My Jaw-Dropping Experience: A Battle Against Sleep Apnea

Posted on

It all started with my wife’s casual remarks about my snoring. At first, it was something we laughed about. But when I began experiencing elevated blood pressure and needing mid-day naps, the situation was no longer amusing. Despite a healthy diet, non smoker, and a normal weight, my blood pressure remained elevated throughout the day.

During a routine visit, my doctor suggested that my symptoms might be related to sleep apnea. Until then, I hadn’t considered my snoring to be a significant problem, which led me to research what exactly sleep apnea is.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), the most common type of sleep apnea, occurs when the muscles at the back of the throat fail to keep the airway open during sleep. The soft tissue collapses, obstructing the airway and causing pauses in breathing. When breathing stops, the brain briefly awakens the person to resume normal breathing. These awakenings are often so brief that the person may not remember them, but they disrupt the sleep cycle and prevent restorative sleep.

In my research I discovered an Apple Watch app called Napbot that could detect if you have sleep apnea at night. The data revealed I was experiencing numerous episodes of interrupted breathing throughout the night – a telltale sign of sleep apnea. Some nights, it registered 6-8 episodes.

Having relatives who use a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine, I wanted to explore other possible remedies. I attempted various strategies such as sleeping on a foam wedge that elevated my head and sleeping exclusively on my side, but neither had any substantial effect.

In my research, I learned that some dentists were fitting patients with special mouth guards that moved their lower jaw forward, preventing it from collapsing the airway. However, these guards were prohibitively expensive, costing thousands of dollars.

71zw6ggzs7l. Ac sl1500

Then, Amazon came to the rescue. I found several affordable alternatives to the pricey dentist-fitted mouth guards. After reading hundreds of reviews, I decided on the Tranquility PRO 2.0 Anti-Snoring Mouth Guard.

This guard can be molded to your teeth after boiling it, and you can set the lower jaw anywhere from 1 to 10 millimeters forward. I started with 8 millimeters for the first night. I won’t lie – it wasn’t comfortable, and my teeth and jaw were sore when I woke up. BUT, the app registered NO sleep apnea episodes, and my deep sleep numbers doubled. Within 30 minutes of waking up and eating something, my jaw and teeth felt fine. Over the next few nights, I adjusted the setting down to 7 millimeters, which has resulted in great sleep, minimal discomfort, and, most importantly, virtually no sleep apnea episodes.

The transformation has been astounding. My wife has even had to check on me at night because she finds my quietness unusual compared to my previous snoring. I feel so much better during the day with no need for naps, and my average blood pressure has dropped from 130/85 to 115/65!

This journey of recognizing and managing my sleep apnea has been transformative. What began as my wife’s concern led to self-monitoring, research, and eventually, a small mouthpiece that has made a huge difference in my life.

If you’re dealing with similar issues, know that there are simple, effective solutions out there. Don’t underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep and the measures you can take to achieve it.