Sleep breathing disorders

Do you snore? Do you wake up with a sore throat? Do you feel tired during the day? Do you take a lot of naps? You probably have a sleep breathing disorder. But did you know your tongue plays a huge role in how well you sleep? That's because sleep apnea is also related to tongue ties!  If the tongue is restricted it cannot rest on the palate. So when you lay down for bed, the tongue has no where to go but backwards and will block the airway. 

 

Sleep apnea is a highly underdiagnosed problem that plagues our population. It doesn't always affect the stereotypical person who is underactive and overweight. Even small people can have a problem with their airway. Have you ever heard of Upper Airway Resistance (UARS)? UARS typically affects ladies in their forties who are starting to experience "the change", and yes it's also related to a decrease in hormone release! 

 

Not only are sleep breathing disorders common, they also affect kids! If sleeping babies and kiddos are snoring and sleeping with their mouths open-it's not good! Each snore isn't a cute noise, it's a block in the flow of life supporting air to the brain and heart. 

 

Having a reduction in oxygen is to linked behavioral issues like ADD/ADHD, reduction in IQ and academic performance, increased risk for heart disease, heart attack, and oh yea all kinds of brain degeneration problems like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and dementia.

 

While we sleep, every time we stop breathing for 10 seconds or more it's called an apnea. If it's less than 10 seconds it's called a hypopnea. Both apneas and hypopneas can send our bodies into a panic called "fight or flight". If we aren't breathing our brains wake up just enough so we can inhale some oxygen. But this constant waking up prevents us from reaching a deep stage of sleep called REM. This is our restorative stage in sleep where all of our memories and studies get filed away and organized. While our brains are busy doing smart brain things during the day, we create this build up of waste and dead cells called amyloid beta, it's like a sticky gunk made of amino acids.  If we don't reach REM sleep, the build up doesn't get removed. Day after day the gunky build up accumulates and creates "plaques", causing our brains get foggy and slow.