Alaska Sleep Education Center

Jennifer Christensen

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OSA and Dental Considerations

Posted by Jennifer Christensen on Oct 25, 2013 10:00:00 AM

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which a child’s breathing stops and starts during sleep. Child OSA is most commonly found in children between the ages of 2 and 6, but can occur at any age.

There are a variety of treatments for OSA. Some of the most common devices to help are a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine (CPAP), mouth appliances, and specially designed pillows. Dentofacial orthopedics is another option for early treatment and even prevention of OSA. These orthopedics can open the airway 10mm or more by developing a facial profile to an optimum situation, which is a process to increase the airway space. Treatment can be started as young as 2 years old, and can help your child to reach the maximum sleep potential by reducing problems with breathing, swallowing, and sleeping.

Other oral treatments include a Mandibular Repositioning device and a Tongue Retaining device. These devices open your airway by bringing your lower jaw forward during sleep. They are acrylic and fit inside your mouth, much like an athletic mouth guard. Others may fit around your head and chin to adjust the position of your lower jaw as well.

Dental devices are only effective for mild to moderate sleep apnea. There are also a number of possible troubling side effects from using the dental the devices to include soreness, saliva build-up, nausea, and damage or permanent change in position of the jaw, teeth, and mouth.

It is very important to get fitted by a dentist specializing in sleep apnea. Also, see your dentist on a regular basis for any dental problems that may occur, and check with your sleep specialist to see if you are a proper candidate for OSA.

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Topics: CPAP success, CPAP Masks, alaska sleep clinic, Sleep, sleep disorders, apnea, oral appliance

Worst Foods for Sleep

Posted by Jennifer Christensen on Oct 21, 2013 11:32:00 AM

In today’s fast pace lifestyle, it is easy to lose sleep over so many things: work, kids, a social life. Stress is one of the most cited reasons for why people can’t sleep,. But often there can be another factor that you aren’t considering, and that’s your diet. Certain foods can significantly effect how you’re sleeping.

Here are five foods you should avoid before bed:

Red Meat
Normally after a nice juicy steak, the first thing we want to do is put on some sweats and hunker down on the couch for a little siesta. The problem is that red meat is loaded with proteins and fats that will keep your body hard at work all night. Red meats can be great for the body, just not right before bed.

Celery is a natural diuretic which means it’s going to make you have to get up to use the restroom more than normal. Diuretics elevate the rate of urination because they push water through the system. Veggies are the most nutrient-rich foods you can fuel your body with, but if you want to sleep through the night, avoid celery.

Dark Chocolate
Avoid that chocolate on the pillow at your hotel! Although dark chocolate is the healthiest form of chocolate from an antioxidant perspective, it’s also loaded with high levels of caffeine. So, if your aiming for a good night’s sleep, dark chocolate is a food that should be left out of your late night snacking.

Spicy Foods
As tempting as that spicy mexican food is, try and avoid it right before bedtime. Indigestion, which spicy food brings on, will make it almost impossible for anyone to get a good nights sleep.

Sleep better and feel more organized during the day by avoiding these sleep-sabotaging foods.

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Topics: alaska sleep clinic

Summary of Sleep Cycles

Posted by Jennifer Christensen on Oct 16, 2013 11:00:00 AM

Sleeping is how your body and mind rests and restores its energy levels. It is an active state that affects both your physical and mental status as well.

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Topics: alaska sleep clinic, REM, REM sleep

Children's Sleep Study

Posted by Jennifer Christensen on Oct 14, 2013 11:00:00 AM

For children, sleep problems tend to get progressively worse overtime if not treated. For instance, night terrors as a toddler might lead to a child who sleepwalks in the future. There are generally two different types of sleep problems; behavioral and physiological. At this point, a sleep study would be assigned to gather additional information for a diagnosis. Parents will also spend the night in the same room but in a different bed during the study.

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Topics: CPAP Masks, alaska sleep clinic, sleep apnea, obstructive sleep apnea, trouble sleeping, sleep study, apnea, children, oral appliance, sleep and children

3 Common Recurring Dreams

Posted by Jennifer Christensen on Sep 2, 2013 10:00:00 AM

Dreams are a product of our everyday life. Some are vivid and others foggy and some we forget all together. They could be triggered by a conflict, something significant happening in your life, or emotions. The meaning of dreams is not always clear, but could give a sneak peak into your subconscious about something that’s potentially going on in your life, notably more so with recurring dreams. 

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Topics: alaska sleep clinic, Sleep, nightmares

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