A new study suggests that people who suffer from vivid nightmares – particularly those involving breathing difficulties – may be suffering from obstructive sleep apnea, a condition affecting around 22 million Americans. According to researchers, dreams involving things like drowning, being lost in space, and choking may be subconscious responses to breath cessation during sleep.
Obstructive sleep apnea is marked by airway blockage during sleep. Often a result of soft tissue collapse, this blockage causes breathing to stop for several seconds, sometimes more than 10, before the body struggles and breathing begins again. Because this happens during sleep, however, many people are unaware they are suffering from the disorder.
It is estimated that nearly 90% of obstructive sleep apnea cases remain undiagnosed. If you are experiencing vivid nightmares or any of the other symptoms of sleep apnea, it is a good idea to discuss treatment options with one of our dentists to help treat the condition and prevent serious consequences.
Why Treat Sleep Apnea?
Untreated sleep apnea can result in a range of serious complications. The condition is linked to excessive daytime fatigue, which increases risks for motor vehicle and other types of accidents. It is also linked to increased instances of depression, anxiety, mood swings, and memory and concentration problems. Equally worrisome, sleep apnea is a known risk factor for:
- Metabolic syndrome
- Heart attack and stroke
- Type 2 diabetes
Treating sleep apnea can help to reduce your risks for these potentially fatal complications.
Sleep Apnea Treatment
At our Ardmore office, we treat sleep apnea with customized oral appliances such as:
- Snore Guard®
- Tap® 3 Elite
Trusted, proven effective, and much less invasive than other types of sleep apnea treatment, these oral devices keep soft tissue in place and gently angle the jaw to help ensure continuous airflow while you sleep, serving to prevent breath cessation and treat the most dangerous aspect of sleep apnea.
If you are experiencing any sleep apnea symptoms, we encourage you to call our Ardmore office at 610-642-7024 to schedule a treatment consultation and learn how we can help.