Some people find themselves coming up short on their sleep at night—maybe getting only four hours—and hope to make it up by sleeping in on weekends. Dr. Jacques Doueck explains what is wrong with that theory in this report.
Dr. Doueck says that playing “sleep catch-up” by sleeping late on weekends is not a substitute for lost sleep. A study by the Sleep Center at the University of Chicago that followed a group of students who slept only four hours for six consecutive nights. The study found that the volunteers developed high blood pressure, higher level of the stress hormone cortisol, and they produced only half the normal number of antibodies to a flu vaccine. It is apparent that sleep deprivation has a serious effect on the human body. And, Dr. Doueck points out, sleep apnea is a form of sleep deprivation.
The body goes through a number of levels in a normal overnight sleep cycle. At level one, a light sleep, a sleeper can be readily awakened. At level two, Dr. Doueck says, a sleeper will not readily awaken but is still not at the level to get refreshing sleep. That refreshing sleep does not arrive until a sleeper reaches level three. The problem sleep apnea patients have is that they can’t get past level two because a blockage develops in the airway. This can occur as much as a hundred times in an hour. The blockage pulls a sleeper back to level two sleep and away from the refreshing sleep the body requires.
Dr. Doueck explains that the body needs to repair itself every day by getting restful sleep with an abundant supply of oxygen. Sleep apnea patients have a number of problems, including increased heart rate and blood pressure. High blood pressure can lead to stroke. Other problems can include headaches, acid reflux, clenching the teeth, and many others. Treating sleep apnea can get a person out of that sleep debt that can never be repaid.
Dr. Jacques Doueck, DDS, practices with Doueck Dental Sleep Medicine, Brooklyn, New York. Dr. Doueck is a diplomate, American Academy of Sleep Medicine. He holds membership in the Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine and the Academy of Minimally Invasive Biomimetic Dentistry. He hosts a 45 minute weekly radio show on various health topics. He is a clinical consultant for the Dental Advisor, a monthly journal that reviews current dental materials and techniques. Dr. Doueck writes a monthly article on state-of-the-art dentistry for “Image” and “Community” magazines. The Legal Broadcast Network is a featured network of the Sequence Media Group.