Integrative Health Blog

Surprising Signs You May Have Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Posted by on Mon, Mar 08, 2021

The main symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, are loud snoring, gasping or choking during sleep. However, there are many other less-familiar signs of sleep apnea, and they might surprise you.

Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep condition that causes the muscles in your throat to relax repeatedly during sleep. This blocks your air passage and interrupts breathing. This may happen every time a person stops breathing, which can occur up to 120 times per hour. This disruption in breathing takes a great toll on the body and OSA can be a serious sleep disorder.

The Risks of Sleep Apnea

Left untreated, obstructive sleep apnea increases your risk of cardiovascular conditions such as high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes. Loud snoring, pauses in breathing during sleep and waking up gasping or choking are common symptoms of the condition. 

Not everyone with sleep apnea snores and vice versa, not everyone who snores has sleep apnea. You may be able to ascertain the difference simply based on how you feel during the day. Snoring on its own may not be disruptive enough to cause you to have restless sleep, as it does not normally awaken the sufferer. That means you simply won’t be as tired during the day. But there are other signs of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and if you experience any of these please get it checked out.

More Signs of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

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Tags: sleep disorders, biological dentistry

5 Steps to Better Sleep

Posted by on Mon, Sep 28, 2015

When we sleep, we heal. 

We know that getting enough sleep is important for good health, but many times it is the first thing we let slide when our “to do” list gets too long.   Optimal sleep allows us to be at our best both physically and mentally. Our performance can be affected both mentally and physically with getting just two to three hours less of what is optimal sleep for us per night. Many bodily functions such as brain activity, secretion of hormones and blood pressure rely on our ability to get optimal sleep.

When we talk about sleep we have to look at both the quantity and the quality of sleep.   While some sleep issues (sleep apnea, snoring) are more complicated, there are some easy things that we can pay attention to now that will help us get the optimal sleep that we need.

1. Keep it dark

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Tags: sleep disorders

8 Myths About Sleep Apnea

Posted by on Mon, Apr 20, 2015

Lowell Weiner DDS

Here are some common myths about sleep apnea that I have observed in my clinical practice:

1. MYTH: Overweight people are the only ones who have sleep apnea.      sleep_apnea

FACT: Adults and children can have sleep apnea, even if they are at a normal weight. It often goes undiagnosed, especially in children who are underachievers. While the stereotype for sleep apnea seems to be overweight men, post menopausal women are as likely as men to have sleep apnea.


2. MYTH: People who have sleep apnea are lazy.

FACT: Sleep apnea can definitely affect your energy level, but most people with sleep apnea don’t even know they have it, so it certainly has nothing to do with work ethic. It is estimated that 80 million people in the U.S. are undiagnosed, and a lack of restorative sleep can be debilitating over time.

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Tags: sleep disorders

Sleep Issue and Fatigue Solved with a Dental Sleep Appliance

Posted by on Thu, Dec 05, 2013

A Patient's  Story

"I had tried everything for my fatigue..."

"I was so fatigued I had tried everything. I have had rough health issues for the past 5 years.  I had been to several specialists including an ENT (ear/nose/throat) doc, gastroenterologist, pulmonary specialist, infectious disease, ayurveda, and Chinese Medicine. Some things would help but my fatigue was never resolved.

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Tags: fatigue, oral sleep appliance, sleep disorders

Headaches and Sleep Apnea

Posted by on Wed, Jun 19, 2013

Lowell Weiner DDS

Do you ever wake up with a headache, or get one by the end of the day?

Are they associated with neck pain or do you have a separate neck pain?

Headaches, Neckaches and Sleep Apnea

A new study from the University of Kansas Medical Center has shown that these symptoms are strongly associate with sleep apnea.  This is a new association. Non supine sleep provoked by sleep disordered breathing (as with sleep apnea) may play a previously unrecognized role in headache and cervical radiculopathy, or neck problems of the upper spine.

This information comes on top of the body's continued accomodation of postural changes that occur daily- everything that surrounds the throat- all muscles, etc. have to work to keep the throat and airway open. We know that jaw position pays a critical role in Jaw joint or TMJ problems, as it acts like a lever to the cervical spine and thus impacts the throat. This can decrease the space in the throat which can lead to decreased oxygen to the whole body and trigger headaches and sleep apnea. These headaches can occur in the early morning when getting up or throughout the day, and may be treated  by well-meaning physicians with drugs- but this does not address the cause of the problem because physicians are not trained in the biomechanics of the jaw. Many times a dentist's treatment of a jaw problem by way of the teeth can improve or contribute to the dysfunction of the jaw, which then acts like dominoes, affecting other areas to create a headache, neck ache or sleep problem. To further compound the problem, every time we swallow, which is over 2000 times a day, the effect is magnified.

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Tags: sleep disorders, dental health, TMJ, headaches

Sleep Loss and Your Genes

Posted by on Tue, Jun 04, 2013

Lowell Weiner DDS

Do you feel like you are not getting enough sleep?

If so, you may find that you experience a wide variety of health problems.

These medical problems tend to become additive over time-and according to a new study at the University of Surrey in England reported in the March 23 Science News, even a small deficit in sleep may affect your circadian rhythm, immune system,  and lead to health problems.

Sleep Loss May Change Your Genes

The volunteers in the study slept at least 8 hours a night for the first week. Then they were only allowed to sleep for up to 6 hours in the second week.  According to the Science News article, Sleep Loss Affects Gene Activity, “People were sleepy and sluggish after that week, and blood tests showed that the activity of 711 of their genes had changed,” researchers reported. In just 2 weeks and going from 8 hours of sleep to just under 6 hours of sleep- caused a change in over 700 genes including those that govern the immune system!

Better Sleep for Better Health

Is it any wonder that people who have lived the longest and have experienced the increased additive effect of lost sleep, have more illnesses? While it’s true that there are many causes for decreased sleep, sleep apnea and snoring will decrease the oxygen supply and thus decreases sleep. We tend to push on with less sleep and accommodate as best we can with an inefficient system, but this adds up over time to create health problems.  

Make restful sleep a priority. Get help for sleep apnea or snoring, which inhibits good quality sleep.

Sleep is not a luxury- our genes require it.

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Tags: sleep, sleep disorders, genetics