Can Sleeping Pills Help if You Have Sleep Apnea?

Can Sleeping Pills Help if You Have Sleep Apnea?

If you are desperate to get a good night’s rest, you might be tempted to take sleeping pills. However, relying on sleep medication to fight your sleep apnea symptoms may actually end up backfiring. Keep reading to learn why sleeping pills in Lakeway are not effective against sleep apnea and how your dentist can help.

What Is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder affecting an estimated 20 million Americans. It is characterized by repeated interruptions of breathing while one sleeps. These brief interruptions, which last for 10 seconds or longer, can occur hundreds of times each night. Untreated sleep apnea can not only wreak havoc on your sleep but also contribute to serious health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes, and more.

Signs of Sleep Apnea

Snoring is one of the most common signs of sleep apnea. In fact, many people discover they are affected by sleep apnea only after their partner complains about their snoring! Other common symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • Irritability
  • Headaches
  • Waking up with a dry mouth
  • Waking up gasping for breath
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Trouble concentrating at work
  • Insomnia
  • Weight gain
  • Depression or anxiety

The Effects of Sleeping Pills

Sleeping aids can often help people overcome insomnia by relaxing their mind and body. However, if you are already suffering from sleep apnea, popping a sleeping pill is probably the last thing you should do! Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) occurs when a person’s throat relaxes and blocks airflow. Sleeping pills can relax these same tissues even more, leading to more severe sleep apnea symptoms.  So, if you consistently have trouble sleeping and suspect you may have sleep apnea, avoid taking any kind of medication until you can consult with a dentist in Lakeway.

How to Treat Sleep Apnea

Fortunately, you don’t need prescription sleeping pills to overcome sleep apnea. A more effective way to fight this sleep disorder is with oral appliance therapy. An oral appliance is a small mouthpiece that repositions the jaw to prevent your airway from becoming blocked. Wearing one of these custom-made devices at night is a highly effective method for correcting sleep apnea.

Your dentist may also recommend a few lifestyle changes that can help you overcome your symptoms.  For example, losing weight through diet and exercise, avoiding alcohol before bed, and sleeping on your side can all help reduce the effects of sleep apnea.

Getting adequate rest is an important part of one’s quality of life. Before reaching for a bottle of sleeping pills, however, talk to a trusted sleep expert near you to obtain a treatment that works.

About the Author

Dr. Winston Eaddy has over four decades of experience treating sleep apnea. He regularly creates custom oral appliances for sleep apnea patients at his private practice. To learn if you could benefit from sleep apnea treatment in Lakeway, visit the Eaddy Cosmetic and Implant Dentistry website or call (512) 263-4252.

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