Down the Data

There are various Fitbit models that have the technology to track your sleep cycles. These models have sensors that track your movements and your heart rate to determine which cycle you’re in and for how long. 

Fitbit groups together similar cycles so you can easily digest information at a glance. For example, there are normally 5 stages of sleep, but Fitbit simplifies it to four, including awake, light, deep, and REM. You’ll receive an overall sleep score for the night and you can see your trends over time and even compare them to others.

Fitbit & Wellness

You can also set up sleep goals that will remind you when you should start getting ready for bed so you get the recommended amount of sleep. Fitbit will wake you up with a silent vibration at your desired time, or you can choose to be woken up at the ideal time in your sleep cycle. 

Fitbit also tracks your steps throughout the day and continuously monitors your heart rate so you have an accurate depiction of your resting heart rate. This helps to customize your workout routines and will notify you of which workout zone you’re in or if your heart rate spikes throughout the day.

All of this information combined will help you on your wellness journey. By understanding your sleep patterns and activity levels, you’ll be able to set personalized fitness goals and ensure you’re getting the rest you need for a healthy life. 

The Latest Fitbit Technology

In September 2019, Fitbit released its first model that contained a new tracking feature called Sleep Score best (SpO2). The feature can help detect health issues like allergies, asthma, and sleep apnea. In addition to monitoring your heart rate and movement, this new technology has a sensor that measures the blood’s oxygen level. 

While the wearable technology may not have the capability to diagnose sleep apnea, it can be a stepping stone to understanding your sleep patterns and help you determine if you should see a sleep specialist who can diagnose the disorder so you can get the treatment you need. 

Monitor Your Wellness

When it comes to your health, it pays to be your strongest advocate. By utilizing wearable technology, you can make minor tweaks in your routine that make a big difference. It can also provide you with insight into potential health issues related to your sleep patterns. 

If you’re showing signs of sleep apnea, or your wearable technology is indicating that there’s a problem with your sleep cycles, schedule a consultation with Dr. Simmons by calling (818) 300-0070. We’ll be happy to help you on your road to recovery.

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The Best Pillows for Sleep Apnea

Man snoring while an annoyed woman tries to sleep

The Best Pillows for Sleep Apnea

When it comes to sleep apnea, a holistic approach will always yield better results. There are various treatment methods that complement each other and can be combined to meet your individual needs. In addition to weight loss and an oral appliance, Dr. Simmons may recommend positional therapy. 

Positional Therapy

Positional therapy focuses on situating yourself in a way that will help to keep your airway open while you sleep. While some patients prefer to sleep on their backs, this is typically the position that allows gravity to collapse your airway and a sleep apnea event to occur. 

The ideal sleeping position for patients with sleep apnea is on either side or your stomach. However, it can be difficult to retrain yourself on how to sleep, and it won’t entirely keep the symptoms at bay. With positional therapy, you’ll utilize the help of a pillow to ensure you’re in a less vulnerable position. 

Types of Pillows 

The best types of pillows are made of foam or memory foam– these types of pillows adapt to the contours of your spine and mitigate the risk of a sleep apnea event. When searching for a pillow designed to help with your sleep apnea symptoms, you’ll want to focus on the shape of the pillow. 

Sleep apnea pillows are designed to cater to your preferred sleeping position. Contour pillows are ideal for patients who prefer to sleep on their sides and wedge pillows are for patients who sleep on their backs. 

Contour pillows work by keeping your neck straight to prevent your throat from collapsing. Wedge pillows place your body at an inclined angle to prevent gravity from closing your throat. A firm pillow will provide the best results.

If you use a CPAP machine, there are contour pillows and wedge pillows that can improve your comfort when wearing the appliance by supporting the mask and allowing additional room for the tubes. 

Final Thoughts

There are several types of pillows on the market that can improve your sleep apnea symptoms. Some pillows may be more comfortable than others and you may have to search until you find one that works for you and helps keep your airway open. 

If you’d like, Dr. Simmons can provide some recommendations to fit your needs. While you may see some improvements with positional therapy, it’s best used in combination with tried and true methods like an oral appliance or CPAP machine to ensure you’re getting the rest you need.

Contact Dr. Simmons For Sleep Apnea Treatment

There are certain lifestyle modifications that may complement traditional treatment methods to provide a well-rounded approach. Dr. Simmons believes in utilizing various treatments to meet your individual needs, so we can tackle your symptoms from every angle and you can get a better night’s rest. 

Contact our office to schedule a consultation by calling (818) 300-0070 or fill out the contact form and we’ll get back to you soon.

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Understanding Your Sleep Cycles

Understanding Your Sleep Cycles

When you slip into your slumber for the evening, there are numerous factors that play a role in the quality of sleep you experience throughout the night. Are you restless, or restful? Will you wake up several times throughout the night, or sleep soundly? How synchronized are you with your circadian rhythm? Understanding the habits that make up a healthy sleep routine is vital if you want to experience a full night of rest followed by an energized day.

Elements that Define Sleep Quality 

Here are a few elements that determine the quality of your sleep:

Circadian Rhythm

Your circadian rhythm is your body’s internal clock. It lets you know when you should start powering down for the night and it’s the reason you might wake up one minute before your alarm goes off. 

It’s also affected by light. When the sun sets and rises, the light — or lack thereof — sends a signal to your brain that it’s time to wake up or start slowing down to get ready for bed soon. When you go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, your body will adapt to the routine so you’ll have restful nights followed by refreshing mornings.

Time Changes

If you live in one of the 47 states that participate in daylight savings time, you know that when the clock turns forward or back, it can take some getting used to. The same goes for when you travel and experience jet lag. The sudden time shifts can throw off your sleep schedule and leave you feeling jet-lagged.

Seasons and Surroundings 

As the seasons change, the temperature can shift inside your house, making it more challenging to fall asleep. If temperatures are too warm or cold, you’ll find yourself tossing and turning. The ideal temperature is on the cooler side. This allows your body to enjoy the benefits of your deepest levels of sleep.

Watching TV or working from bed may cause your mind to associate the bed with these activities, instead of just sleeping. You may also want to start a nightly routine that doesn’t include technology because the blue light can affect your sleeping patterns.

Alcohol and medications 

Alcohol and other sedatives may help you fall asleep, but they won’t keep you in your slumber. As the night progresses and the effects wear off, your sleep will become lighter and you may find yourself in and out of consciousness. Therefore, the quality of sleep you experience will not be the same as it would with a sober night of rest. 

Other medications may have the opposite effect, keeping you up for the first half of the night until you fall asleep out of pure exhaustion. Diet pills, some antidepressants, and ADD/ADHD medications are considered stimulants that may leave you feeling restless.

Stress and mindset

Whether you’ve experienced a life-changing event, or just a bad day, you may find that your mind is racing and you can’t calm it down. You can help clear your mind by practicing breathing exercises, yoga, or meditation.

Diet and exercise

Sticking to a healthy diet that’s low in sugar and fat will help ensure you’re on the road to a peaceful night’s sleep. It’s especially important to avoid foods that are high in fat, sugar, and caffeine prior to bed as they can cause your sleep to be fragmented.

Exercise aids in restful sleep because it tires you out and produces endorphins, which improve the quality of your sleep.

Napping

Napping can be helpful if you’re sleep-deprived. However, napping longer than 30-60 minutes or after 3:00 pm may make it difficult to sleep when it’s time.

Cycles of Your Slumber

Sleep is a natural way for our minds to process the day’s events and for our bodies to restore to their strongest potential — that is, if you get a good night’s sleep. Throughout the night you’ll experience several cycles of sleep. 

Each cycle consists of four stages that contain periods of REM or non-REM. Here’s an explanation of the four stages:

Stage N1 – Non-REM – You’ll experience decreased alertness and light sleep. Your heart rate, breathing, brainwaves, and eye movements slow. Your muscles also relax and you may experience some twitches. 

Stage N2 – Non-REM – The body’s processes slow down even further. Heart rate, breathing, and muscles are more relaxed, body temperature drops, and eye movement stops. Brain wave activity continues to slow down but has an occasional burst of electrical activity.

Stage N3 – Non-REM – This is the most important stage of sleep that will leave you feeling rested in the morning. Heart rate, breathing, and brainwaves are at their slowest, and muscles are relaxed. It may be difficult to arouse someone in this stage of sleep.

Stage R – REM usually first occurs about 90 minutes after you fall asleep. Even though the brain is more active, your arms and legs become temporarily paralyzed. Most of your dreaming will occur in REM. Eyes are closed but move rapidly. Breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure are less regulated. The first period of REM lasts only ten minutes, and these REM periods repeat about every 90 minutes with increased time in REM and the final stage can last up to an hour.

Dr. Simmons is Here to Help

Many of the factors that contribute to sleep quality can be trained and harmonized so you can wake with newfound energy and zest for life. Dr. Simmons has decades of experience in improving the quality of sleep for people who need it most. 

He’ll work with you to determine which habits need to be addressed and provide treatment options that are tailored to your needs. Give our Encino, CA office a call at (818)-300-0070 and start to feel the benefits of a good night’s rest.

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, you can expect your evaluation to be very thorough so we can find a treatment that serves you best.

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5 Shocking Things that Happen When Your Brain is Deprived of Oxygen

Middle-aged woman puffing our her cheeks and holding her breath

5 Shocking Things that Happen When Your Brain is Deprived of Oxygen

When you think about holding your breath underwater for long periods of time, just the thought can feel suffocating. It’s likely you’ve experienced a breathless moment that’s left a jarring memory, similar to touching your hand to a hot stove or oven. You learn your lesson and try to avoid the harmful stimulus. 

Your brain needs oxygen to fuel the cells that are vital in carrying out various functions within your body. When you experience moments of apnea — cessation of air — your mind will undergo stages of increasing intensity with passing time. These stages include:

  1. 60 seconds – Damage has not yet occurred, however, repeated periods of oxygen deprivation, like that found in sleep apnea, can have lasting effects
  2. 3 minutes – Neurons are further destroyed and irreparable damage is likely
  3. <5 minutesBrain cells begin dying 
  4. 5 minutes – Death is around the corner
  5. 10 minutes – If the brain is alive it will be in a state of coma and irreversible damage is almost unavoidable

Every Second Counts

Similar to experiencing irreversible damage for minutes without air, just seconds of repeated periods of oxygen loss are associated with long-term health consequences. Sleep apnea is a disorder that’s characterized by repeated pauses in breathing throughout the course of sleep. 

When this happens, your body will wake you up just enough to get the air it needs. This can leave you feeling exhausted and longing for your bed throughout the day.

Even though the disorder is largely undiagnosed, it comes with a slew of symptoms and complications if left untreated. Sleep apnea is linked to symptoms such as fatigue, moodiness, difficulty concentrating, snoring, and gasping for air during sleep. Some of these symptoms can also lead to relationship issues. 

If left untreated, sleep apnea can have serious complications such as:

  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Depression
  • Worsening of ADHD
  • Headaches

Contact Us For Your Sleep Apnea Needs

There are several ways to treat sleep apnea and we’ll find the one that’s right for you. Give us a call at (818) 300-0070 and let us help you on your road to a healthy night’s rest.

Dr. Simmons is an American Dental Association recognized specialist in orofacial pain and has his masters 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 organizations.

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What To Expect During Your Initial Consultation

What To Expect During Your Initial Consultation

Dr. Simmons is an American Dental Association recognized specialist in orofacial pain and has a Masters in sleep medicine 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, you can expect your evaluation to be very thorough.

Whether you were referred to our office to address your TMJ pain or for sleep apnea, you can rest assured that you’re in good hands. We understand the dreadful effects of a poor night’s sleep and painful mornings and we want to help you on your journey to recovery. 

Dr.Simmons will patiently listen to all of your symptoms and concerns so he can create a customized treatment plan to suit your needs. When treating TMJ pain and Sleep Apnea, Dr. Simmons will provide various treatment options so you can decide what’s best for you. 

He may also recommend certain lifestyle modifications that are proven to help with your symptoms so you’ll have a well-rounded treatment plan.

Sleep Apnea Examination

After you discuss your symptoms, Dr. Simmons will examine your head and neck function, the roof of your mouth, throat, tongue, neck, posture, body mass, and your nasal septum to look for any areas that may cause an airway obstruction.

If we’re your first stop on your sleep apnea journey, Dr. Simmons may recommend a sleep study for a clear diagnosis. This will provide more detailed information about the severity of the disorder so he can determine the most beneficial treatments to meet your individual needs. 

After you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea, Dr. Simmons will review the diagnosis and create a customized treatment plan that will provide the relief you need. He’ll explain our treatment options and recommend the use of a customized oral device to help treat your sleep apnea. This intraoral appliance works by gently shifting your jaw forward to keep your airway open, helping to prevent sleep apnea events.

After you’ve worn your appliance for a while, you can schedule a follow-up visit to see how you’re progressing with your treatment plan. During these visits, Dr. Simmons may suggest trying new techniques or altering previous ones so you can enjoy the benefits of a good night’s rest.

TMJ Disorder Examination

Living with TMJ disorder (TMD) can feel like an endless cycle of pain. Dr. Simmons will listen to your symptoms and perform an extensive oral examination to look for signs of TMD and orofacial pain. This includes neurologic screening, examining head and neck function, observing your mouth, cheeks, and gums. Dr. Simmons will also examine your teeth to see if they’re worn down, assess the range of motion of your jaw, and palpate the muscles of your face, jaw, and neck to look for areas of tension.  

If Dr. Simmons determines that you have TMD or orofacial pain disorder, he may recommend customized oral appliance therapy along with other physical interventions such as LASER, nerve blocks, trigger point injections, exercise routines and more to help reduce your symptoms. 

This oral appliance works by evenly distributing the pressure caused by teeth grinding, helping to eliminate the pain and long-term consequences associated with TMJ disorder. 

Dr. Simmons will also discuss lifestyle modifications that will complement the device such as avoiding certain foods, ways to reduce stress and relieve the pain, and other treatment options that will benefit you the most.

A Pain-Free, Good Night’s Rest Starts Here

When you experience the dreadful symptoms associated with TMD, orofacial pain, and sleep problems such as sleep apnea, it can be hard to enjoy your life. Thankfully, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel and it starts with visiting Dr. Simmons. Schedule your consultation today by calling (818) 300-0070.

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Sleep Apnea and Bodybuilders: The Unlikely Connection

Sleep Apnea and Misconceptions

There are many misunderstandings about Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) that can be harmful. It’s easy to believe that old, overweight men are the only ones at risk for OSA, but that’s not true. 

People in all stages of life and body shapes have OSA, though some are more at risk than others. Learn how the lifestyle of bodybuilders can make them more prone to developing sleep apnea.

The Relationship Between OSA and BMI

A higher BMI is often associated with the development of OSA. This means that people who are overweight are at risk for the condition, and losing weight is a doctor-recommended method of alleviating symptoms.

Because of this, it may be hard to believe that someone who’s in the gym all the time can have such a condition. But weightlifters are focused on putting on extreme amounts of muscle, often pushing their BMI above the norm for their height and age.

person standing on scale with a measuring tape in the foreground
measuring the circumference of the neck

Neck Circumference and OSA

Other than weight, neck circumference is one of the best predictors of sleep apnea issues. A neck circumference of more than 17 inches for men and 16 inches for women is a risk factor. 

The thicker your neck is, the heavier it probably is. A heavy neck can impede breathing while you’re laying down and squash your airway. Bodybuilders’ necks are especially heavy because they’re highly muscular.

Maintaining a Bodybuilder’s Lifestyle

muscular bodybuilder man in the gym

If you’re a bodybuilder facing sleep apnea, one option is to change your lifestyle and stop bodybuilding. However, it may not be necessary for you to give this up in order to improve your sleep apnea. Medical professionals like Dr. Simmons can help you continue your passion without endangering your life.

Get a Diagnosis

Sleep studies are the method by which sleep disorders are diagnosed. This test can be administered at a sleep clinic or through a take-home version. Both methods monitor your body while you’re asleep to detect any abnormalities that may be causing you issues.

Seek Treatment Options

Once you have a diagnosis, you can seek a treatment method that works for you. CPAP machines are the most common treatment, but there are also custom mouth guards called oral appliances that are often just as effective.

Protecting Your Body By Visiting Dr. Simmons

Dr. Simmons can help you maintain your lifestyle without harming your health. He can provide comfortable and personalized sleep apnea treatment options that allow you to sleep through the night. Treatment can also grant you more energy for working out and bettering your body.

To learn more about how Dr. Simmons can help you, contact our office by calling or by filling out our online contact form. We’ll be with you quickly to discuss any questions and concerns you have.

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How Sleep Apnea Can Affect Your Mental Health

Sleep Apnea Deprives You

People with sleep apnea can wake up hundreds of times per night and not even realize it. When you can’t breathe, your body will wake you momentarily to resume airflow. But these moments are so short that you may not be conscious enough to remember them.

They’re not so short that they don’t impact your sleep, though. People with sleep apnea are often consistently deprived of restful sleep, which is an effect that worsens physical and mental health.

Sleep and Mental Health: The Connection

Small disturbances caused by sleep apnea can disturb your body’s ability to enter REM sleep. In this stage of sleep, your brain is highly active and busy at work performing important functions.

Difficulty Concentrating

If you’ve ever pulled an all-nighter or spent the night tossing and turning, you probably know how it feels trying to function the next day. Your ability to concentrate on complex tasks is reduced and taking in new information can be harder than usual.

Chronic sleep deprivation, such as in the case of sleep apnea, can make this your everyday state of mind. This can impact your productivity at work as well. One unfortunate effect of untreated sleep apnea can be unemployment.

man in a suit sitting at a desk trying to concentrate
woman in a green shirt sitting on a bed frustrated

Emotion Regulation

During REM sleep, emotion-regulating chemicals that help you remain level throughout the day are released. You may feel more emotional or have trouble harnessing your feelings in the face of hardship during the day. 

Memory Trouble

In addition to making learning harder, sleep deprivation also impairs recollection. Your brain isn’t correctly processing the events of the day, so you’re likely to struggle to remember important dates, things people said, and pertinent information.

Anxiety & Depression

The most common mental health disorders associated with sleep apnea are anxiety and depression. Depression can, in turn, affect your ability to sleep and increase your risk for heart disease, further worsening the condition of your health.

young woman with blonde hair in a ponytail sitting on a couch looking off into the distance

Treatment Helps Both Conditions

If you’re feeling constantly fatigued, having trouble concentrating, and experiencing mental health issues, sleep apnea may be the cause. Seeking a sleep test for diagnosis can be the first step on the path to getting effective treatment.

When sleep deprivation is the cause of mental health concerns, treatment for sleep apnea can reduce or eliminate the effects of these disorders. With a CPAP machine or convenient oral appliance, both your sleep apnea and mental health can improve.

Dr. Simmons Can Help You

Dr. Simmons offers effective treatments for sleep apnea that can help you regain control and improve your quality of life. To learn more, contact our office by calling or by filling out our online contact form. We’ll be with you right away to discuss your questions.

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5 Ways Sleep Apnea Endangers Your Life

man wearing a white shirt laying in bed awake and worriedOSA is a Serious Condition

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) may not seem like that big of a deal. Sometimes, people don’t even remember waking up throughout the night and believe nothing is wrong. Even in these cases, OSA can threaten your life.

Sleep is vital to your bodily functions, so waking up multiple times throughout the night is detrimental. Learn about some of the ways OSA can affect your health.

1. Heart Conditions

The most serious health condition related to sleep apnea is its impact on the heart. In people who have heart issues, sleep apnea is a common thread — according to the Harvard Heart Letter, up to 83% of people with cardiovascular disease also have sleep apnea and up to 53% of people with heart failure.

OSA deprives your body of much-needed oxygen while you sleep, leading to high blood pressure. Seeking treatment for sleep apnea and normalizing your nightly oxygen flow can prevent the development of these issues.

2. Car Accidents

When you’re tired, you’re more likely to make mistakes. People with OSA often feel fatigued and have difficulty concentrating. On the road, that could mean the difference between life and death.

In a study published by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, researchers found that people with OSA are 2.5 times more likely to be the driver in a car accident. With treatment, this number fell by 70 percent.

3. Unemployment

Sometimes the mistakes you make don’t directly put you in danger, but can instead lead to performance issues on the job and reduce your productivity. People who have sleep apnea are more likely to become unemployed because of this.

Unemployment may not seem like a health issue, but being without a job actually affects your health in several ways. People who are unemployed are often affected by higher levels of mental health issues, chronic disease, and premature mortality.

Being unemployed with sleep apnea may further affect your mental and physical health.

4. Diabetes

Diabetes is an increasingly common disease in America — as of 2015, more than 100 million adults were living with diabetes or prediabetes and more being diagnosed consistently. There are many potential causes of Type 2 diabetes, but all result in your body’s resistance to insulin.

OSA can both lead to and worsen Type 2 diabetes. In a study published by the American Diabetes Association, the pauses in breathing commonly experienced by people with OSA can affect your glucose metabolism directly, and cause you to become insulin-resistant.

Fortunately, the treatment of OSA was also found to help restore balance to your glucose metabolism. This means the improvement

5. Relationship Issues

Another indirect health determinant is your relationship status. Not just whether you’re single or married, but the quality of the relationship that you have. Strong and supportive relationships can keep you healthy, while relationships that are in discord worsen your health over time.

OSA can put a major strain on relationships. Especially if you snore loudly, your partner can suffer from sleep deprivation as well. Continuously interrupted sleep often turns a couple against each other and creates a hostile environment for emotional and physical health.

In a study conducted by Harvard University beginning in 1938, researchers followed the lives of over 700 men. As of 2017, more than 60 of the original participants are still taking part. The study found that relationship satisfaction was a significant contributor to lifespan.

Treating your OSA can not only save your life but your partner’s life, as well as your relationship.

Treatment Can Save Your Life

Living with OSA can be difficult and even deadly, but it doesn’t have to be. Dr. Michael Simmons can help you feel invigorated by finding the best treatment option for you.

Dr. Simmons can provide you with a custom-made oral appliance that not only treats sleep apnea but is comfortable and convenient to wear. These mouthguards are often just as effective as CPAP machines and can keep you from snoring throughout the night.

To learn more about your treatment options, call our office at 818-300-0070 to talk to us. We’ll be happy to answer your questions about sleep apnea and treatment at our office.

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