Snoring can be a problem.
Since my post Withdrawing With My Lack of Sleep, I have had many questions about my sleeping issue and cure. This post is based on research I have done on the subject. Much of my information is from the Ohio Sleep Medicine Institute.
My diagnosis was Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome. The cure is to wear a mouth guard that moves my jaw forward so air can move easier down my throat while I sleep. Even though it sounds so simple, the results are remarkable. It also causes me to breathe more through my mouth and it’s now easier to do so.
Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome (UARS) is obstructive breathing while sleeping. It can include severe snoring to where you wake yourself up and sleep is disruptive to mild snoring of minimal consequences. Snoring can be an indicator of this sleeping disorder but not necessarily so in all cases. I have only started snoring in the last few years, but my doctor believes I’ve had this disorder since I was a child. Snoring can increase with age and weight gain and can lead to what doctors say are “snore arousals.” Eventually the body is unable to get enough oxygen while sleeping and thus the reason many wake at night and then are tired in the morning.
Many who have severe snoring, like my husband, can have a very serious condition called Obstructive Sleep Apnea. My husband, through the years wakes up often during the night, and after a sleep test, was discovered he actually stops breathing for a number of seconds every hour.
Many people with sleep apnea wear a mask but there is another alternative, for those who don’t like or can’t wear the mask. My husband, who never liked his mask, now wears a mouth guard and this helps air to move properly and helps his snoring at the same time. This is a great alternative.
Diagnosed with Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome.
It is important to note that people don’t wake up one day and declare they have UARS. It progresses over time and often can be traced to a childhood trauma or illness. I always had problems with my tonsils as a child and would have tonsillitis. My doctor believes I’ve had UARS since those times of my swollen tonsils.
The simple cure is basically to open the airway to allow more air while sleeping, so the number of times a person wakes up is minimal. With a proper diagnosis, a person can improve their ability to go to sleep initially and then to maintain quality sleep at night. The goal is to maintain sleep throughout the night, have a more refreshing sleep, and to improve daytime alertness.
Even though my husband woke up often during the night, very common with sleep apnea, my main and first problem was my inability to fall asleep on my own. As I aged and my condition worsened, no medication could make me go to sleep all night.
When I finally went to my sleep doctor I was in such despair, a handful of drugs was having minimal effect. My doctor told me that my condition would only worsen and drugs would not help me.
My quality of life has improved.
After only one month with my mouth guard, my sleep improved tremendously. Now, months later, it’s not perfect. I still have nights I don’t sleep well. I take only one medication to fall asleep as I still have difficulty falling asleep. But my quality of sleep is improved and my quality of life has improved.
My goal is to get this information out so we can live healthier lives. I’ve had sleeping problems for many years and it has definitely affected my quality of life. Even though I’m much improved, I’m still adjusting. I have learned techniques that I will discuss in an upcoming post.
If you have a problem with any of these sleeping issues, or you think you may have a sleeping disorder, then get tested.
A good night’s sleep is worth a pot of gold.