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.

Use Dr. Patel’s educational book on sleep apnea in your practice

It has been more than three years since I teamed up with Dr. Dillard to create an educational book on sleep apnea. We created this book to help educate dentists and other physicians on sleep apnea, as well as the options available for treatment. This book can also be read by patients for further information.

If you have not yet picked up “Freedom from CPAP: Sleep Apnea Hurts, the Cure Doesn’t Have To” then I highly recommend you purchase at least one copy now. Whether you read it as a dentist or you buy multiple copies to keep in your waiting room, the choice is up to you. And if you have already purchased the book, what should you do next?

Let’s take a look at two ways you can use this educational book to help your patients and staff in the area of sleep apnea.

Educate your patients on sleep apnea

The main purpose of this sleep apnea book is to get your patients “in the know” about sleep apnea. We work to inform you and your patients on sleep apnea and what it is–because not everyone understands this often debilitating sleep disorder. By understanding sleep apnea, your patients can take proactive steps toward better health.

Whether you sell this book to your patient, or give it to them, allow your patient to read this book for further knowledge of sleep apnea and treatment options available. The goal of this book is to educate patients on what sleep apnea is and what treatment options, other than CPAP, are currently available for comfortable care.

Maintain an informed dental team

“Freedom from CPAP: Sleep Apnea Hurts, the Cure Doesn’t Have To” can also be a beneficial tool for your office to read themselves while also sharing the information with patients. Supply this book for your team, or have them purchase the book to improve their knowledge and understanding of sleep apnea.

While it is important for patients to understand this condition, it is even more important for your dental office to know sleep apnea, what it is and how to treat it. Knowledgeable staff members go a long way in helping with diagnosis and treatment of your patients.

The more your patients and staff know, the better they are equipped to take the next steps in sleep apnea recognition and treatment. Click here to purchase Freedom from CPAP: Sleep Apnea Hurts, the Cure Doesn’t Have To from Amazon.

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.