Sleep Breathing Disorders

How’d You Sleep?


Snoring. There’s really nothing funny about the oft-parodied act.  At its very least, it can be the source of stress between bed partners and, at its worst, well, read on.

Snoring, a sleep breathing disorder, is a sign that you are not getting enough oxygen at a time when your brain, heart, and other critical organs need it badly.

Unfortunately, snoring is only one sign that you may not be getting enough oxygen at night. Some people actually stop breathing for a few seconds many times during their sleep! There are other silent sleep breathing disorders that could deprive your body and its critical organs of the air that it needs. And the consequences of not refreshing and re-energizing your body at night can be very serious over a long period of time.

People with sleep breathing disorders are at increased risk for:

  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • Gastroesophageal reflux (GERD)
  • Memory disorders including Alzheimer’s disease
  • Learning disabilities
  • Falling asleep during the day and behind the wheel of a car

There are other subtle and not-so-subtle signs that you may not be breathing well at night and, thus, getting enough sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation, nearly seven out of 10 Americans say they experience frequent sleep problems and a majority of American adults (67 percent) do not get the recommended eight hours of sleep per night.

Want to know if your body is getting enough quality sleep? Take this quiz to learn more.

Epworth Sleep Score Test

0 = would never doze
1 = slight chance of dozing
2 = moderate chance of dozing
3 = high chance of dozing

Sitting and Reading
Watching TV
Sitting inactive in a public place
As a passenger in a car for one hour without a break
Lying down to rest in the afternoon
Sitting and talking to someone
Sitting quietly after lunch (without alcohol)
In a car, stopped for a few minutes in traffic
Your Epworth Sleep Score

If your score is 10 or greater, we may be able to help. We can easily screen you for sleep breathing disorders using low-cost pulse oximetry. And for people diagnosed with sleep apnea, we are well-trained to provide and adjust a simple dental appliance that could help you breathe better. Dental appliances work and are better tolerated than cumbersome C-PAP or Bi-PAP machines.

You can find many educational materials and references in our office and on this website. If you or anyone you know, think you may have any of these problems, please ask us how we can help. It will be life-changing or even life-saving for you!