Once thought to be completely different sleep disorders, it now seems that obstructive sleep apnea and insomnia overlap in up to 39-58% of patients. Many people aren’t even aware that they’re chronically snoring and struggling for breath at night, which prevents them from sleeping soundly. If you have chronic insomnia and live in or near the Brooklyn area of New York City, consult with Doueck Dental & Sleep Medicine. Call the office to make an appointment or use the convenient online booking agent.
Chronic insomnia is insomnia that occurs at least three nights a week for a month or longer. Don’t confuse chronic insomnia with acute insomnia that describes a few nights of sleeplessness due to stress, illness, or certain medications.
Insomnia is not just the inability to fall asleep. You might also experience:
Sleep apnea often occurs due to narrowing or complete blockage of the throat passageway. Your tongue relaxes, and soft tissues collapse, blocking the airflow. This causes you to awaken sporadically during the night.
Many people who suffer from insomnia actually have undiagnosed sleep apnea or narrow air passageways behind the tongue. They may also have a precursor to sleep apnea, known as upper airway resistance syndrome. In this syndrome, the breathing interference isn’t great enough to be called apnea, but it does greatly disturb your ability to sleep soundly or stay asleep.
Discuss chronic insomnia with your dentist at Doueck Dental & Sleep Medicine. Our team can help you get evaluated for sleep apnea or another condition that may be the cause of your sleep problems.
If your chronic insomnia is due to sleep apnea or a collapsing airway, you may be a candidate for a customized oral appliance that you wear to bed to keep your airway open. This prevents you from waking intermittently during the night and not being able to get back to sleep.
Depending on the causes of your insomnia, the appliances may be used to prevent the tongue from blocking the airway or to advance the lower jaw to help keep the throat airway open. The most common types of oral appliances resemble sports mouthguards or retainers, but are significantly more sophisticated, and are custom-fitted by a specially-trained sleep medicine dentist.