I am 64 and a dentist. Five years ago, I had never heard about Sleep Apnea and couldn’t tell you what a CPAP was. My wife and I were both healthy, not over weight but we were not sleeping well. Karen, my wife, would wake up 4 to 6 times every night and go to the restroom. The movement of the bed always woke me up, so I was up 4 to 6 times waiting my turn for the rest room. We were both hurting for more sleep and tired during the day. I now know that the tiredness was a Sleep Deficit that we had accumulated from lack of good restorative sleep.
I began to notice that Karen moved her feet a lot, kind of a little twitch before she would wake up and then get up. I also noticed that the soft whisper of her breathing would stop (she did not snore) for 10 to 20 seconds before she would shift her feet and start the whisper breathing again. Later, I found out that she was not breathing during those times (sleep apnea) and her shifting feet were arousals that occurred as she started breathing again. Each arousal meant that her ideal sleep pattern was broken and she would have to start a new sleep cycle again. You cannot just pick up where you left off in your sleep cycle.
Sleep, good restorative sleep, is 4 to 5 cycles per night of Stage 1, 2 and 3 then REM Sleep. Each stage is important in its own right and has different brain wave characteristics and physiological activity. Poor sleep meant that we didn’t make it thru those cycles or stayed stuck all night long in Stage 2 or 3.
Poor Sleep creates sleep deficits and Sleep Deficits mean a Poor Quality of Life.
Out of a need to fix our problem, I took my first Sleep Course at LVI (the Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies). Subsequently, Karen was tested for SDB (Sleep Breathing Disorders) with a PSG over night sleep study at a certified Sleep Center. She was diagnosed by a AASM (American Association of Sleep Medicine) doctor, who was Board Certified in Sleep Medicine, as having Moderate Sleep Apnea. She would stop breathing over 15 times each hour.
The usual treatment is with a CPAP. It is a forced air mask worn over the nose or nose and mouth and makes you breath. Instead, Karen chose to have a Sleep Apnea Dental Appliance which moves the jaw and tongue forward and keeps the airway open, and therefore no Sleep Apnea.
Ours nights are now calm, peaceful and quiet. Karen rarely gets up at night and we both feel rested during the day. The SomnoMed dental sleep appliance goes with us where ever we go. It has got rid of our sleep deficits, improved our day time alertness, improved our over all health and we both dreaming again—big time. By the way, a lack of dreaming is one signs of poor sleep quality and possibly Sleep Apnea.