Sleep is one of the most basic and critical functions to the health of our brains and body, yet in today’s hustle-culture, it is often the first thing sacrificed as we scramble to complete our ever- growing to-do lists.
According to the CDC, a third of US adults report that they get less than the recommended amount of sleep. Sleep is vital for proper physical and mental functioning and not getting enough sleep has been linked with many chronic diseases and health conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and depression.
When it comes to sleep, it’s not just about quantity, quality matters! Many patients report sleeping the recommended number of hours each night but still struggle with unrefreshing sleep, insomnia, difficulty waking, and daytime fatigue. Sleep disordered breathing is a common and often unrecognized cause of poor-quality sleep in both children and adults.
- Snoring: noise created by a partial airway blockage in the nose or throat during sleep. While not overly concerning when light and infrequent, if it happens several nights a week it can point to a more serious problem such as UARS or OSA.
- Untreated snoring often disrupts the sleep of bed partners- one of the main reasons people who snore seek out treatment.
- Upper airway resistance syndrome (UARS): periodic airway blockages that cause frequent arousals or disruptions to sleep and is more commonly seen in women.
- Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA): airway blockages accompanied by a temporary lack of effort to breath that leads to significant and measurable drops in oxygen saturation. This causes a cascade of negative effects on the body and has been linked to many serious chronic disease conditions.
Signs & Symptoms
- Mouth breathing, snoring, or gasping for air
- Restless sleep, sleeping in weird positions
- Daytime sleepiness
- Inability to focus, poor memory
- Anxiety, depression
- Grinding teeth
- Night sweats
- Bed wetting or frequent nighttime urination
- Enlarged tonsils/adenoids
- Chronic nasal congestion; allergies
- Digestive problems, acid reflux
Impact of Sleep Disturbances in Children
During the critical years of development, making sure that children get the quality and quantity of sleep they need is vital for their developing brains and bodies. Children who do not get quality sleep often present with symptoms such as hyperactivity or ADHD, behavior challenges, trouble focusing, bedwetting, learning difficulties, altered brain development and impaired growth.
Identifying and treating these problems early in children can help prevent a lifetime of struggle! If you’re questioning the quality of your child’s sleep, an assessment by Dr. Kuntz can provide insight into any structural or functional issues contributing to restricted airways, poor sleep quality, and suboptimal growth and development.
Home Sleep Testing
For patients 12 years and older, we offer home sleep testing using the WatchPAT®, an FDA approved innovative Home Sleep Apnea Device (HSAT) that utilizes peripheral arterial signal (PAT®) for the diagnosis of sleep disordered breathing. This device uses Bluetooth technology to transmit your sleep data to an app on your smartphone. Once the test in complete, the data is automatically transferred to a portal to be read by a board-certified sleep physician. For many patients, this is a great way to screen for sleep disordered breathing in the comfort of your own home.
Many treatment options exist to help you get more refreshing sleep. Depending on your diagnosis, your medical insurance may provide coverage for treatment of your condition. We work in collaboration with many other healthcare professionals to give our patients the best chance at success for achieving healthy sleep.
Treatment options offered at Breathe and Thrive include:
- Sleep hygiene counseling and lifestyle modifications
- Myofunctional therapy for improved muscle tone and nasal breathing
- Tongue tie release surgery to improve tongue posture and mobility
- Oral appliance therapy for treating obstructive sleep apnea
- Laser therapy to tighten oropharyngeal soft tissue (coming soon)
Treatment options offered by collaborating health care professionals include:
- Meditation or relaxation techniques to reduce anxiety
- Weight loss / support for healthy body composition
- Orthodontic expansion to improve size of upper airway
- ENT referral for removal of nasal obstruction or enlarged tonsils or adenoids
- CPAP therapy for airway obstruction
- Inspire Surgical Implant