Do you have trouble getting to sleep, staying asleep, or both? Meanwhile, does it seem like you are always battling some kind of cold or illness, or just always feel “under the weather”? We hate to break it to you, but these conditions probably are linked to your sleep patterns. Scientific research has determined a link between sleep deprivation and being more susceptible to getting sick. In this blog, your sleep apnea dentists at Wall Street Dentistry want to explore the impact that living with sleep loss can have on your immune system.
Bad things happen when you fail to get the needed amount of proper, restful sleep
When you are asleep, you might be resting, but your body keeps working. Specifically, you produce proteins that boost your immune system. These proteins provide invaluable defenses against stress, inflammation, and falling prey to bacteria and viruses that can make you sick. Living with sleep loss over time impedes the production of these proteins, negatively affecting your immune system.
This is just one of the consequences of living with sleep loss. Other possible problems caused by sleep deprivation include problems maintaining mood, difficulty focusing and concentrating, having lapses in judgment, no longer enjoying your favorite activities, poor performance at work or school, and unexplained weight gain.
Here’s how to take ownership of your sleep
Adults between the ages of 18 and 60 are recommended to get an average of seven hours of sleep each night, but sometimes this isn’t possible due to schedules or childcare. In this case, go for quality, rather than quantity. Six or even five hours of deep, restful sleep is better than seven or more hours of mediocre sleep where you are waking up constantly.
If you live with a sleep breathing disorder, this can be a major disruption to your ability to get proper rest. Sleep disorders are estimated to affect 50 to 70 million people in the U.S., according to data compiled by the American Sleep Association, and one of the most serious of these disorders is obstructive sleep apnea—a breathing disorder that occurs when the airway becomes impeded or completely blocked during sleep. These blockages disrupt the sleep cycle and can occur dozens or even hundreds of times per night, leaving a person with sleep apnea feeling fatigued regardless of how long they slept.
Know the symptoms of sleep apnea
The major warning sign of sleep apnea is snoring. Other common signs of this sleep breathing disorder include daytime fatigue, fragmented sleep, restless sleep, regularly waking up with headaches, and problems concentrating. Remember, however, that you can have sleep apnea without being a snorer. It also is important to remember that anyone of any age, even babies, can suffer from sleep apnea.
Millions of Americans go their entire lives with untreated sleep apnea
According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, there are approximately 22 million individuals in this country living with sleep apnea, with a staggering 80 percent of modest and severe cases of the disorder never being diagnosed, which also means they aren’t being treated. Living with untreated sleep apnea does more than just make you more likely to get sick; it also elevates your risk factor for many ailments that are chronic and life threatening, including cardiovascular disease, stroke, dementia, depression, and even certain forms of cancer.
Sleep apnea evaluation in Boaz
Why live with these elevated risks? If you have been living with sleep loss for a significant period of time, you owe it to yourself to be evaluated for sleep apnea by your Guntersville dentists at Wall Street Dentistry. Schedule your appointment today by calling (256) 878-0525.
Wall Street Dentistry serves patients in the areas of Albertville, Boaz, and Guntersville, Alabama.