Keywords: Sleep apnea, obstructive sleep apnea, sleep disorders, insomnia, continuous positive airway pressure, CPAP, CPAP alternative, oral appliance, and apnea-hypopnea index (AHI).
According to Fotolia’s Dan Race, sleep disorders lead to 253 million days of sick leave a year in the United States alone. Sleep apnea and sleep breathing disorders can cause us to be less productive at work and may lead to serious accidents. “When you feel tired and indisposed, your performance at work suffers,” says Børge Sivertsen, professor at UiB’s Department of Clinical Psychology and senior researcher at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. Sleep apnea is a severe problem and it affects four to five percent of the population. If you suffer from sleep apnea, it is possible for you to stop breathing for up to 40 seconds, several times a night. This puts a strain on the heart and can prevent you from reaching a deep sleep. Dr. Stan Farrell, a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine and board certified with the American Board of Orofacial Pain, has extensive training in treating sleep apnea and other sleep disorders. AZ TMJ offers one of the leading alternatives for the CPAP, which is an oral appliance that can be used in conjunction with a CPAP or as a stand-alone oral appliance depending on the severity of the individual’s OSA. If you think you might be suffering from obstructive sleep apnea, call Dr. Farrell at 480-945-3629 to schedule your consultation. Also visit us online at www.az-tmj.com.
The University of Bergen (2012, November 1). Sleep problems cost billions. ScienceDaily.
Insomnia and sleep apnea are turning us into major health service consumers, causing us to be less productive at work, and may even lead to serious accidents.
If you can’t sleep at night, you’re not alone. Around ten per cent of the population suffers from insomnia, where you have trouble falling asleep, wake up frequently at night, and still feel tired when the morning comes.
“When you feel tired and indisposed, your performance at work suffers,” says Børge Sivertsen, professor at UiB’s Department of Clinical Psychology and senior researcher at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.
Sleep apnea is a more severe problem, affecting four to five per cent of the population. Sufferers can stop breathing for up to 40 seconds several times during the night, putting a huge strain on the heart. As a result, they have many micro-awakenings that stop them from reaching deep sleep.
Bad night, bad day
According to the sleep scientist, a recently-published study from the United States puts the annual losses from insomnia alone at 63.2 billion US dollars annually. Only a third of this was due to actual absence from work; two thirds was due to a loss in productivity while at work.
“An Australian study found that about two per cent of Australia’s GDP is lost due to sick leave caused by insomnia and sleep apnea disorder. This shows how common these diseases are and how much they affect work,” Sivertsen says.
Danger on the roads
In their own ways, each sleep disorder also has a strong impact on accident statistics. For example, lorry drivers have sedentary jobs, and this increases the risk of developing obesity and sleep apnea.
“The disease is a major cause of the many traffic accidents on American roads,” Sivertsen says.
As for insomnia, drug use can cause problems. Sivertsen’s studies show that sedatives can cause users to feel less rested during the daytime.
“Sleep medication may work in the short term, but after six weeks of use we noticed a decrease in deep sleep. Sleep may be uninterrupted, but you may not necessarily get quality sleep,” he says.
Testing every treatment there is
Sleep disorder sufferers are often major health care users, which leads to an increase in social costs.
“When you feel bad, you will try every treatment there is. There is an overconsumption of alternative methods amongst insomnia sufferers. They often consume too much alcohol and visit their GPs, psychologists, physiotherapists, and chiropractors more often.”
Sivertsen wants insomnia treatment to become more accessible, and to include cognitive behavioural therapy.
“Several recent studies show that the Internet can be used to offer good and cost-effective methods of treatment. This is particularly true in areas where sleep centres are few and far between,” he suggests.