Sleep Disorder Breathing (SDB) goes unnoticed and off the radar of many health professionals. Many SDB is not caught until it becomes more advanced as sleep apnea and you stop breathing in your sleep. Do we really want to wait until our body is under that much stress and to a point of unhealthiness to get help and treatment?
Let's look at how important sleep is to our body. How much sleep do we need? Is it quantity or quality of sleep? When you wake up in the morning how do you feel? Ready to take on the day ahead or do you want to roll over and go back to sleep? Are you rested? Do you have a headache? If you are not breathing properly your body cannot reach it's full stage of restful sleep, recovery, and repair needed in order to perform at your optimal health. As you sleep do you toss and turn, wake up by snoring, gasping, coughing, needing to use the bathroom? All these are signs you are not getting the quality of sleep needed.
Diagnosis of sleep apnea can only be made by a medical sleep doctor. SDB has a broad spectrum of mild (stuffy nose, sleeping on your back) to moderate (snoring, gasping, coughing) and severe (stop breathing, sleep apnea) degrees of sleep disturbances. If you get tested and classify as mild to moderate, should you wait until you are severe and need sleep intervention with a CPAP machine or device? NO!
SDB is correlated with conditions of chronic fatigue, headaches, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, unexplained weight gain, bed wetting (up to teen years), ADD/ADHD behaviors, poor academics, allergies, grinding/clenching/TMJ. People who seem healthy suffer the most because they are younger, more symptom free, and doctors are less likely to be concerned. Compared to an overweight, High Blood Pressure, snoring, male with large neck. Commonly overlooked are athletes, allergy suffers, children, petite women, grinding and clenching. Unfortunately our healthcare system is more disease intervention then an advocate for prevention. You are a ticking time bomb is Sleep Disorder Breathing is not recognized!
Here are a few things to notice if you have SDB:
1. Waking at night for bathroom
2. Wake up with headaches
3. Unexplained weight gain or unable to loose weight
In children a few things to observe for SDB:
1. Bedwetting until late in age ie: pre-teen
2. Active sleeper, are the bed sheets all over the place?
3. Observe your child after they go to bed at different times. Are they mouth breathing?
4. Have your child wake you up when they wake up every time, it won't be fun but you will get to know how much sleep they are actually getting.
The picture shows my child sleeping with mouth open. Looking back there are lots pictures with open mouth. Over the years snoring went from bad to worse. During sports endurance needed for fast quick burst of sprinting were cut short from lack of oxygen needed for the task. Now it makes sense to me and we are working at improving oxygen intake and athletic performance is improving! SDB was one thing that started small and went unnoticed for years. I want to help others identify and reverse affects SDB has on our bodies.
As a myofunctional therapist my main concern is the airway. I am happy to discuss with you or anyone you know who maybe suffering from Sleep Disorder Breathing how we can work together with other health professionals to make you healthy! Please contact me for your complimentary assessment.
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