How Sleep Loss Affects your Life


tusculum dentalServing patients of Erwin, Jonesborough, and Greeneville, TN

Just like we need food and water to survive, our bodies also need sleep. We simply cannot function without it. An occasional sleepless night will not threaten your health, but failing to get adequate sleep on a regular basis certainly can take a toll on one’s physical and mental health.

The sleep apnea dentists in Greeneville at Tusculum Dental Care want to make you are aware of the ways that sleep loss can affect your life.

What causes sleep loss?

Stress can make it hard to get a good night’s rest. Certain lifestyles, especially for people who work overnight or varying shifts, also can result in lost sleep. However, one cause of sleep loss is living with an untreated sleep breathing disorder. One of the most well-known—and most serious—sleep breathing disorders is sleep apnea, which occurs when the airway becomes blocked or restricted, depriving your body and brain of the oxygen needed to function. During an airway blockage, your brain sends signals to the body that it is not receiving enough air, and the sleep cycle is interrupted as a result. Patients with severe, untreated sleep apnea may experience these blockages hundreds of times per night. This means they live with a deficiency of deep sleep, which has the greatest restorative qualities for the mind and body.  

Click here for a list of frequently asked questions regarding sleep apnea.

Health Risks of Sleep Apnea

The way that our bodies are naturally designed, we need air to survive. The human body contains 20 to 30 trillion red blood cells, and each of them requires oxygen to produce energy. Without getting the proper amounts of oxygen, our cells will starve—an effect that, if not treated by a medical professional, can spread to your tissues, your organs, and even your brain!

Failing to get enough quality deep sleep, over time, can have long-term health consequences, such as:

  • Difficulty maintaining focus
  • Cognitive decline
  • Memory problems
  • Mood swings and/or irritability
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Lapses in judgment
  • Depression
  • Lack of intimacy (loss of libido), up to and including impotence
  • Weight gain
  • Poor performance at work, school, or athletics
  • Decline in physical health
  • Weakened immune system

You may not realize you even suffer from chronic sleep loss due to sleep apnea, but if you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above, consider an evaluation by the sleep apnea dentists at Tusculum Dental Care.

The devastating risks of sleep loss

According to a medical study conducted by Harvard Medical School, even one night of sleep loss can lead to elevated blood pressure the next day. Now, imagine the effects of going night after night of inadequate sleep due to your sleep apnea.

Over an extended period of time, sleep loss means much more than feeling fatigued.

It has long-term health consequences that can affect your health and jeopardize your life, including:

  • Obesity
  • Hypertension and/or stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Diabetes
  • Depression

The findings of recent medical research also suggest that sleep apnea patients are 68 percent more susceptible to developing certain forms of cancer.

You also are at a higher risk of getting in an automobile accident when tired. A study conducted recently by AAA found that drowsy drivers are nearly five times more likely to be involved in an accident if they only get between five and six hours of sleep on average, and 12 times more likely to cause an accident if getting less than four hours of sleep each night.

How sleep loss affects those around you

Sleep loss affects your friends and family as well. Since your behavior and even your personality can change due to prolonged sleep loss, your lack of rest can affect relationships with loved ones, co-workers, and others around you.

Also, since snoring is one of the primary symptoms of sleep apnea, it often affects the quality of life for your partner as well. Loud snoring can keep them up at night, affecting their sleep and increasing their risks of chronic sleep loss. When you have sleep apnea, you are not the only one that suffers.

In summary, the consequences of sleep loss are too severe to be ignored, and at Tusculum Dental Care, our experienced sleep apnea dentists can detect and treat your sleep apnea so that you can get your life back and get the rest that you deserve. Click here to learn more about how we treat sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea Treatment in Greeneville

If you have been experiencing frequent sleep loss, you owe it to yourself and your family to be screened for sleep apnea. Contact our office by calling (423) 639-7575 to schedule a consultation.

Tusculum Dental Care is proud to provide care for sleep apnea patients in the areas of Greeneville, Jonesborough, and Erwin, Tennessee.