Snoring, Tossing or Turning?

Over the years, many people have expressed dissatisfaction with their sleep patterns. Often people say that they do not feel that they get enough sleep at night, and they wake up in the morning not feeling refreshed. Pharmaceutical companies know that there are millions of people who do not sleep well throughout the night. As a result, there are a myriad of medications on the market that are being prescribed by medical professionals as well as being sold over the counter in supermarkets, pharmacies etc…

Medical professionals say that 8 hours of sleep per night is ideal for adults. Statistics show that 15% of adults between the ages of 19 to 64 report that they get less than six hours of sleep during weekday nights. An estimated 43% of Americans between the ages of 13 to 64 report that they seldom or never get good sleep during the week, and approximately 60% of individuals state that they are suffering from sleep deprivation every night. The most common complaints are snoring, waking up intermittently, and feeling tired in the morning.

Researchers say that the human body experiences two levels of sleep, which are NREM (non-rapid eye movement) and REM (rapid eye movement). Our sleep cycles begin with NREM, which occurs when we first fall asleep, REM begins about 90 minutes after the NREM cycle and subsequently recurs about every 90 minutes. NREM occupies about 75% of the night starting with light sleep, which is between sleep and wakefulness. This is followed by the onset of sleep in which we become unaware of our surroundings. At this stage, the breathing and heart rate become regulated, and the body temperature is lowered. In the third and fourth stages, breathing slows down, muscles become relaxed, tissue grows and repairs, energy is replenished, and hormones are released. During the REM cycle, which occurs 25% of the night, the body becomes immobile, the eyes dart back and forth, dreaming occurs, and the brain and body are recharged.

So, the question is – How does sleep deprivation affect the human body?

The following are symptoms of not getting enough sleep during the night:

  • Nodding off during the day, which accounts for 100,000 car accidents annually.
  • Lowered cognitive functioning, which affects memory retention and increases the occurrence of heart disease, diabetes, and strokes.
  • Diminished sex drive, which is caused by lack of sleep that lowers the testosterone levels in males.
  • Premature aging of the skin, which is caused by the flooding of cortisol (stress hormone) in the body. As a result, cortisol breaks down collagen in the skin.
  • Weight gain, which increases the risk of becoming obese by 30%.
  • Increased rate of depression. A study in 2007 showed that people who experienced insomnia were five times more likely to develop depression.

Here are some helpful tips, which can significantly improve your sleep pattern.

  • Establish and adhere to a regular bedtime regimen.
  • Get up at the same time every day, which includes days off.
  • Take a short 30 minute nap during the day, if you did not sleep well the night before. Try to avoid sleeping in past your normal wake up time.
  • Stay active in the evening in order to avoid going to sleep too early.
  • Make sure that that room is dark before going to sleep. Light sources emanating from the television, computer, smartphone, or tablet can reduce the production of melatonin in the body.
  • Avoid drinking caffeinated beverages, alcohol, and nicotine during the latter part of the day.

Have you been having trouble sleeping? Contact Dr. Reed at (720) 504-3633 to schedule a FREE consultation.

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Sleep Apnea – A Better Solution Than CPAP

Sharing a room with a person who snores is a nightmare. Typically snoring is caused when the airway in the rear of the throat is partially blocked. When a snoring person stops breathing and then starts to gasp for breath, it is an indication of ‘apnea’. This sleep apnea is not just irritating, but it may be life threatening.

Most people can suffer from sleep apnea and kids are also quite prone to this condition. With age the issue becomes worse. Obstructive sleep apnea makes a person more prone to cardiac arrest, diabetes and hypertension. It also lowers the life expectancy by a couple of decades. People suffering from sleep apnea may feel lethargic, drowsy and tired throughout the day. It also leads to severe pain and heaviness in the head, migraine and depression. Patients also tend to grind their teeth. It also has an adverse effect on their cognitive ability which begins to deteriorate and hence this is a very serious issue.

However, you can control sleep apnea by using pressurized breathing machines known as CPAP or bi-PAP. This machine uses a compressor, humidifier, hose and a mask to allow the air, even when there is pressure. This does not let the airway collapse. This machine has proved to be quite helpful in controlling snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. However, there are various reasons why people do not like using this machine. People often find it quite inconvenient and uncomfortable, they feel that it is too noisy or at times they feel claustrophobic while using it. Some people do not use it for fear of social mockery.

However, there is an alternative therapy to CPAP which has shown equally positive results. An expert dentist will give you a custom oral airway dilator which you can use while sleeping. This device resembles orthodontic retainers and can snugly fit into your teeth if you just move your lower jaw forward a bit or put a little pressure on your tongue to position it properly.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine really appreciates this concept and suggests that it is useful for people who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. This therapy can also be used by people who are not comfortable using CPAP.

If you wish to get a perfect fit and ensure that it is used effectively then you should get a clear evaluation and examination of your mouth as well as airway. You should also find out the condition of your jaw joints. Even medical insurance covers this therapy.

You are entitled to sound sleep and leading a healthier and fitter life. Don’t take unnecessary risks with your life by ignoring sleep apnea. If you or your near and dear ones suffer from this disorder then you should call and make an appointment for a free evaluation. You will be surprised at how uncomplicated this procedure is.

Patients with loud snoring and/or symptoms of sleep apnea should contact Dr. Reed at (720) 504-3633 to schedule a consultation.

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Are You Dead Tired?

Despite common misconceptions, anyone – regardless of gender, weight or fitness level – can develop obstructive sleep apnea, a life-threatening condition characterized by episodes of complete or partial airway obstruction during sleep. As many as 12 million to 18 million American adults have untreated sleep apnea, and Denver sleep practitioner Dr. Charles Reed, a member of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, recommends the following steps for diagnosis and treatment to significantly improve overall health, mood and productivity.

Be aware of the risk factors:

  • Age and weight: Risk of sleep apnea increases between middle and older age and with the amount of excess body weight you carry.
  • Gender: Men have a greater likelihood of developing sleep apnea. However, menopause is a risk factor for sleep apnea in women.
  • Family history: Risk of sleep apnea is also higher if family members have been diagnosed with sleep apnea.
  •  Habits: Smoking is another significant risk factor, as well as being a detriment to your overall health.
  • Other diseases: Many people don’t realize that they’re in greater danger of developing sleep apnea if they already suffer from other common diseases. Seven in 10 Type 2 diabetics and 30 to 40 percent of adults with hypertension also have obstructive sleep apnea.

Watch for symptoms:

“Not everyone who snores has the disease,” said Dr. Reed. “However, when snoring is paired with choking, gasping or pauses in breathing during sleep, it’s a more likely indicator of sleep apnea.”

There are also several daytime warning signs. Morning headaches, excessive sleepiness, trouble concentrating, memory or learning problems, and general moodiness, irritability or depression can all signal sleep apnea.

Get evaluated and treated:

It’s critical that those exhibiting risk factors or symptoms of sleep apnea be evaluated by a board-certified sleep medicine physician right away.

“Once diagnosed, the recommended treatment for sleep apnea is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, which provides a steady stream of air through a mask to gently keep your airway open – making it easier to breathe,” said Dr. Reed. “It’s estimated that CPAP therapy reduces the 10-year risk of heart attack by 49 percent and stroke by 31 percent.”

As a sleep specialist, Dr. Reed has the training and expertise to identify the symptoms of sleep apnea and other sleep conditions. A patient who is found to be at risk for OSA will be scheduled for a sleep study. Objective sleep testing provides the data enabling an accurate diagnosis.

“Treating sleep apnea provides all the benefits of improved sleep, including improved memory and cognitive function,” said Dr. Reed. “Clinical evidence also shows that sleep apnea treatment lowers blood pressure – decreasing your risk of cardiovascular disease. Left untreated, sleep apnea may have a serious impact on overall health, even increasing risk of death.”

Dr. Charles Reed is located at 20971 E. Smoky Hill Rd. in Centennial, CO. Patients with loud snoring and symptoms of sleep illness should contact Dr. Reed at (720) 504-3633 to schedule a consultation. More information is available online at Dr. Reed works closely with primary care physicians to align treatment with other conditions.

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Sleep Apnea and Type 2 Diabetes

Dr. Charles Reed of Denver, a member of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), is advising anyone with Type 2 diabetes or hypertension to be evaluated for sleep apnea by a sleep medicine dentist.

Overwhelming clinical evidence has shown that patients suffering from two very common illnesses – Type 2 diabetes and hypertension – are at much higher risk for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a dangerous condition characterized by episodes of complete or partial airway obstruction during sleep. Research also has shown that treating sleep apnea can help in the management of these two disorders.

“Type 2 diabetics and people with hypertension are much more likely to have obstructive sleep apnea than other people, and as a result should immediately discuss their risk for sleep apnea with a sleep specialist,” said Dr. Reed. “Diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea from a board-certified sleep medicine physician will promote improvement in these conditions – including improved insulin sensitivity, blood pressure and cholesterol.”

Type 2 Diabetes and Obstructive Sleep Apnea

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 25.6 million Americans aged 20 years or older suffer from diabetes, and Type 2 diabetes accounts for about 90 to 95 percent of all diagnosed cases. Seven in 10 people with Type 2 diabetes also have obstructive sleep apnea, and the severity of the sleep disorder directly impacts diabetes symptoms; the more severe a diabetic’s untreated sleep apnea, the poorer their glucose control.

“Treating sleep apnea in diabetics improves nighttime glucose levels and insulin sensitivity,” said Dr. Reed. “Treatment also will provide benefits of improved sleep unrelated to diabetes – including increased alertness during the day and improved memory and cognitive function.”

A recent study from the University of Chicago shows that continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment of sleep apnea may have as much of an effect as prescribed oral diabetes medications.

“In our study, one week of optimal CPAP use lowered average 24-hour glucose levels and improved post-breakfast glucose response in Type 2 diabetics with obstructive sleep apnea,” said Esra Tasali, MD, lead author of the study and assistant professor of medicine, pulmonary and critical care medicine at the University of Chicago Department of Medicine. “The dawn phenomenon, an early-morning increase in blood sugar in people who have Type 2 diabetes, also was reduced by 45 percent as a result of CPAP therapy.”

Hypertension and Obstructive Sleep Apnea

High blood pressure, known as hypertension, is the most important risk factor for cardiovascular disease and is not limited to diabetes sufferers. A staggering 67 million Americans have high blood pressure, which is about one in every three adults. Between 30 and 40 percent of adults with high blood pressure also have sleep apnea, which is even more prevalent in those with resistant hypertension. Approximately 80 percent of patients that do not respond to hypertensive medications have sleep apnea. Seeking and adhering to sleep apnea treatment is a proven means of decreasing blood pressure.

“Evidence shows that sleep apnea treatment lowers nighttime and daytime blood pressure, with the greatest improvement in patients seeking treatment for moderate to severe sleep apnea,” said Dr. Reed. “The higher your blood pressure, the greater your risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke. Reducing your blood pressure lowers your risk of cardiovascular disease and improves your overall health.”

So… if you, or someone you know, has diabetes or struggles with sleeping, please contact Dr. Reed at Sleep Dentistry Denver for a consultation or evaluation.

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Insomnia – Benefits of a Good Nights Sleep

When was the last time you had a truly restful nights sleep? At Sleep Dentistry Denver, we are aware that sleep deprivation takes its toll on your mental, physical, and emotional health. “Sleep is a quiescent period where the cells are doing a lot of repairing. Your hormones act differently when you’re asleep, and your immune systems as well.” says Lisa Sheves,MD, DABSM founder of Northshore Sleep Medicine in Chicago.

One of the most common disruptions to a restful nights sleep in nearly 50% of the population is snoring. This is especially significant to one’s bed partner. Snoring is caused from a partial blockage to the airway. Over time, this can progress to total airway obstruction which is called, Sleep Apnea. This disorder is associated with many side effects, some dangerous and life-threatening.

The director of the Kettering Sleep Disorder Center in Dayton Ohio, Dr. Donna Arand, has reviewed five key health problems that are associated with a lack of effective sleep. Sleep deprivation and insufficient oxygen has been shown to have a link to:

1. Increased frequency of colds and flu

2. Increased heart disease and strokes

3. Increased risk of diabetes

4. Increased weight gain

5. Increased lack of attention and mental health

There are several medical treatments that can reduce these risks and increase the quality and benefits of your sleep. The staff at Sleep Dentistry Denver will review your medical history to see if you are a candidate for a sleep study to identify the presence of sleep apnea and your sleep quality.

For mild to moderate cases of obstructive sleep apnea, a removable dental oral appliance is used as a form of medical therapy. This device holds the lower jaw in a slightly forward position to open the posterior airway. By preventing the position of the tongue from blocking airflow, not only is snoring reduced but a deeper, more restful sleep is enjoyed.

If you, or someone you care for is struggling with restless sleep, snoring or potential sleep apnea, we invite you to visit with Dr. Reed at Sleep Dentistry Denver for a comprehensive evaluation.

A great night of sleep could be just around the corner!

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Improving Sleep Health: Denver Dentist Offers a Better Night’s Rest

Local dentist, Charles Reed, has been helping Denver residents get a more beautiful smile and balanced jaw relationship for more than 32 years, and recently became a member of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) – the leading professional society for the sleep specialists who treat snoring, obstructive sleep apnea and other sleep disorders affecting about 70 million Americans.

“Adults who regularly sleep less than seven hours per night have a higher risk of health problems such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and depression,” said Dr. Reed. “Many Denver residents are unaware that help is available – they don’t have to accept being tired as the everyday norm. I’m committed to helping patients find effective treatment for their sleep problems and preventing harmful conditions associated with sleep deprivation.”

At least 12 million to 18 million American adults have untreated sleep apnea, one of the most common sleep illnesses. Once diagnosed, the recommended treatment for sleep apnea is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, which provides a steady stream of air through a mask to gently keep the airway open throughout the night – making it easier to breathe. In addition, an oral appliance is often used to adjust the lower jaw to open the posterior airway and achieve significant improvement in obstructive sleep apnea.

“In patients with moderate or severe sleep apnea, CPAP therapy lowers blood pressure and is estimated to reduce the 10-year risk of heart attack by 49 percent and stroke by 31 percent,” said Dr. Reed. “I’ve seen the lives of my patients improve tremendously with consistent treatment. Left untreated, sleep apnea may have a serious impact on overall health, even increasing risk of death.”

Dr.Reed and Sleep Dentistry Denver is located at 20971 E. Smoky Hill Rd. in Centennial. Patients with loud snoring and symptoms of sleep illness should contact Dr. Reed at (720) 504-3633 to schedule a consultation appointment. More information is available online at our sleep website – Dr. Reed works closely with primary care physicians to align treatment with other conditions.

About Dr. Charles Reed: He is a member of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. He graduated from Loyola University Dental School with high honors in 1982 with a Doctorate of Dental Surgery. He received the American Association of Orthodontists Award and was elected to the Omicron Kappa Upsilon dental honor society. Dr. Reed received his certificate in Orthodontics in 1984 from Loyola University. Through the study of growth and development, Dr. Reed is trained to manage the change in jaw position that is associated with oral appliance therapy for obstructive sleep apnea.

About The American Academy of Sleep Medicine: Established in 1975, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) improves sleep health and promotes high quality patient centered care. With nearly 10,000 members, the AASM is the largest professional membership society for physicians, scientists and other health care providers dedicated to sleep medicine. For more information, visit

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