Breathe Right in Order to Sleep Right

You’ve tried following all the advice you can about getting a good night’s sleep.

You avoid caffeine hours before you hit the sack. You stay off your phone for at least a half hour before going to bed. You even took your television out of your room, so you aren’t tempted to keep binge watching one of your favorite shows.

But no matter what you do, you wake up each morning feeling like you barely got any sleep. So, all day at work, you are sipping caffeinated drinks to fight off how sleepy you feel.

You even get a little worried because you’ve caught yourself feeling drowsy behind the wheel while driving a few times, too.

If any of what we described seems familiar, then you need to talk to Dr. Mark W. Wilhelm. You may be suffering from sleep apnea, and our dentist could be the perfect person to help with your treatment.

Call 651-319-9064 to set up a consultation at our office in Woodbury, MN.


You Aren’t Really Sleeping

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder. With this particular problem, you are doing two things throughout the night: stopping breathing and waking up.

Now, you probably won’t have any memory of either of these things happening. It does explain why you feel so tired no matter when you go to bed or when you wake up.

When you have obstructive sleep apnea, your airway gradually becomes cut off when you fall asleep. This often happens because the tissues near your airway relax and collapse in a way that restricts your airflow as you breathe.

When that happens, your body’s response is to wake you up enough so you can take a few breaths before you drift off again.

Depending on how severe your sleep apnea is, this can happen anywhere from 5 to more than 30 times every hour that you are “sleeping.”


Sleep Cycles

Health experts believe you need deep sleep to recover from day to day.

When we sleep we go through various stages, starting with light sleep and gradually transitioning to deep sleep. This includes REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, which is when people are most likely to dream.

If you are suffering from untreated sleep apnea, you may never reach deep sleep. The frequency of your breathing stoppages may cause you to wake up before you get to deep sleep. As a result, you can suffer from sleep deprivation when you are awake. In addition to frequent daytime sleepiness, you may have frequent morning headaches, have trouble concentrating on projects or tasks, or have a tendency to become irritated easily.

Another common symptom of sleep apnea is snoring. Now, most people snore from time to time. This is the sound made when the soft tissues near your airway vibrate.

The sound becomes louder as your airway is more restricted, which means someone with sleep apnea snores almost constantly when he or she is asleep. Your spouse, family, or friends have probably noticed this. (Just ask, we’re sure they’ll tell you about it.)


The Right Treatment for You

The key to any sleep apnea treatment is finding a way to help you continue breathing when you fall asleep. If you can find a way to keep your airway open, then you will be able to breathe with fewer interruptions. That means you’ll be much more likely to get deep, healthy sleep.

Dr. Wilhelm can find the treatment that will work best so that you:

  • Wake up feeling rested
  • Reduce your daytime sleepiness
  • Snore less often

We offer three great solutions at our practice.

CPAP therapy is the treatment option many people know about. This involves wearing a mask over your nose or your mouth and nose. A machine pushes air into the mask and into your airway to keep it open.

But many patients have difficulty with CPAP treatments, which is why we also offer custom-made oral appliances. These keep your airway open by shifting your jaw slightly forward while you are sleeping. This works a little differently than a CPAP, but it can be as effective if not more so for many patients.

And we are the first treatment center in Minnesota to offer combination therapy. These use CPAP machines with custom-designed masks that allow you to get the benefits of an oral appliance as well.


If you are ready to feel refreshed in the morning, then you are ready to contact us online or call 651-319-9064. The sooner you make your appointment with Dr. Wilhelm, the sooner we can help you start sleeping well.



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