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January 24, 2012

What Happens When I Sleep?

In a previous blog post, we discussed the risks, causes, and symptoms of sleep apnea. Dr. Peter Pate offers his patients snoring and sleep apnea treatments. Scientists devote a lot of research to sleep. Although we spend nearly 30% of our life in bed, we are often unaware of the science of sleep. Below are a few interesting facts and trivia dedicated to what happens while we rest.

Facts You May Not Know About Sleep

  • Sleep is a necessity. Sleep deprivation can result in death before starvation. In as little as 10 days without sleep, you could be facing mortality.
  • There are four stages of sleep that you progress through in your sleep cycle. The deepest stages of sleep help your organs and tissues repair from daily damage
  • Outside of the four sleep stages, you enter Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep multiple times throughout the night
  • In the past, researchers believed that humans only dreamed during REM sleep. However, recent findings have shown that we dream throughout the night, but REM dreaming is more vivid and strange. (more…)

January 18, 2012

How Do I Know If I Have Sleep Apnea?

Did you know that Dr. Peter Pate treats patients with sleep apnea? In addition to general and cosmetic dentistry, he provides treatment for sleepy Atlantans, too!

What is sleep apnea?

Over 18 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea and over 40% of adults snore when they sleep. As we learn more about this sleep disorder, we have discovered that sleep apnea is more common than we thought. While you are sleeping, the soft tissues in your mouth relax. As these tissues relax, they can cause obstruction of your airways. Most patients with sleep apnea are disrupted by breathing cessation during their rest. For a few seconds, or even longer than a minute, you can stop breathing. During the short periods throughout the night that you stop breathing, you awaken from sleep. Some patients also experience choking and gasping during these periods. (more…)