The holidays are upon us once again!
Are you already planning a secret surprise from Santa? While your kids are sleeping, you’ll nibble from Santa’s cookies and take a swig of his egg nog. After all, you don’t want to disappoint your little elves who left a snack to get Santa through his long journey.
Once you finally close your eyes and drift off to sleep, your little people are in your room. You’ve got a long day ahead of you and have been counting on the kids getting a good night’s rest. But they heard loud noises and are convinced Santa is experiencing some type of mechanical failure on the roof.
The reality of the situation is that your loud snoring woke them up! Not only has your late night gotten longer, but you can look forward to mid-day meltdowns from the kiddos. To top things off, your sleeping partner is annoyed that your snoring has somehow gotten worse since the kick-off of holiday festivities.
If your loud snoring disrupts your life or your sleep partner’s rest, you may be suffering from sleep apnea. And your Christmas routine, or lack thereof, is making it worse. The good news is that you can give yourself the gift of relief this holiday season.
Avoid Worsening Snoring & Sleep Apnea to Stay on Santa’s Good List
Chances are, your wish list is probably full of clickable links to the products or experiences you’d love. No matter if you’re still writing letters to Santa in glitter pens or have taken the modern approach, make sure to include an appointment with a snore specialist.
Whether you’re sleeping alone or staying with relatives in a full house, snoring caused by sleep apnea is worrisome. For the solo sleeper, you likely wake up tired and feel fatigued throughout the day. This leads to a downward spiral of less exercise, weight gain, increased risk of cardiovascular disease, and more.
However, for those hoping to let their sleeping partners and children sleep through the night, your snoring affects more than just you.
Moreover, if you’re staying with friends or family during the holidays, your loud snoring may be waking the entire house. And your hosts may start to wonder if they should cut your visit short.
[Related: Why does Snoring Happen?]
Tired of the sleepless nights and foggy days? Figure out whether or not your snoring is actually sleep apnea and schedule your sleep study with Pasha Snoring & Sinus Center today.
Why You Snore & Why It’s Worse Over the Holidays
The reason you snore is because structures within your respiratory system vibrate while you breathe during sleep. The noise occurs when obstructions prevent air movement. For many people, the sound is soft and a non-issue. However, loud and severe snoring is a symptom of sleep apnea.
If you suffer from sleep apnea, your symptoms may include:
- Increased irritability
- Mood swings
- Low energy levels
- Lowered libido
- And more
It’s important to realize that your routine may be to blame for your snoring and sleep apnea. Excessive weight, overconsumption of alcohol, lack of exercise, and more can make the symptoms worse.
Moreover, the common change in routine around the holidays is known to trigger worsening sleep apnea. This is because many people find themselves drinking and eating too much while celebrating. In fact, Americans average 2.5 more minutes of snoring in December than the rest of the year.
Sleep Apnea Facts You Need to Know
Let’s get into some not-so-jolly sleep apnea facts. While some people may have been born with obstructive throat tissues, snoring is more commonly caused by lifestyle factors.
If any part of the upper airway from the tip of your nose to the deep throat is obstructed, then it’s likely to cause snoring. While you sleep, these areas may completely or partially collapse. In turn, the obstructions result in increased vibrations.
Another cause may be due to a weak throat closing during sleep, preventing air from getting through. This causes sleep apnea sufferers to wake up gasping for air, which can lead to nightmares along with life-threatening symptoms.
In addition to medical conditions, snoring may result from your sleeping environment. For example, if you sleep on your back, then your tongue may slip to the back of your mouth. This is why snorers are encouraged to sleep on their sides.
Sleep apnea can wreak havoc on your overall health and quality of life. Find relief with our ENT specialist this holiday season.
Why a Sleep Study Should Be on Your List
To get to the root cause of your snoring, you should ask Santa for a sleep study. Referred to by doctors as a polysomnography (PSG), a sleep study can determine what is causing you to snore. Additionally, the results can determine whether you suffer from sleep apnea, obstructive sleep apnea, or something else.
During a sleep study, a sleep specialist watches for a number of different events. This includes brain wave activity, eye movement, muscle tone, heart rhythm, and breathing.
Normally, PSGs are conducted in a sleep center, requiring a one- or two-night stay. However, some sleep studies can be done in the comfort of your home.
Sleep centers are designed to help patients fall asleep comfortably. You can wear your reindeer pajamas, watch Christmas movies, read about old Saint Nick, and even bring your own candy cane-shaped pillow.
The process includes a series of electrodes and monitors placed on your head, chest, and legs. The electrodes measure how many paused breathing incidences (apnea) occur throughout the night. The results contain information including:
- Sleep and wake times
- Stages of sleep
- Abnormal breathing
- Blood oxygen content
- Movement during sleep
The results of your sleep study help Dr. Pasha determine the best course of treatment. Because the effects of sleep apnea can be life threatening, it’s important for your quality of life to uncover the cause.
[Related: How to Convince Your Partner to Participate in a Sleep Study]
Treatment Options to Help You & the Elves Sleep
Now for the part that will help you become the perfect holiday guest, sans snoring waking up the entire house.
Weight Loss Program
For many patients, improving lifestyle choices can restore your sleep breathing back to normal.
We understand that this may be difficult, especially for those already in a cycle of daytime fatigue and sleepless nights. This is why Pasha Snoring & Sinus Center offers a weight loss program.
CPAP & BIPAP
Many people find relief with the use of CPAP and BIPAP machines.
While CPAP and BIPAP do not cure sleep apnea, they do provide a non-invasive treatment. When used properly, CPAP and BIPAP provide relief for most patients. However, some patients are not able to tolerate the sound and/or placement of the mouth piece on their face.
If lifestyle changes don’t produce results and a patient is not a candidate for CPAP or BIPAP machines, dental devices are an option.
These oral appliances support the relaxed jaw to keep it in a neutral and forward position. Doing so maintains an open upper airway in the throat. Studies prove that compliance is much higher with dental devices than with CPAP and BIPAP machines.
Some patients may be candidates for simple in-office procedures to treat their sleep apnea. These include:
- Palatal Stiffening: Hardens the soft palate to reduce snoring and mild sleep apnea.
- Balloon Septoplasty: Reshapes a deviated nasal septum to increase breathing quality.
- Radiofrequency Ablative Therapy of the Turbinate: Reduces the size of turbinates to quiet mouth breathing and snoring.
- Uvuloplasty: Reshapes the uvula to eliminate sleep apnea symptoms such as snoring and gasping for air.
Patients who suffer from severe sleep apnea may require advanced surgical solutions. However, Dr. Pasha will explore less invasive methods before turning towards surgery.
Ready to Add a Good Night’s Sleep to Your Christmas List?
You can let go of the worries of waking your sleeping partner and children with your snoring.
When you decide to take part in a sleep study, you’ll be able to locate the cause of your snoring and sleep apnea. Dr. Pasha will then decide on the best treatment option for your exact needs.
Ready to kick the holiday season off right? Visit our ENT specialist, Dr. Pash, for anappointment today.