Sleep Is Big News
There’s no denying that the connection between sleep and health has been made at last. The days of sleep being “the next best thing” are long gone. Celebrities, prominent doctors and the mainstream media are talking about how getting enough good sleep is vitally important if we want to live a happy and healthy life.
Our modern busy lifestyles don’t exactly lend themselves to sleeping well. Take time pressure plus an addiction to devices with bright screens, and combine them with a society that seems to respect people who burn the midnight oil, and you’ve got a foolproof recipe for not sleeping enough.
But what happens when your sleep is affected by a physical condition? For a long time, we’ve known exactly how harmful sleep apnea can be. But did you know that there are other breathing-related problems and symptoms that can prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep? This group of conditions is known as “sleep disordered breathing”, and it includes symptoms ranging from excessive snoring to grinding teeth to full blown obstructive sleep apnea.
How Bad Is It?
Patients who experience sleep disordered breathing may have their sleep patterns disrupted night after night. We all know how exhausted, grumpy and foggy-headed we feel after a few nights of bad sleep. Now imagine feeling like this for months and months, if not years. Many of you reading this will know exactly what I’m talking about.
However, this goes much deeper than just feeling really tired.
It’s a serious health issue too. For example, sleep apnea in children has been linked to conditions including ADD, reduced IQ, and developmental issues, and can even stunt a child’s growth. And in adults, the situation isn’t any better. Lack of sleep has been associated with a number of long-term problems involving chronic medical conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. All of which can lead to a shorter and less enjoyable life.
Who Does This Affect?
Far more people are affected by sleep disordered breathing than we ever imagined. I’ve been a practicing myofunctional therapist for seven years and in that time, I’ve seen hundreds of patients who have trouble sleeping, are chronically fatigued, and whose quality of life has declined.
I’ve realized that these problems can affect anyone from young children and healthy adults to athletes and the elderly. And the latest research and studies agree –children are surprisingly susceptible to sleep apnea and airway-related symptoms, while even slender adult females are at risk.
But There’s Some Really Good News
I’m happy to say that attitudes are changing. For decades, the healthcare system’s major sleep-related focus was older men with sleep apnea, and in most cases, an expensive CPAP machine was the “solution”. The general idea of getting a better night’s sleep just wasn’t a priority.
But with the new awareness of sleep as a general health issue, more and more options are becoming available for patients who suffer from sleep problems.
We’ve got devices, Apps, sleep trackers, books, lifestyle changes, herbs and other alternative products to choose from. All of them propose to improve our sleep, and many of them do a good job, but I think there’s a missing link, and that’s myofunctional therapy.
The Best Kept Secret In Modern Medicine
You don’t hear much about myofunctional therapy when you read about sleep problems, because the field isn’t as well known as it should be, even among doctors and dentists. But this is now changing thanks to multiple studies showing that myofunctional therapy is a great way to address and help to treat sleep apnea.
This is because in many cases, people who have sleep-related health issues also have weak and improperly functioning oral muscles. I’ve seen this over and over in my practice. By strengthening those muscles, the symptoms can be reduced.
Myofunctional therapy is an exercise-based treatment, much like physical therapy. So something it does brilliantly is to strengthen and re-pattern muscles. That’s why I consistently get great results with my patients. In fact, I believe that without myofunctional therapy, it’s entirely possible that other sleep-enhancement options might not be as effective.
Consider this situation – you could start practicing careful sleep hygiene by darkening your room, shutting off your tablet or phone before bed, or drinking chamomile tea etc. However, if once you drift off to sleep, you start snoring or experience the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea, then you’ll still be suffering from the effects of a bad night’s sleep and all the associated negative health consequences.
So What’s This Site All About?
Because so many of my patients have symptoms related to sleep disordered breathing, over the years, I’ve designed programs and exercises that help to address these issues.
As the awareness of sleep health grows, I’m seeing more and more patients whose primary complaints are sleep-related. So I’ve decided to expand my practice to cater specifically to their needs, which is where Sleep Apnea Therapist.com comes in.
If you, or someone in your family suffers from any kind of sleep-related condition, sleep exercise therapy may make a life-changing difference. Everyone deserves a good night’s sleep, and to experience restfulness and an improved quality of life. I can help.