Many factors can contribute to the success or failure of a business. But one aspect often overlooked is how well the entrepreneur sleeps at night. In fact, obstructive sleep apnea can be a significant obstacle for entrepreneurs trying to achieve success. This article will explore how obstructive sleep apnea can affect entrepreneurs and what treatments are available.
What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition that occurs when the airway becomes blocked during sleep. This can cause loud snoring and periods when breathing is halted. The brain is then not getting the oxygen it needs, and carbon dioxide levels increase. The brain then sends an urgent message to the body to wake up. The person wakes up in distress, with a feeling of being choked and struggling to breathe.
Obstructive sleep apnea continues throughout the night, as often as every 12 minutes. If you have this condition, you do not experience a whole night’s sleep. Your body cannot do cellular repairs and regeneration because these can only happen in a deep sleep. Hence, obstructive sleep apnea is a severe condition that can lead to many health problems, including heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure.
How Obstructive Sleep Apnea Can Affect Entrepreneurs
As an entrepreneur, you know how important it is to stay fresh, clearheaded, and alert during the day. You will be meeting with clients, business partners, and your employees. You undertake negotiations and have to make business decisions based on sharp analysis. You need to monitor the business.
But how can you do all these effectively if you’ve hardly had any sleep? For entrepreneurs, obstructive sleep apnea can be a major problem. The lack of sleep every night will lead to deep fatigue and an inability to focus on work every day. You are constantly sleepy. You may even fall asleep during business meetings or presentations. That in itself is embarrassing and can be a deal-breaker. Even worse, your loud snoring will make everyone aware you’ve fallen asleep.
There are many other negative consequences. Your immune system will be weakened by nightly lack of sleep. You will be prone to illnesses and infections and will have many sick days. Your productivity and effectiveness are hampered. It is truly a hindrance to further levels of success you can achieve. If you drive, this condition can put you at a very high risk of car accidents. Your life is always in danger.
Dentists with a Diplomate in Obstructive Sleep Apnea
It may come as a surprise that for obstructive sleep apnea, you need to go to the dentist’s office. You must, however, seek a dentist who specializes in obstructive sleep apnea. The American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) provides training and the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine (ABDSM) provides the approval to use the designation of Diplomate after a dentist passes their exam.
Look for any of the following designations:
- Diplomate, American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine
- Diplomate, ABDSM
- D. ABDSM
- International Certificant, American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine
- International Certificant, ABDSM
These dentists are knowledgeable and clinically proficient in all areas of dental sleep medicine, covering obstructive sleep apnea, upper airway resistance syndrome, and snoring. They can treat these conditions through oral appliances or upper airway surgery if needed.
CPAP Machine Treatment
The traditional treatment for obstructive sleep apnea is the use of the continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine at night. The CPAP machine consists of a mask covering your nose and attached to a hose and a machine. The mask is strapped around your head at the level of the cheeks and the forehead. The machine pushes air pressure steadily into your nose to ensure that you do not stop breathing while asleep.
There is low patient tolerance for CPAP, though. Among the problems patients report are:
- Leaky mask
- Skin irritation or pressure sores
- Not tolerating forced air
- Stuffy Nose
- Dry mouth
- Not falling asleep
Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT)
Fortunately, dental sleep dentists have an alternative to CPAP. OAT is a custom-made oral appliance similar to a mouth guard. It fits over your teeth and you wear it while you sleep. It supports your jaw in a position that allows your airway to stay open.
Unlike the CPAP, the OAT does not push air into your nose or mouth. It is not attached to anything else. It has no noise. Most of all, patients find it easy and comfortable to wear.
With OAT, you can sleep well through the night and regain your quality of life. Because you are well-rested, you stay alert and energized during the day.
To be prescribed with OAT, you will first undergo screening with the dental sleep dentist. This may include a sleep test and evaluation and a mouth x-ray. Once the diagnosis is made, the dentist will take your mouth impression.
Your custom OAT will be made by the dental sleep dentist based on your mouth impression. Once this is finished, you will be fitted. Any needed adjustments will be made. You will also be taught how to wear it properly and how to care for it.
Your dental sleep dentist may ask you to return for follow-ups to ensure that you are using your OAT problem-free. After that, there will be yearly assessments.
Take Back Your Life
Sleep apnea can lead to decreased productivity, business problems, possible car accidents, and an overall decrease in quality of life. If you are struggling with sleep apnea, seek out a dental sleep dentist for help. With oral appliance therapy, you can take back your life and get the rest you need to be productive during the day. Watch your business to greater heights as realize your true potential.