Stress is a part of everyone’s life, but too much stress can sometimes cause problems. Stress can impact every aspect of your life, including sleep.
When you’re stressed, your body enters a fight-or-flight response, whether you’re aware of it or not. Your body releases large amounts of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones interfere with your natural circadian rhythms by sending signals to your autonomic nervous system that it’s time to be awake. As a result, you may struggle to fall asleep or stay asleep throughout the night, and you may experience excessive fatigue during the day. All of this can leave you feeling tired and irritable and can negatively affect your oral health as well.
Studies have shown that not only can stress lead to an increase in blood pressure, but it also can lead to other health problems like diabetes or heart disease. This increase in inflammation has effects on the cardiovascular system and even the immune system. As the health suffers, the amount of deep sleep the person gets decreases, leading to interrupted sleep and increasing the chance of sleep apnea.
Interrupted sleep means that breathing is not continuous throughout the night. This causes the oxygen levels in the blood to drop while the carbon dioxide levels increase. When the brain detects this, it will send signals to the body to wake up so that it can breathe again. When this happens multiple times during the night, it can cause a person to experience excessive fatigue during the day due to sleep deprivation.
To treat sleep apnea, a dentist will recommend the use of a CPAP machine with a mask that fits over the mouth and nose. The mask is attached to a hose that pumps air down the throat to help patients breathe easier while they sleep. There are also many oral appliances that can be used instead of a mask that can be worn at night. These can help reposition the tongue so that it doesn’t block the airway and cause interruptions in breathing.
Talk to your doctor about your symptoms and potential solutions. You may need to cut back on some of your commitments or add in some relaxation time. Some forms of stress can also be treated with medication and cognitive behavioral therapy. If you continue to have trouble sleeping, it may be time to visit your sleep specialist.
To learn more about sleep apnea Portland, OR, call us at (971) 339-0816 or visit the Sleep Health Partners office at 9370 SW Greenburg Rd, Suite 422 Rd Suite 422, Portland 97223.
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9370 SW Greenburg Rd, Suite 422, Portland, 97223