There are a number of tools sleep medicine professionals use to determine the nature and extent of sleep disorders. A simple self test commonly used as an indicator of poor sleep is the Epworth Sleepiness Scale. This scoring system is used to determine a person's level of daytime sleepiness.
A score of 10 or more is considered sleepy. A score of 18 or more is very sleepy. If you score 10 or more on this test, you should consider whether you are obtaining adequate sleep, need to improve your sleep hygiene and/or need to see a sleep specialist. These issues should be discussed with your personal physician.
Use the following scale to choose the most appropriate number for each situation, then add up the totals to obtain your score. Begin the evaluation by answering the first question below:
Are you the snorer or is it your bed partner who snores?
While sleep apnea can only be diagnosed by a physician, it’s categorized as mild, moderate, and severe depending on the number of apneas that occur in one hour. Sleep apnea is the temporary cessation of breathing or very shallow breathing that occurs when you sleep.
Mild sleep apnea involves five to 15 apneas per hour, moderate is between 15 and 30 per hour, and severe is greater than 30 an hour. While not all sleep apnea is categorized as severe, sleep apnea can have serious health consequences and should be treated to avoid long-term damage.
Having good sleep hygiene may mean the difference between a restful night of bliss and a restless night of tossing and turning. Following these easy steps will help ensure you wake up on the right side of the bed:
If you’re in need of more tips on good sleep habits, be sure to ask Dr. Henninger at your appointment and he’ll offer some friendly advice.
Not everyone who snores has sleep apnea, but most people who have sleep apnea tend to snore. With the most common type of sleep apnea, obstructive sleep apnea, the throat muscles relax which temporarily blocks your airways and usually causes people to snore or gasp for air.
If you think you have sleep apnea, schedule a consultation with Dr. Henninger by calling (760) 940-2273. During your consultation, Dr. Henninger will examine your oral health and review your symptoms to determine if you would benefit from a sleep study. Once you have a clear diagnosis we can start treatment right away.
In addition to the countless hours of lost sleep endured by your sleeping partner, short term effects include relationship problems, chronic fatigue, depression, headaches, sore throat upon waking, and difficulty concentrating. More serious long-term health consequences include:
The effects of sleep apnea may be reversed with treatment. If you think you have sleep apnea, schedule a consultation at our Vista office by calling (760) 940-2273. During the consultation, Dr. Henninger will review your oral health and determine the best course of action based on your needs.