Blog

Understanding Sleep Cycles and Health | Sleep Apnea Treatment Glen Burnie

Sleep Apnea Treatment Glen Burnie

Our sleep needs change during our lifetime and varies by individual; but the most important factor is getting enough quality sleep. The American Sleep Apnea Association (ASAA) says people should feel alert and refreshed when they wake up, and not rely on napping to get through the day.

Sleep Apnea Treatment in Glen Burnie MD

Scientists have determined that most adults need between seven and eight hours of sleep a night for optimal health. When you suffer from interrupted sleep, such as that caused by obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), you are more prone to a host of health problems ranging from heart disease to diabetes, and from cognitive decline to memory impairment. In children, lack of sleep can cause hyperactivity, according to the ASAA.

What are Sleep Cycles?

Sleep is broadly divided into stages that cycle throughout the night: wakefulness, rapid-eye movement (REM) sleep, and non-REM sleep. There are three stages of non-REM sleep, known as N1, N2 and N3, and one REM phase. Healthy sleepers cycle through these stages several times through the night. Let’s explore them in depth:  

  • Stage N1, the first non-REM stage, marks the transition from wakefulness to falling asleep. You may dream during this stage, be easily awakened, and aware of your surroundings to some degree.
  • Stage N2 is the point at which your breathing becomes automatic and your heart rate slows down. Healthy adults spend about half their sleep time in this cycle.
  • Stage N3 is also known as slow wave sleep or delta sleep because of the slower delta brainwaves recorded at this time. It is a regenerative stage in which the body repairs itself. The first N3 sleep stage of the night lasts between 45 and 90 minutes; thereafter it becomes progressively shorter. As people age, this stage gradually disappears.
  • REM sleep episodes become longer through the night, occurring every 90 minutes or so. The rapid eye movement phase is marked by brain activity: the eyes dart about below the lids and you experience your most vivid and memorable dreams. The body remains in a quasi-paralyzed state, so you do not act out your dreams.

During a sleep study, your sleep cycles are recorded and analyzed. This is a valuable diagnostic tool. People with sleep apnea tend to stay in the N1 and N2 stages of light sleep, with interrupted episodes of the more restorative N3 and REM sleep. That is yet another reason sleep apnea can cause long-term physical harm, and why OSA demands prompt treatment.

If you would like to discuss your sleep quality, or suspect you have sleep apnea, contact our 21061 sleep medicine office and schedule an appointment.  

Chesapeake Sleep Center
Phone: 410-729-6794
7711 Quarterfield Road, Suite C-1
Glen Burnie, MD 21061

What if I Can’t Adjust to a CPAP Machine? | Glen Burnie Sleep Apnea Dentist

Sleep Apnea Treatment Glen Burnie

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, or CPAP, therapy is considered the most effective way to treat moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA); yet not every patient adapts to it easily. Here are adjustment tips and alternatives to CPAP.  

Sleep Apnea Treatment Glen Burnie

The American Association of Sleep Technologists (AAST) says that the compliance rate among people prescribed CPAP therapy is about 60 percent. That means nearly one-third of patients abandon the therapy after a few weeks or months. The average CPAP use is four or five hours a night, and not the recommended seven-and-a-half hours.

Reasons for CPAP Noncompliance

Among the most common reasons people abandon their machines are persistent discomfort, allergic-type responses, and noise.

Adjustment to forced air: The CPAP machine uses a hose and mask attached to a machine that delivers forced air to the mouth and nose. This prevents the airway from collapsing intermittently during the night. Some people have a difficult time adjusting to greater air pressure. The AAST recommends ramping the pressure up gradually. 

Ill-fitting mask: Some patients report a claustrophobic sensation when wearing their mask. This often occurs because the mask is too tight or does not fit properly. It can take some trial and error to find the right fit or mask type.

Stuffy nose: Leaky, poorly fitted masks can dry out your nasal passages. A CPAP with a humidifier and a heat option can help some patients breathe more easily.   

Dry mouth and throat: If you breathe through your mouth while sleeping, CPAP can alleviate snoring but make dryness worse. Sleep specialists recommend a chin strap to keep your mouth closed or experimenting with different types of masks.  

Allergic reaction: Some patients report feeling allergic to the CPAP mask. This is usually caused by infrequent mask cleanings, according to the AAST. Make sure you clean your mask and hose as directed. True allergy cases may arise if your mask is an old version made with latex. A CPAP mask allergy will usually appear on the first night it is worn, so make sure to contact your sleep specialist immediately if you experience a reaction.

CPAP noise: Newer machines are much quieter than older versions, but everyone’s noise tolerance is different. If your CPAP is keeping you awake, ensure the air filter is clean or speak to your sleep specialist. You can also try sleeping with earplugs or a white noise machine. 

Unconscious mask removal: It is not uncommon for new CPAP wearers to pull their mask off during sleep. Often the problem is related to congestion. Consider a humidifier to keep your nasal passages moist or a chin strap to keep your mouth closed. 

Oral Appliance Therapy as a CPAP Alternative 

For those having a difficult time adjusting to CPAP devices, oral appliance therapy is a highly recommended alternative or adjunct. This mouthguard-type device repositions the tongue, jaw, or both to keep the airway open. 

  • It can be used alone for those with mild to moderate OSA
  • It helps many people adjust to the CPAP machine
  • It can replace CPAP therapy for those who are unable to adjust despite their best efforts
  • It is ideal for travel

If you would like to learn more about CPAP alternatives, contact our Glen Burnie Sleep Apnea Dentist office for solutions that may help you get the restful night’s sleep you deserve.

Chesapeake Sleep Center
Phone: 410-729-6794
7711 Quarterfield Road, Suite C-1
Glen Burnie, MD 21061

What is the Best Sleep Position to Treat Sleep Apnea? | Sleep Apnea Near Me

Sleep Apnea Near Me

Everyone has a go-to sleep position: some like staying curled up in a ball, or flat on the stomach, or splayed out on the back. It may not seem important; after all, you do move around when you sleep. Still, some positions are better than others for relieving sleep apnea and other conditions.

Glen Burnie Sleep Apnea Dentist

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is caused by a relaxation of the muscles controlling the upper airway. They flap closed at intervals during sleep, preventing sufferers from getting enough air. Loud snoring, interrupted breathing, and gasping while asleep are common symptoms. Being overweight aggravates this condition because it creates excess tissue around the throat.  

Is Side Sleeping Better for Sleep Apnea?

The Sleep Better Council recommends sleeping on your side with your back as straight as possible. Sleeping on the left side, where your heart is, appears to work best for relieving sleep apnea symptoms. It optimizes the flow of blood throughout your body and reduces the chances of airway collapse. 

Side sleeping has other benefits, too: It keeps the spine in alignment to reduce strain, improves insomnia, and relieves acid reflux. If you are pregnant, left-side sleeping has also been shown to improve blood flow to the fetus.

Some people have a difficult time adjusting to left-side sleeping; the Sleep Better Council offers encouragement, saying sleeping on the right side is almost as effective at relieving sleep apnea symptoms.

Stomach Sleeping and Sleep Apnea

Face-down sleeping may also help relieve OSA, thanks to gravity. This position pulls tissues in your mouth and throat forward, making airway obstruction less likely. Make sure you use a thinner pillow and position it so that your nose and mouth are not covered. 

The Worst Sleep Position for Sleep Apnea

You might have guessed that sleeping on your back is not conducive to keeping airways open. It allows gravity to pull the throat’s soft tissue downward and make it more likely to collapse. 

Encouraging Good Sleeping Positions

You can train yourself to sleep on your side by attaching a tennis ball to your back through a belted device or tape. It is not the most comfortable solution and takes significant adjustment time. 

A better option is to work with a qualified sleep specialist and combine positional therapy with another treatment. One recommended by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine is oral appliance therapy (OAT). This mouthguard-type device gently repositions the jaw and tongue to keep the airway open. OAT can be used with or without CPAP machines.

If you have tried positional therapy for sleep apnea and want to explore another solution, please schedule an appointment with our Sleep Apnea Treatment Glen Burnie office.  

Chesapeake Sleep Center
Phone: 410-729-6794
7711 Quarterfield Road, Suite C-1
Glen Burnie, MD 21061

How Good Sleep Makes a Better Life | Sleep Apnea Treatment in Glen Burnie MD

Sleep Apnea Treatment in Glen Burnie MD

Quality sleep means more than feeling refreshed the next morning. In fact, sleep actually impacts many aspects of our lives from what we eat to how we act to our overall health. Here are a few ways improving your sleep can benefit your day-to-day life.

Sleep Apnea Dentist Near Me

Good Sleep Means Less Hunger

Sleep directly impacts two hormones that control the desire to eat and signal us to stop eating. These hormones are called leptin and ghrelin. Leptin is found within adipose (fat) cells, and it tells your brain that you’re full by suppressing hunger. Ghrelin is a hormone that is found within the stomach and signals your brain that you’re hungry. Getting adequate sleep will help ensure these two hunger-based hormones stay regulated, which can help prevent you from over- or under-eating.

Being Well-Rested Leads to Fewer Arguments

Did you know that getting a good night’s rest can help minimize arguments with your significant other? Most people who are lacking sleep (even an hour or two) may find themselves to be less patient and more irritable. However, here is something even more fascinating: Better sleep can improve the productivity and civility of your arguments.

A study by an Ohio State University research team examined 43 couples who resolved disagreements while they were lacking sleep. The findings demonstrated that when both partners were running on less sleep, their arguments were more hostile compared to couples in which one partner got adequate sleep the night before. 

Good Sleep Means Better Health

This same study went even further, showing that lack of sleep correlated to a higher inflammatory response following arguments. Chronic inflammation has been shown to be a factor in many diseases, including heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and depression. 

Even skimping one hour on sleep creates an increased inflammation response. In addition, the oxygen deprivation and fractured sleep pattern of people with sleep apnea have been linked to higher risk for stroke, heart disease, and many other long-term complications. Our sleep apnea treatments can help you start getting the rest you need to improve your health.

A Rested Brain is Healthier

Scientists have discovered that the brain needs one hour offline to process every two hours spent awake and taking in information. Though the exact mechanisms behind sleep and cognition are still being studied, proper sleep prompts your brain to solidify any learning that you have done that day, allowing you to utilize that information moving ahead.

How Can I Get Better Sleep?

If you are suffering from insufficient sleep from obstructive sleep apnea, we can help. Our team has the training and compassion to provide you with the treatment you need to ensure better sleep, starting today. Contact our Glen Burnie MD Sleep Apnea Treatment office today to schedule your sleep apnea consultation.

Chesapeake Sleep Center
Phone: 410-729-6794
7711 Quarterfield Road, Suite C-1
Glen Burnie, MD 21061

Can High Altitude Affect Sleep Apnea? | Glen Burnie MD Sleep Apnea Treatment

Glen Burnie Sleep Apnea Treatment

Traveling to high altitude areas can have a temporary but profound effect on your body, including sleep difficulties. If you suffer from sleep apnea, you may be impacted to an even greater degree. 

Sleep Apnea Dentist Glen Burnie

Studies show that because there is less oxygen in the air at high altitudes, your body undergoes a series of adjustments known as acclimatization that can impact your ability to sleep. It also causes a breathing pattern known as high-altitude periodic breathing.

Frequent awakenings, lighter sleep, and less overall sleep time are other problems associated with moving to a higher altitude. These are similar to genuine sleep apnea, but symptoms usually improve after a few nights for healthy individuals.

If you suffer from sleep apnea and are planning a trip to the mountains, first take a trip to our sleep center and talk with our specialists. That way you can address potential problems head on. We will make solid recommendations on how you can get a restful night’s sleep whether at home or when traveling to high altitudes. 

Our top tips include the following:

  • If you have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea and do not use CPAP, ask our team if the temporary use of CPAP would be helpful during your trip. If you do use a CPAP, elevation changes between sea level and 10,100 feet don’t significantly alter CPAP pressure requirements.
  • We can outfit you with an oral appliance if your sleep apnea is mild or moderate. Talk to our team to see if this device is right for you. 
  • Drink plenty of water throughout your visit. According to the Institute for Altitude Medicine, your body loses water through respiration at high altitude twice as quickly as it does at sea level, and dehydration can interrupt your sleep patterns. For optimal health, plan to drink much more water than you typically would.
  • Select a sleeping altitude that is as low as possible, such as hotel rooms and/or bedrooms located on the ground floor. If possible, choose a place to stay that is lower in elevation than you originally planned. 
  • Consider medication if you have a history of severe altitude sickness.  

Traveling to high-elevation destinations presents unique sleeping challenges to everyone, especially those diagnosed with sleep apnea. There is no single recommendation for adjusting to high altitudes with sleep apnea, but advance planning may allow patients to more easily enjoy a restful and relaxing trip. 

Contact our sleep apnea specialists today for more helpful advice or to schedule a consultation with our Sleep Apnea dentist.

Chesapeake Sleep Center
Phone: 410-729-6794
7711 Quarterfield Road, Suite C-1
Glen Burnie, MD 21061

Health Risks of Snoring You Can’t Ignore | 21061 Sleep Apnea Dentist

Health Risks of Snoring You Can't Ignore

Loud snoring affects nearly 90 million Americans — and their sleeping partners. Beyond being annoying, snoring is associated with poor sleep quality and, in about half of all cases, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Fortunately, there are a number of treatments available, including one from your dentist’s office. 

While obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) almost always causes loud snoring, snoring itself doesn’t guarantee that you have OSA. To differentiate between standard snoring issues and the more serious indication of OSA, take a closer look at your snoring. 

What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA?) 

Sleep apnea obstructs your airway and ability to breathe, causing you to wake up in order to start breathing again. Regular snoring, while keeping your non-snoring partner awake, won’t typically wake you up. If you find yourself waking up in the middle of the night, gasping for air, or always lethargic during your day, you should be evaluated for OSA.

People with sleep apnea also tend to snore more regularly and loudly. They may even momentarily stop breathing for short periods during sleep. Talk to your partner. If they notice these snoring signs during your sleep, it is time to consult with our sleep center about the likelihood of sleep apnea. 

What are the Health Risks of OSA?

If you suffer from OSA, your risk for diabetes, heart issues, depression and other serious conditions increases significantly. The constant pauses in breathing are also known to have an effect on the brain. Untreated sleep apnea can cause memory problems, moodiness, and difficulty concentrating. On an interpersonal level, the snoring and gasping associated with obstructive sleep apnea can be hard on personal relationships.

Treatments for OSA

CPAP therapy, a mask-and-hose device that delivers pressurized air through the nose and mouth, is the standard recommended treatment for severe cases of sleep apnea. However, special oral appliances, available from our doctor, are also highly effective. For many people, oral appliances feel less intrusive in mild to moderate OSA cases. They gently position the jaw forward and keep the tongue from rolling back and obstructing the airway. 

Oral appliances can be used in conjunction with CPAPs: if a patient removes the CPAP mask during sleep, the oral appliance can be used as a backup. The appliance, which resembles a nightguard, is also handy for travel.  

Are you ready to take the first step towards more restful sleep and better overall health? Schedule an appointment with our Glen Burnie sleep apnea office today. 

Chesapeake Sleep Center
Phone: 410-729-6794
7711 Quarterfield Road, Suite C-1
Glen Burnie, MD 21061

How Much Do You Really Know About Sleep? | Sleep Apnea Dentist in 21061

How Much Do You Really Know About Sleep?

In recent years, researchers have begun to make deep inquiries into all things sleep related. While there’s still quite a bit to learn, we have gained knowledge that helps us spend our nights in the most restful way. Below we’ll give you a series of questions related to sleep and their answers, some of which just may surprise you.

1.) How much of our lives are spent sleeping? 

The average person spends roughly one-third of their life asleep. However, if you suffer from sleep apnea, this important portion of your life could be greatly affected. It’s worth getting treatment that could help you spend that third of your life getting the best rest possible.  

2.) How long should it take most people to fall asleep?

The National Sleep Foundation says that falling asleep should take about 10 to 20 minutes from the moment you climb into bed. If it takes you more or less time, it could be your body’s way of telling you that something is off. If you find yourself falling asleep almost instantly, it could be that you’re not sleeping enough, or not getting the restful sleep that you need. If you struggle to get a full night’s sleep, you should consult with a doctor.

3.) Which can kill you faster – sleep deprivation or food deprivation?

Sleep is actually more important for your body than food in the short term. Your body’s fuel may be food, but it simply can’t run without the proper amount of sleep. While death is an uncommon end result of sleep apnea, if you’re not getting the restorative sleep you need every night it could be causing serious damage to your overall health. 

4.) What percent of people dream only in black and white?

According to the New York Times, only about 12 percent of people dream without color. Surprisingly, before color TV, it was found that the opposite was true, with only about 15% of people dreaming in color. Today, older people dream in black and white more often than their younger counterparts. 

5.) What is the term for finding it hard to get out of bed in the morning?

Everyone has days when it may be difficult to get out of bed. However, if you find it to be a nearly impossible struggle to rise from bed nearly every morning, it may be from something called dysania. This condition can have many underlying causes, one of which is sleep apnea. Getting your sleep apnea treated could help you overcome dysania and have you ready to tackle every day with energy and enthusiasm. 

6.) What percentage of married couples sleep in separate beds?

A National Sleep Foundation study found that 1 in 4 married couples sleep in different beds, while 10 percent sleep in different rooms. If your loud, continuous snoring is preventing you from sharing a bed with your partner, it may be worth seeing if you have sleep apnea and getting treatment.

Sleep apnea affects nearly 22 million Americans, but you don’t have to live with the restless nights it causes. Schedule a consultation with our office today and discuss your treatment options with us. We can find one that works for you and helps you reclaim that third of your life that you spend sleeping. Our Glen Burnie sleep apnea team looks forward to helping you find rest.

Chesapeake Sleep Center
Phone: 410-729-6794
7711 Quarterfield Road, Suite C-1
Glen Burnie, MD 21061

Sleep Apnea Treatment in Glen Burnie | Are There Different Kinds of Sleep Apnea?

Sleep Apnea Treatment in Glen Burnie

Sleep apnea affects an estimated 50 to 70 million Americans and is believed to be on the rise along with obesity rates and heart disease. This increase means it is more important than ever to stay informed. One fact to know: there are different kinds of sleep apnea. Let’s explore the two main types.  

Obstructive Sleep Apnea 

The most common kind of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). It is estimated to affect around 30 percent of men and 15 percent of women. Patients who suffer from this disruptive sleep disorder have difficulty with concentration, thought, and memory during the day. Obstructive sleep apnea has also been shown to cause more accidents in the workplace and while driving. In fact, people with sleep apnea have three times the risk of getting into a car accident than the general population.

Caused by a blockage of the airways during sleep, usually from excess body weight, OSA symptoms affect sufferers both day and night. During sleep they snore loudly, gasp for air, suffer from insomnia, and experience restless sleep.  By day, they may feel lethargic no matter how long they sleep and suffer from a host of issues including morning headaches, irritability and confusion, fatigue, poor memory and attention, and even sexual dysfunction. 

This type of sleep apnea also increases the risk of developing many other conditions, including high blood pressure, heart failure and heart disease, insulin resistance, and depression.

Central Sleep Apnea 

The second type of sleep apnea is referred to as central sleep apnea (CSA). Rather than creating an interruption to the airway, this type of sleep apnea occurs when the brain fails to send signals to the muscles responsible for breathing. Usually occurring in infants or adults with heart disease, this type of sleep apnea is just as serious as its counterpart but is significantly less common. 

Treatment for Sleep Apnea 

Symptoms vary between the two kinds of sleep apnea, and so do the treatments. When it comes to obstructive sleep apnea, the CPAP machine is the most common means of reopening the airway. However, for patients with a CPAP intolerance, oral appliance therapy is an excellent way to facilitate normal breathing throughout the night. We can explore this option with you if your OSA is mild to moderate.

The cause, symptoms, and frequency of the two sleep apnea types are different, and it is crucial to understand both. However, you need a healthcare professional to make a diagnosis and treat the underlying issues. 

If you believe that you or a loved one is suffering from either kind of sleep apnea, contact our Sleep Apnea dental office and schedule an appointment. We can help you determine if a sleep test is necessary and can provide you with expert treatment. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out and ask our Glen Burnie Sleep Apnea Dentist.      

Chesapeake Sleep Center
Phone: 410-729-6794
Url: https://chesapeakesleepapnea.com/
7711 Quarterfield Road, Suite C-1
Glen Burnie, MD 21061

Glen Burnie Sleep Apnea Dentist | How Sleep Apnea Changes Your Brain

Glen Burnie Sleep Apnea Dentist

If you suffer from sleep apnea, you may also be changing the structure of your brain. The oxygen deprivation associated with cessation of breathing may have serious consequences for your memory, emotional regulation, and cognitive function.

The physical side effects of sleep apnea are well documented. It is linked to conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease. But obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) can take a heavy toll on your brain in several ways.

Sleep Apnea and Mammillary Bodies

When individuals suffer from sleep apnea, they often struggle to breathe, or even stop altogether for short periods throughout the night. Loud snoring or gasping is a hallmark of this condition. As the brain’s oxygen supply is cut off, measurable physical damage occurs, changing the brain’s normal functions.

Mammillary bodies – the structures responsible for memory storage – are particularly affected by this lack of oxygen. A UCLA study compared the mammillary bodies of sleep apnea sufferers with those of healthy individuals. They found that the troubled sleepers had nearly 20 percent smaller mammillary bodies than those who slept well.

Multiple studies have discovered a decrease in both gray and white matter in OSA-affected brains. This research also concluded that poor sleep quality caused by obstructive sleep apnea could be responsible for poor memory, emotional problems, and decreased cognitive function.

Neurotransmitters and OSA

There are two important chemicals that impact how the brain is working. Referred to as neurotransmitters, these chemicals are glutamate and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Studies done by the UCLA School of Nursing found substantial differences in the amounts of these two chemicals present in the brains of sleep apnea patients. In high doses, glutamate can actually cause damage to the brain. The good news is these effects have been shown to be reversible.

Good News for Sleep Apnea Patients

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine conducted a pair of studies that evaluated the effects of CPAP therapy. They found that after one year of treatment, the white matter in patients’ brains was almost completely restored, while gray matter substantially improved after three months. CPAP therapy may not be the solution for everyone. In fact, oral appliance therapy can also achieve the goal of opening the airways and delivering more oxygen to the body in some people who are having difficulty adjusting to CPAP.

If you or a loved one is suffering from brain-related symptoms of sleep apnea, schedule an appointment with your Glen Burnie Sleep Apnea dentist. Together, you can find a solution that will have you feeling like yourself again.

Chesapeake Sleep Center
Phone: 410-729-6794
Url: https://chesapeakesleepapnea.com/
7711 Quarterfield Road, Suite C-1
Glen Burnie, MD 21061

Sleep Apnea Treatment Near Me | Kids and Sleep Apnea

When we picture someone who suffers from sleep apnea, we often think of an overweight middle-aged man. While many people who suffer from sleep apnea fit this description, the disorder can technically affect anyone, even children.

As you might imagine, there are noticeable differences in how sleep apnea affects young people. For example, while adults often experience daytime drowsiness, children will experience behavioral problems.

The most common cause of childhood sleep apnea comes from an enlargement of the tonsils. This differs greatly from adults, who are often affected due to weight gain.

Sleep apnea is a serious condition for everyone, but it’s especially serious for kids who are still developing mentally and physically. If left untreated, childhood sleep apnea can hinder their growth, affect cognitive development, and cause frequent illness.

Many studies from around the world have found that sleep is especially important to development for young people. If a child isn’t getting enough sleep, they might notice weight gain, difficulty focusing, problems in school, or even diabetes.

Growth hormones are primarily secreted during deep sleep, but if a child is suffering from sleep apnea, this deep sleep may not typically be achieved. One possible long term consequence can be stunted growth. Sleep also protects kids from obesity while building up a stronger immune system and attention span; without adequate rest, both will suffer.

Sleep quality affects many essential developmental functions in children. A careful sleep apnea evaluation by a specialist will offer insight and provide early intervention. Contact Chesapeake Sleep Center today!

Chesapeake Sleep Center
Phone: 410-729-6794
Url: https://chesapeakesleepapnea.com/
7711 Quarterfield Road, Suite C-1
Glen Burnie, MD 21061