Dr. Benjamin Polan explains how sleep deprivation can cause depression

Devastating effects of sleep deprivation

The human body repairs and re-energizes itself during sleep, which is why getting a good night’s sleep is vital to staying healthy and fit. Restful sleep is important for maintaining physical, cognitive and emotional stability. Failure to get restful sleep over a prolonged period can result in the occurrence of serious medical conditions which may detrimentally affect overall quality of life, so it’s important to seek an experienced dental sleep doctor such as Dr. Benjamin Polan in Beverly as soon as symptoms are realized.

Depression and sleep apnea

Many people suffer from the potentially life-threatening sleep disorder known as sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea interrupts the flow of air into the lungs while a person is asleep. This can cause the sufferer to stop breathing for more than ten seconds at a time and may happen as often as ten times in an hour. These episodes occur when the muscles in the throat relax and the tongue blocks the airway thus reducing the amount of oxygen.

Inadequate sleep plays a major role in depression, which can result from the inability to sleep over a period of time, a common side effect of sleep apnea. Frequent mood changes occur and individuals may have trouble controlling emotions. A report by the Institute of Medicine discovered that approximately fifty to seventy million people suffer from chronic sleep disorders. Fortunately, sleep dentistry is an area that focuses on managing sleep-related disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea and snoring with less obtrusive solutions than some medical ones.

Oral appliance therapy

Oral appliance therapy may be the appropriate treatment for some patients who resist using the standard medical treatments. The proper course of therapy for those suffering from sleep-related disorders must be determined through a joint consultation between a physician who makes the diagnosis and a dental sleep specialist.

Dental sleep specialists such as Dr. Benjamin Polan in Beverly, MA use innovative oral appliance therapy to treat sleep-related disorders like sleep apnea, snoring and other sleep related breathing disorders. Oral appliances resembling other orthodontic devices and are worn like a sports mouth protector and allow proper breathing for a sleeping person by moving the jaw forward and opening up the back of the throat thus creating more adequate air intake.

Individuals who suffer from any sleep related disorders should consider the consequences of neglecting to seek treatment. Since there is a definite link between sleep deprivation and depression, an early definitive diagnosis and subsequent treatment from a dental sleep specialist can provide relief. When normal sleep patterns are restored, patients regain their physical and emotional well-being. Successful treatment enables a person to enjoy a good night’s sleep and an overall better quality of life free of symptoms that accompany sleep deprivation.

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