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Let 2016 Be the Year You Take Control of Your Sleep Health!

By Larry Pribyl, D.D.S.

Let 2016 Be the Year You Take Control of Your Sleep Health!What does that mean? We all know we need to get more sleep. But wishing it to happen and implementing changes to make sure it improves are two different things. Start with some basics.

Create a bedtime routine that prepares your “mind” for what is coming. Limit stimulates like computer and cell phone use the last 2 hours before bedtime. Leave those devices out of the bedroom after retiring. Unless you’re a physician on call 24 hours, it can wait until morning. Take a hot bath or shower, do some minor leg lifts after you’re in bed and clear your mind of worrisome issues. Think about things that happened awhile back that are pleasant like recalling a vacation or family event instead of thinking about what you need to do tomorrow or the next day.

Maintain a tidy bedroom. Believe it or not, the National Sleep Foundation suggests that a clean bedroom environment can help encourage sounder sleep. Spritz the room or pillows with a lavender fragrance because that scent has been shown to help people fall asleep faster and wake up less frequently during the night.

Look Into Snoring Issues
If you or your spouse complains about snoring issues, get it looked into. The Epworth Sleepiness Test is one method you can use to confirm your lack of restful sleep. Use the following scale to choose the most likely number in each situation.

Make an appointment with your primary care doctor who may want to schedule a sleep study. Sleep apnea is a medical condition that needs treatment. Sleep apnea can cause a host of other conditions like high blood pressure and heart problems. Not all snoring is sleep apnea and not all persons with sleep apnea snore.

Oral Appliance Can Manage
Sleep Apnea and Snoring
Dr. Pribyl has a special interest in patients who wish to manage their sleep apnea and snoring with an oral appliance. This is a device made from impressions of your teeth that works by advancing your lower jaw slightly forward bringing the tongue with it. The tongue is what falls back and blocks your airway during sleep apnea. Seventy-five percent of patients who choose this method can see improvement the first night. Their snoring can either be eliminated or greatly reduced. Call our office for a consultation at (816) 795-1000.

Epworth Sleepiness Test
•    0 – Would never doze off or fall asleep in this situation
•    1 – Slight chance of dozing in this situation
•    2 – Moderate chance of dozing in this situation
•    3 – High chance of dozing or falling asleep in this situation
Score your answers to these questions using the scale above.
1. Sitting and reading  _______
2. Watching television_______
3. Sitting, inactive in a public place (theater, meeting, etc.)______
4. As a passenger in a car for an hour without a break_______
5. Lying down in the afternoon when circumstances permit_____
6. Sitting and talking to someone______
7. Sitting quietly after lunch without alcohol_____
8. In a car, while stopped for a few minutes in traffic______
Total score: _______

If your total score is 1-6, chances of Obstructive Sleep Apnea is less likely. If your total score is 7-8, you are average. If your score is 9 or higher, Obstructive Sleep Apnea is more likely.

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