We’d like to share another chapter from the textbook on dental sleep medicine that you may be interested in. In this next chapter, Mayoor Patel, DDS, joins Deepak Shrivastava, MD, and G. Gary Demerjian, DDS, to cover physiology of sleep and diagnosis for dentists. Here is what you can expect when reading this chapter.

A summary of the chapter

What we know about sleep is that it is a reversible state of behavioral quietness and lack of responsiveness to normal stimuli. This chapter notes that reversibility is what distinguishes sleep from other states of unconsciousness. 

The human brain falls asleep gradually, becoming less responsive to visual, somatosensory, auditory and other environmental stimuli during the transition. Then, during sleep, there is a reduction in the responsiveness to external sensory stimuli that is associated with closed eyes, limited muscle activity and recumbent position. At this point, a person’s body is in a rest and restoration state while the brain is in a state of suspension of consciousness. 

Understanding the physiology of sleep and diagnosis is key in understanding how to address and treat sleep apnea in patients.