Summer has something for everyone. The Texas heat is perfect for swimming and other fun outdoor activities. However, it comes at a price, and if you suffer from sleep apnea in Texarkana, your condition may be aggravated by the warmer weather. Since sleep apnea can result in a slew of unwanted side effects, including depression, weight gain, and trouble concentrating, you’re going to want to alleviate your symptoms as much as you can. Keep reading below to learn how summer can worsen your symptoms and what you and your dentist can do to help.
How Summer Affects Your Sleep
Some of the ways summer can negatively impact your sleep include:
Lowered Amount of Sleep
With the increased hours of daylight, it’s natural to not feel sleepy until much later than normal. As a result, your time spent sleeping is reduced.
More Time Outdoors
If you have allergies that contribute to your sleep apnea, time spent outdoors can make them worse. You might experience more nasal congestion that hinders your ability to breathe at night.
It’s common to forget your oral appliance or CPAP machine when you go on vacation. You might think that a day or two without it won’t be a big deal, but even one night without treatment can interrupt your sleep and worsen your symptoms.
Tips for Higher-Quality Sleep
Here are some tips to improve the quality of your sleep this summer:
- Sleep in a comfortable place. A dark, cool room is the optimal environment for quality sleep. Turning on a fan can lower the temperature and also produce a relaxing noise. If you find that you’re not ready to wake up when the sun rises, invest in blackout curtains.
- Limit sun exposure in the evenings. Being outside late in the day delays your body’s release of melatonin, a hormone that helps you sleep. Spend the last few hours of your day inside to achieve better sleep.
- Wind down before bed. Being active in the evenings can make it difficult to turn off your brain for bedtime. For a couple of hours before bed, only engage in quiet activities with no screens, such as reading or listening to music.
Of course, if you have sleep apnea, you’ll probably need more than a few simple habits to treat it. Fortunately, your dentist can help.
How Your Dentist Can Treat Sleep Apnea
Traditionally, doctors prescribe CPAP machines, which involve an air pump that essentially does your breathing for you and keeps your airways open. However, these machines make loud noises that many people can’t tolerate. Instead, your dentist can offer an oral appliance. This comfortable plastic device gently shifts your jaw forward to open up your throat and prevent the tissue collapse that contributes to sleep apnea.
If you’ve found that your sleep apnea symptoms have been worsening lately, give your dentist a call today. Don’t be afraid to get the treatment you need to achieve the quality rest you deserve!
About the Author
Dr. Torin Marracino earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree in 2005 from the University of Tennessee. As a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, he is qualified to craft a customized oral appliance for you to help alleviate your sleep apnea in Texarkana. To learn more, you can visit his website or call (903) 838-9700.