You already know sleep affects your mood. It may manifest as a nasty disposition from the moment you get up in the morning. It may show up as mid-day fatigue and the inability to cope with simple everyday stress and activities. You may get an “I don’t care” attitude at work or not be able to focus in an afternoon meeting.

You may find that you snap at your kids or spouse for no reason.

Regardless of how a lack of sleep affects you … it does take a toll.

One-third to one-half of patients with chronic sleep problems experience mood disorders associated with a lack of quality sleep.

Those who experience frequent bouts with insomnia are 20 times more likely to be plagued with this often-debilitating mood disorder. For those who cannot get a full night’s sleep, there is a 10 times greater chance they will develop depression, as well.

Director of the Harvard Sleep Health Center, Dr. Lawrence Epstein, says that “Difficulty sleeping is sometimes the first symptom of depression.”

Why does a little shuteye — or lack of it — make such a difference?

Simply put: the brain needs oxygen. If you have sleep apnea caused by an obstructive airway, you cannot get the quality and quantity of sleep you need. When this occurs, the brain does not get all the oxygen it craves. And that’s when these mental health issues can start rearing their ugly head.

In today’s healthcare industry, they are just beginning to see the correlation between oxygen levels, sleep, and mental wellness. Many doctors still prescribe anti-depressants, pain killers, and sleep medicines to try to “cure” the problem. But we all know there’s no magic pill or quick fix for this. You are the owner-operator of your health. You don’t need drugs. You need change.

Patients on sleep appliances like CPAP machines often fail to get the relief they need and report these machines don’t make them feel better. Plus – it’s a life-long commitment to use that CPAP machine EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT…FOREVER. Sleep partners of these patients often report they can’t stand to be in the same room with the machine noise, so the relationship is stressed as well.

Dr. Jackie Schafer of Colorado Healthy Sleep knows these problems all too well. She suffered from sleep apnea and didn’t even realize she had it until her husband mentioned her snoring and pointed out that she “held her breath” during the night. The more she researched her own sleep issues, the more she felt confident it was a breathing-related issue and decided to try the VIVOS system.

Once she discovered the relief she got from this simple retainer-like oral appliance, she become a VIVOS provider in her dental clinic. “I saw firsthand the difference a good night’s sleep makes. I didn’t put my exhaustion and my lack of quality sleep together until I was able to take the home sleep test and see how many times I was woken up each night because I wasn’t breathing correctly. I urge anyone who even thinks they might be losing sleep because of breathing issues to call me and talk. It’s such a relief when you find out what you’re experiencing is treatable through an easy, non-invasive dental process.”

Proper breathing can affect so much. Kids may experience bedwetting, problems in school, or even be wrongly diagnosed and medicated for ADD or ADHA. Teens are the same but may also suffer from relationships, focus, disciplinary, and motivational issues. Adults may experience chronic pain, reduced memory, immunity, and other serious health concerns.

If you, your spouse, your child, or someone you know is experiencing breathing issues like open-mouth breathing, snoring, and/or holding the breath during the night, call the Colorado Healthy Sleep office at 303-469-3344. Their take-home sleep testing equipment eliminates the need to go to a sleep center and may give you the answers you need to see if the VIVOS system is an option to consider.