Sleep is something we spend a third of our lives doing as it plays a critical role in our overall health. Sleep is a complex process of restoration and renewal for the body, it balances out our central nervous system, hormonal system and immune systems as well as processing experiences and consolidating memories. Most health institutes recommend 7-9hrs of sleep for adults which allows us to get through 4-5 sleep cycles during the night. Newborns require 16-18hrs, primary school 10-12hrs and teenagers 9hrs of sleep. Sleep has multiple stages including lighter phases N1 and N2, deep sleep N3 and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep where dreaming occurs. For an adult to get quality sleep and wake up refreshed requires 20% in N3 and 20-25% in REM sleep. Children require more time in N3 and up to 50% of the night in REM sleep in order to preserve memories and consolidate what they learn and maintain appropriate neurological connections.
Sleep deprivation may result in feeling tired or drowsy during the day in which caffeine or stimulants cannot help overcome, falling asleep within 5 minutes of laying down, micro sleeps which may cause accidents, poor hand eye coordination, slow reaction times and magnify the effects of alcohol.
Sleep disordered breathing is a general term for breathing difficulties occurring during sleep and includes conditions such as snoring, obstructive or central or mixed sleep apnoea and upper airway resistance syndrome. As many as 80% of people with sleep disordered breathing do not know they have it.
Watch this Channel 7 report to see how oral appliance therapy can help treat sleep apnoea: https://www.facebook.com/7NEWSsydney/videos/2165422146815240?s=100001576115065&v=e&sfns=mo
Children are not meant to snore or grind their teeth! Common signs and symptoms of children with sleep disordered breathing include snoring, sleep talking, sleep walking, night terrors, restless sleep, teeth grinding causing worn down teeth (bruxism), reflux, swallowing problems, mouth breathing, dark circles under the eyes, chronic allergies, difficulties with concentration, behavioural problems (e.g. ADHD), bed wetting, daytime sleepiness, feeling tired in the morning, performing poorly at school, headaches, ear infections, hearing problems, crooked teeth and much more…
Children consequences of untreated sleep disordered breathing include high blood pressure, lung problems, obesity, abnormally slow growth and development due to not producing enough growth hormones, behaviour and learning difficulties such as ADHD, social problems such as siblings or friends not wanting to share a room with them at sleepovers or camps, craniofacial malformation, lower IQ due to the death of brain cells, small jaws with crooked and crowded teeth.
Here is an informative video put together by a parent for the American Academy of Physiological Medicine and Dentistry that tells the story of her son’s journey and incredible treatment outcome (you may need some tissues for this one) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sk5qsmRyVcE
Common signs and symptoms of adults with sleep disordered breathing include snoring, gasping for air or choking in sleep, teeth grinding, insomnia, restless sleep, night sweats, weight gain, restless legs, nocturia, daytime sleepiness, feeling tired in the morning, easily fatigued, daytime naps, irritability, poor memory and concentration, confusion, mood and personality changes (e.g. depression and anxiety), headaches, sexual dysfunction and much more…