You can feel confident in the sleep apnea treatment, support, and results that Dr. Hedgecock will provide at Sleep Better Austin. He is a proud member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, and routinely takes part in continuing his education so that he can remain on the forefront of research and technology. With so many years of successful sleep apnea treatments, you won't find yourself in more capable hands than with Dr. Brandon Hedgecock at Sleep Better Austin
Sleep Apnea: When It’s More Than Snoring
Sleep apnea is one of the leading causes of sleep deprivation in America. Over 18 million Americans have sleep apnea, and many of them don’t receive adequate treatment. Sleep apnea can be difficult to diagnose, because aside from loud, chronic snoring, many of the signs seem vague and unrelated.
Do you wake up with a headache or feeling generally unrefreshed? Do you find yourself downing cup after cup of coffee to fight fatigue throughout the day? It could be more than just a bad night’s sleep—it could be sleep apnea.
Why is Sleep Important?
On the surface, sleep is our chance to relax, unwind, and essentially “turn off” after a long day. But while we’re counting sheep, our bodies are actually hard at work repairing themselves and restoring vital energy for our daily lives. Scientists have been studying sleep for years, and its importance can’t be overstated: 7 ½ to 8 hours of quality sleep is crucial for long-term physical and mental health.
What Sleep Does for Your Body:
- Balances hormones, especially those tied to hunger and satiety
- Regulates insulin, the hormone responsible for controlling blood sugar
- Repairs cells, including your muscles and blood vessels
- Strengthens immune system
What Sleep Does for Your Brain:
- Strengthens your attention and memory
- Improves complex problem-solving skills
- Stabilizes mood and coping mechanisms
- Facilitates creativity and learning
How Loss of Sleep Can Affect You
We all have restless nights every now and then that leave us feeling sluggish the next day, but long-term lack of sleep can have a ripple effect on your overall health and well-being. Over time, a deficit of just 1-2 hours a day can diminish your performance at work, in school, and in physical activities.
Did You Know...
- Chronic sleep deprivation can have a negative effect on your cardiovascular health.
- Insomnia has been strongly linked to depression and other mood disorders.
- Loss of sleep deregulates your hormones and appetite, which can lead to weight gain.
- Drowsiness can slow your reaction time as much as alcohol does.
- Inadequate sleep weakens your immune system and can even cause premature aging.
- Sleep loss wreaks havoc on relationships; it can decrease libido, increase irritability, and pit couples against one another in the battle for a good night’s sleep.
Knowing how important sleep is for optimum physical and mental function, it’s not surprising that our bodies find ways to rectify the effects of sleep loss—whether we know it or not! One major way the brain attempts to catch up on missed sleep is through a phenomenon called microsleep. Have you ever found yourself nodding off in an important meeting or arriving home to realize you don’t remember the drive? You tell yourself you were just bored or distracted, but you probably experienced an episode of microsleep.
Microsleep is a brief lapse in consciousness during which the brain’s “alert” waves are replaced by very low waves commonly seen in REM sleep. Your head nods, you’re yawning excessively, and you just can’t seem to keep your eyes open. Microsleep can last anywhere from a fraction of a second to a full minute. While it’s dangerous in itself, microsleep can be deadly if you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time.