The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently reported that the rate of diagnosis for ADHD and other attention disorders have increased by 15% in the last five years. Although the reasons for this increase are widely disputed, there’s no doubt that ADHD and similar disorders have become more visible in our national conversation. Workloads have become larger, schedules tighter, and often it’s difficult to keep up.
Before you spend the money for ADHD testing, however, it’s important to consider all the possibilities. Do you grab coffee first thing when you get up in the morning? Are you falling asleep at your desk right after lunch? Although it’s timely to blame ADHD for your lack of concentration, the real culprit might be a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea, which may cause ADHD or ADHD-like symptoms.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Chances are you’ve heard it mentioned, but maybe don’t know exactly what it is. Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder characterized by shallow breathing or pauses in breathing. While sleeping, our bodies naturally pause during the breathing cycle. When this occurs above a certain threshold, it can affect our blood oxygen levels, and cause many serious complications including heart disease, increased chance of stroke, diabetes, and even weight gain.
The most common form of sleep apnea is OSA, or obstructive sleep apnea. This occurs when air passages become blocked or obstructed.
How Does Sleep Apnea Affect Concentration?
Poor sleep can have a significant effect on our bodies and brains, leading to symptoms like depression and lack of concentration. Although we still don’t understand why sleep is so important, it has become clear after a long history of studies that the less sleep we get, the more it impacts brain function.
What Are Sleep Apnea Symptoms?
Sleep apnea is notoriously difficult to self-diagnose because the majority of symptoms occur while we are sleeping. One of the most common symptoms of sleep apnea is usually noticed by a partner, and that’s snoring. If you’re partner has never caught you snoring, however, that doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. Other common symptoms include excessive daytime sleepiness, insomnia, and even frequent nightmares. Dry mouth and depression are also common.
If you suspect you have sleep apnea, it’s important that you become tested as soon as possible. If left untreated, sleep apnea can be incredibly dangerous. If you’ve already been diagnosed, your dentist can help you treat sleep apnea without surgery or a cumbersome CPAP machine.
If you are tired of snoring and want to get a good night’s rest, please call (940) 322-2252 or contact us today for an appointment with a sleep dentist at StarImage Dentistry in Wichita Falls, TX.