Ben was listening to his favorite “Running Coach” podcast and heard something all too familiar.
“Long distance runners need at least 8 hours of quality sleep to maximize their performance.”
The hosts then rattled off a list of reasons why.
“You will have better release of growth hormone and better regulation of cortisol.”
“You will be in a better mood.”
“You will be more motivated.”
“You will increase muscle glycogen.”
“You will get sick less often.”
“You will increase muscle memory.”
And the list went on.
But Ben heard this talk before, so at that moment, he didn’t think much of it. He was already getting 8 hours of sleep pretty consistently.
The hosts mentioned something else. Something Ben never heard of.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)
That got him curious. So Ben opened his browser and Googled it.
To his surprise, he made a discovery. He actually had some of the symptoms of OSA—snoring, daytime sleepiness and morning headaches.
That discovery then triggered a memory. A few months ago he saw a pamphlet at his dentist’s office about some kind of appliance that helped patients with snoring and sleep.
So at his next dental appointment (2 weeks later) Ben asked about it. He and his dentist then discussed what the oral appliance could potentially do for him. Ben was quickly sold, but…
He would first need to complete a sleep study. His dentist wrote the referral and Ben called the Sleep Center immediately.
One week later, the results of the sleep study were in. Ben was diagnosed with mild / moderate obstructive sleep apnea. He couldn’t believe it!
The Sleep Center recommended he try a CPAP machine first, but Ben took one look at that thing and said, “I don’t see me wearing that on my face with tubing coming out of it for 8 hours a night. So instead, he opted to try the oral sleep appliance first.
Within 1-2 weeks, Ben’s new oral appliance was now feeling very comfortable, but more importantly, he noticed the obvious improvements in his sleep and how alert he felt during the day.
Ben’s wife now reported hearing almost no snoring.
Ben’s morning headaches pretty much went away.
Ben was no longer feeling sleepy during the day.
He couldn’t believe what a difference this thing made.
But the good news for Ben didn’t end there.
Ben had set a big running goal for himself this year. He wanted to complete a sub 3 hour marathon. His personal record so far—3 hours and 5 minutes.
Fast forward 3 months. Five…four…three…two… Ben stood at the start line waiting for the pistol to fire. Ben was more rested and more relaxed at the start of this race than he had ever been before. 26.2 miles to go.
With his family at the finish line, Ben clocked in at a lightning fast 2 hours and 55 minutes. Ten minutes faster than his previous record!
Ben was surprised by the result, but he was even more surprised by how great he felt throughout the race.
Ben’s oral appliance has been an absolute LIFE changer for him and his family. But with that said, he does have one regret.
He wishes he had this thing 10 years ago!
Are you currently looking for a dentist in the Taunton, MA area? If so, go see Dr. Mark Turner and his team. When you’re in the office, check out the pamphlet on oral appliances. It just might change your life.
Mark Frias, RDH