National Sleep Awareness Week

This week, March 5-11, 2012 is National Sleep Awareness Week. This observance week is dedicated to promoting education and awareness about the importance of sleep, and leading Detroit dentist and sleep apnea expert Dr. Aziza Askari wants to explain why sleep is important and tell you a little bit about sleep apnea.

Why is Sleep Important?

Your body needs sleep to renew, rejuvenate, and reenergize after each day, and the benefits of sleep impact nearly every aspect of daily life. Like eating drinking, and breathing, the human body needs sleep to survive, and quality sleep promotes physical health and overall wellbeing.

Also, sleep is important when it comes to repairing your body. While you sleep, your body produces extra proteins that help fight infection, heal muscles, increase cognitive function, maintain healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels, reduce stress, maintain body weight, reduce your chance of developing diabetes, and more.

How much Sleep do You Need?

Sleep needs vary from person to person depending on age, gender, genetics, overall health, and other factors, but the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke report the following sleep needs based on age group:

  • Newborns (0-2 months): 12-18 hours of sleep per day
  • Infants (3-11 months): 14-15 hours of sleep per day
  • Toddlers (1-3 years): 12-14 hours of sleep per day
  • Pre-schoolers (3-5 years): 11-13 hours of sleep per day
  • School-aged children (5-10 years): 10-11 hours of sleep per day
  • Teenagers (11-17 years): 8-9 hours of sleep per day
  • Adults (18 years and older): 7-9 hours of sleep per day

What is Sleep Apnea?

If you try to obtain the recommended amount of sleep you need each night and are unsuccessful, you may be one of the millions of Americans that suffer from a sleep disorder. Dr. Askari is an expert of sleep apnea—a life-threatening sleep disorder characterized by repeated pauses in breathing during sleep, which occur as a result of obstructed airways. Depending on the severity of your sleep apnea, you can stop breathing several times within one sleep cycle (as often as 30 times per hour), lasting anywhere from several seconds to several minutes each time, and your brain will wake your body to reinstate normal breathing.

Sleep apnea is dangerous for several reasons. Each and every time you fall asleep, your life is at risk because you are unable to breath normally. This lack of breath can cause carbon dioxide levels to skyrocket and blood and oxygen levels to decrease, forcing your heart to work harder to compensate for the lack of oxygen, which contributes to heart problems. Sleep apnea also prevents your from obtaining the quality sleep you need to re-energize and rejuvenate your body, so daily activities become a challenge, and you risk falling asleep at work—or worse—at the wheel.

To find out if sleep apnea is behind your sleepless nights and foggy days, call Comfort Dental Spa, located in Farmington Hills, Michigan, at (248) 474-6434 to reserve a consultation appointment with Dr. Askari.