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A restless and sleepless night is a recipe for a long and unproductive day – but that can just be the tip of the iceberg.

Lack of sleep will impede one’s ability to be alert and stay awake during daytime activities such as work or school. Having a day like this is not out of the ordinary.

Always having days like these? Then there may be something that has truly gone awry.

Sleep apnea, a condition that blocks airways while you sleep, can be the underlining condition that leads to lack of sleep, snoring, difficulty in breathing and more. This serious condition shouldn’t be ignored just as a nuisance to your bedtime partner.

There are several reasons why you shouldn’t put off making an appointment if you think you’re impacted by sleep apnea, which can result in the following medical issues.

Lack of sleep will put unnecessary stress on the body and heart.

Sleep apnea will deprive the body of oxygen, overworking the heart and circulatory system.

All the extra energy your heart will exude to make up for the lack of oxygen can cause blood pressure to skyrocket.

Heart disease
The stress of an overworked heart can lead to long-term disease.

With each passing night that you do not get rest, it means another day of strain on your cardiovascular health.

Heart conditions are a leading cause of death in the United States and can arise from poor sleep and other sleep apnea symptoms.

Mood swings
It’s normal to get a little cranky, especially in the morning after a night of little sleep.

Over time, mood swings can become chronic.

In addition to moodiness and irritability, depression can also result from sleep apnea.

Weight gain
Good sleep is associated with overall health and wellness.

When you don’t get enough sleep, the entire body suffers, including the mechanisms that regulate hunger.

This imbalance can lead to weight gain and poor nutritional intake and can get worse if the underlying condition is not addressed.

Along with weight gain, there are other metabolic consequences arising from sleep apnea. Lack of sleep can bog down the body’s ability to produce insulin, which is needed to transport glucose in the blood to the cells.

Research shows a link between type II diabetes and sleep apnea.

Lack of focus
After a long night of no rest, it’s natural to feel unprepared for the day ahead.

Sadly, lack of focus and concentration will likely be a daily occurrence for sleep apnea sufferers.

Impaired concentration can have long-lasting effects and lead to poor judgement, careless mistakes, including serious occupational hazards, endangering you and those around you.

Our dental team is trained at assessing risk factors for sleep apnea. Treatment may involve referral for a professional “sleep study.” Therapy can include use of a CPAP unit to assist with breathing or a dentist-fabricated oral appliance to open your airway at night.

If you are concerned about a possible sleep disorder, please contact us for an evaluation. Early treatment will reduce your chances of serious health problems.