Why Do I Wake Up Tired No Matter How Many Hours I Sleep?

Categories: Sleep Disorders

wake up tiredSanta Cruz, Scotts Valley CA

We’ve all experienced mornings when we wake up feeling groggy and unrested, despite seemingly getting a full night’s sleep. While various factors could be at play for why we feel exhausted as soon as our feet hit the floor in the morning, one often overlooked culprit is sleep apnea. In today’s blog, our sleep apnea dentist in Santa Cruz is delving into how dental problems and sleep apnea are connected and how addressing these issues can lead to better sleep and improved overall health.

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a dangerous sleep disorder characterized by pauses in breathing or shallow breathing during sleep. These interruptions in breathing can occur multiple times throughout the night — or up to 100 times in the most severe cases — leading to fragmented sleep and reduced oxygen levels in the body. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common form of sleep apnea and occurs when the throat muscles relax and obstruct the airway during sleep. During these moments, the brain thinks the body is choking and startles it awake to breathe.

While a person with sleep apnea may have no recollection of being startled awake so many times a night to breathe, the restorative stages of sleep are disrupted, meaning the person is not receiving a full night’s sleep even if they think they are.

What is the connection with dental health?

While sleep apnea is primarily a respiratory issue, it also has significant implications for dental health. One of the most notable dental problems associated with sleep apnea is bruxism, or teeth grinding. Many individuals with sleep apnea unconsciously grind or clench their teeth during sleep as a response to breathing difficulties. This grinding can lead to tooth wear, cracks, fractures and even tooth loss over time.

Bruxism is often a symptom of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, which is a disorder of the muscles, joints and ligaments in the jaw. TMJ disorder is often characterized by pain or a popping or clicking in the jaw and/or pain or ringing deep in the ears.

Additionally, the structure of the mouth and jaw can also play a role in sleep apnea. Conditions such as a narrow palate, large tonsils or a small jaw can contribute to airway obstruction and exacerbate sleep apnea symptoms. Undiagnosed or untreated sleep apnea may also cause dry mouth due to mouth breathing at night. This can increase the risk of tooth decay, gum disease and oral infections.

What can I do to treat sleep apnea?

Our Scotts Valley sleep apnea dentist is trained and experienced in treating OSA and all the associated oral health symptoms. Many times, a person is unaware that they may have sleep apnea until a sleeping partner complains about snoring or the sound of pauses in breathing or gasping for air at night. It’s very often the sleeping partner who encourages a sufferer to speak to a medical professional. A dentist is often overlooked as a source of help for sleep apnea, but dental issues are behind sleep apnea in many cases.

If you suspect that you or a loved one may have sleep apnea, our dental team at Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry can help diagnose and treat it. While many healthcare professionals may recommend continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, our Los Gatos airway dentist has found that oral appliance therapy is successful at treating mild to moderate cases of OSA. We may also recommend lifestyle changes in some of our patients, and surgery in the most extreme cases.

While treating sleep apnea, we will also be treating dental issues such as bruxism or TMJ disorder. Our office can create a comfortable, custom-fitted mouthguard for you to wear at night to protect your teeth and retrain your jaw to open properly. This will help keep the airway open at night and will also prevent you from being able to grind your teeth.


Sleep apnea and dental problems are often interconnected, impacting both sleep quality and oral health. By understanding the relationship between these issues and seeking appropriate treatment at our Scotts Valley dentist’s office, individuals can experience improved sleep, better oral health and enhanced overall well-being. Don’t let sleep apnea and related dental problems disrupt your life any longer. Take proactive steps toward better sleep and a healthier smile. Call us at Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry — (831) 824-5111 — to schedule an appointment today.