When it comes to sleep disorders, sleep apnea is one of the most common. In fact, sleep apnea is prevalent in as many as 54 million people in the U.S. alone. This statistic denotes 17% of the total American population has a case of sleep apnea. One of the biggest mistakes made by those who suffer from sleep apnea is failing to seek high quality medical advice and hear about the various sleep apnea treatment methods. If you have sleep apnea, it’s critical to know which steps to take. Here are just a few dos and don’ts to keep in mind regarding sleep apnea treatment.

DO: Take your time in determining which treatment is right for you

Once you receive a diagnosis from a sleep provider, be prepared to ask questions on which treatment is right for you.  Custom fabricated oral appliances from a sleep disorder center have been shown to be just as effective as CPAP therapy.  Don’t automatically assume that nasal pillows vs a mask for a CPAP machine is the best option.  Similarly, oral appliances are much sleeker and less cumbersome than earlier models.  You never know if you may be missing out on an even better night’s sleep because you didn’t want to take a chance by trying a new treatment type.

DON’T: Treat your sleep therapy inconsistently.

One of the main components of effective sleep apnea treatment is consistency. It’s incredibly important to wear your appliance or mask each and every night — even skipping just one night could have severe health implications. At the very least, it could set you back in your progress in addition to robbing you of your much-needed shut-eye. Do the best thing for yourself and your sleep apnea by doing your very best to wear your appliance or mask every time you sleep.

DO: Keep an eye out for modernized sleep apnea technology

Despite all the progress scientists have made on developing technology for sleep apnea sufferers, their work is far from complete. That’s why you should always ask for new recommendations from your sleep disorder treatment center to make sure you’re aware of any new technology to hit the market.

DON’T: Downplay the importance of seeking treatment for sleep disorders

No matter how you perceive it, sleep apnea and other sleep disorders are serious disorders that, as mentioned earlier, can have significant health implications if left untreated. If you or someone you know is suffering from teeth grinding, excessive snoring, jaw arthritis, or other symptoms associated with sleep disorders, it’s important to seek help at a sleep disorder center as soon as possible.

Ultimately, understanding these dos and don’ts can help you make the best decision for yourself and/or a loved one. Sleep is one of the most important activities for our overall wellbeing, and you, too, deserve to sleep soundly.