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Sleeping Pills and Sleep Apnea a Dangerous Combination

July 16, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dr. Remmers @ 12:40 pm

Woman taking sleeping pills with waterIf you have sleep apnea, chronic snoring isn’t the only challenge you deal with. You might struggle with daytime fatigue despite sleeping the recommended 7-9 hours each night. The interruptions in your breathing affect your sleep cycles because you’ll be jarred awake every time your oxygen levels drop too much. Sleep apnea can also cause insomnia, making it even more difficult to get a good night’s rest. Sleeping pills might seem like the ideal solution but mixing certain medications with sleep apnea might just be a recipe for disaster.

Insomnia and Sleeping Pills

You might believe it’s impossible to have both insomnia and sleep apnea, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Research shows at least 30% of adults experience acute insomnia at one point while 54 million people in the U.S. have sleep apnea. As a result, there’s a high likeliness you might have both issues.

Whether you’re battling insomnia or losing sleep from pauses in breathing, reaching for over-the-counter medicines may appear to be a quick fix for your sleeping problems. Unfortunately, mixing certain medications can either help or hurt your sleep apnea symptoms.

You can doze off using OTC sleeping pills, like Advil PM or Benadryl, but they can also increase your risk of sleep apnea complications. Even if you have mild sleep apnea, the medications cause your mind and body to relax. As a result, the body and throat structures will also relax to some degree, which can raise the likeliness of a narrowed airway. You may experience more frequent and longer breathing interruptions, which can significantly increase your risk of other health issues, like cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure.

Get the Rest You Need

If you’re feeling less than your best in the morning or tossing and turning at night, the safe solution to sleep soundly might be as simple as seeing your dentist. If you’re not treating your sleep apnea, you’re placing your health and quality of life at risk. Although it may seem like nothing more than a nuisance, treating the disorder is crucial for your overall well-being and quality of sleep.

Traditionally, a CPAP machine is used to deliver a steady stream of air pressure to prevent the soft tissues from blocking your airway. Although it’s effective, some patients find it bothersome. As an alternative to a CPAP, patients with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea can benefit from oral appliance therapy. A custom-made device is worn while sleeping to protrude the lower jaw forward. This prevents any obstructions to prevent interruptions in breathing.

Your sleep quality and mental health will improve as you safeguard your general health from any potential complications. Don’t spend another day fighting fatigue. Get the rest you need and breathe easier with sleep apnea therapy.

About Dr. Kenneth Remmers

Dr. Remmers earned his dental degree from the University of Louisville. He regularly continues his training to provide up-to-date services, like oral appliance therapy. If you’re ready to treat your sleep apnea or stop your chronic snoring, contact our office today to schedule your consultation.

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