How to get a good night’s sleep infographic

Getting the proper amount of sleep each night is important for our patients’ health and well-being. As you know, this is because sleep is considered to be one of the biggest–and most underrated–factors in a person’s health. To help your patients get a better night’s sleep, take a look at the infographic below.

Feel free to download and print this infographic to share with your patients. Together we can provide our patients with the care they need to live healthier lives.

Comparing sleep apnea and quality sleep

There are about 90 million Americans that suffer from snoring during sleep. About half of these people are “simple snorers,” or primary snorers, while the other half might actually have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Knowing that so many patients might be suffering from OSA, it is important to help them understand how much quality sleep helps improve their health and well-being.

With so many people misdiagnosing themselves and inaccurately describing their condition, we need to continue to provide proper education for their reference. Understanding the differences between sleep apnea, snoring and quality sleep is important for our patients to better understand their condition.

To help your patients, I have created this infographic that looks at the differences between sleep apnea and quality sleep. Feel free to share it with them so they can see the impact of quality sleep versus sleep apnea on their health.  Take a look.

What other ways are you helping to educate your patients? I am always interested in hearing more from other dentists. Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Study suggests hypoxia is the main cause of BP rise in sleep apnea

Patients who had previously used continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) for the treatment of sleep apnea, found that it helped to eliminate their morning blood pressure elevations. It also substantially reduced hypoxia. In a recent study in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, relative to treatment with supplemental air, pure oxygen was associated with a 6.6 mm Hg decrease in systolic and 4.6 mm Hg decrease in diastolic pressure.

What is the connection?

Obstructive sleep apnea has been known as a risk factor for hypertension and cardiovascular disease. However, it was not clear if that risk was associated with recurrent arousal or intermittent hypoxia, according to the study.

Understanding that supplemental oxygen reduced intermittent hypoxia but had only a minor effect on markers of arousal, makes a strong case for intermittent hypoxia being the dominant cause of daytime BP increases in patients with sleep apnea.

This study shows us that by blunting the dips in oxygen levels, the use of oxygen can have a positive effect on a person’s BP. We can start to look at patients with sleep apnea who have experienced high blood pressure that is not adequately treated with hypertension medication. According to this study, that specific group of patients should benefit from the use of oxygen therapy.

Oxygen improves BP

In this double-blinded study, CPAP was withdrawn for 14 nights during each treatment arm. During this time, participants received supplemental oxygen or regular air overnight through a face mask. The primary outcome was the change in home morning BP following the withdrawal of CPAP. Secondary outcomes included oxygen desaturation index, apnea hypopnea index, and subjective and objective sleepiness.

The use of supplemental oxygen significantly improved measures of intermittent hypoxia. There was also a significant reduction in heart rate rises index. While additional studies are needed to determine the best candidates for supplemental oxygen therapy, it is important to note these findings.

We, as dentists, can continue to treat sleep apnea patients with oral appliance therapy, but we should be mindful to other treatment options and what a sleep physician suggests for the best outcomes.

Teenagers are not getting enough sleep

 

When we think about teenagers, we often think that they sleep too much. However, in reality, this is not the case at all. Teenagers are actually not getting enough sleep, which can negatively impact their health and wellbeing–they struggle to get the recommended eight to nine hours per night.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about one-third of American adults don’t get the recommended seven hours of sleep per night. This might be because of their jobs or hectic schedules, including working long shifts and then having to take their kids to school every day of the week. To add to that, about 50 to 70 million Americans suffer from a chronic sleep disorder, such as sleep apnea, according to a study by the  Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Sleep Medicine and Research.

The benefits of sleep for our patients

There is an abundance of research out there that suggests sleep helps us perform a range of vital functions including:

  • Restoring damaged tissues.
  • Boosting learning.
  • Improving memory.
  • Flushing toxins from the brain.

Sleep can also help our patients to remain motivated throughout the day, while also remaining safe behind the wheel of a car. Too little sleep can also have serious consequences on our patients’ health, such as an increased risk for obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

A lack of sleep for teenagers

In the journal Pediatrics, a recent study highlighted the importance of sleep for teenagers. With such busy lives, teenagers often struggle to meet the recommended eight to nine hours of sleep a night. More than 800 teens participated in this study and only 2.2 percent got enough sleep. And less than half of participants achieved desirable rates of sleep efficiency, which is the percentage of total time in bed that they are actually asleep.

As a result, teens that missed out on key amounts of sleep were more likely to be obese and scored higher on several other risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as high blood pressure. For teens who were able to sleep for longer and better quality, tended to have less fat around their waists, lower systolic BP and higher levels of “good” cholesterol. These were all signs of cardiovascular health.

We need to be on the lookout for various signs and symptoms in our teenage patients so we can take preventive steps. By understanding how sleep apnea can negatively affect their health, we can better care for our patients.