Sleep Cycle… are you pedaling too hard?





sleepcycle copy














The horizontal axis measures how long you sleep. The vertical axis measures the depth of your sleep


Direct your attention to the upper left.  Visualize yourself as descending the black steps until the bottom is reached. As you take your first step into the healthy, adult sleep cycle, be aware that the first 15 minutes or so of drifting from awake into sleep is not repeated throughout the night. You might think of it as ‘dropping off to sleep’.  The first descent into sleep bypasses REM Sleep.


We have been looking at the graph’s horizontal axis.  Now please consider the vertical axis which measures depth of sleep.   Stage one through four become progressively deeper and more regenerative.  Having dropped into the sleep cycle, you now drop into the delta phases of sleep.  This first plunge into deep sleep (hard to awaken in Stage 4) skips REM, but the remaining four or five cycles which cycle away from wakefulness and into deeper sleep and then ascends the sleep stages  travelling evermore toward being awake.


Look at the thick black tops of each of each peak in the graph.  While in this part of the sleep cycle, one is engaged in Rapid Eye Movement sleep.  The brain wave patterns of REM look almost like awake tracings but more ‘jagged and spikier’, if you will.  The form of the tracings of Stage One  through Four are sinuous and gentle by comparison.  During REM sleep, your voluntary muscles are incapacitated so one can not act out one’s dreams. During this phase, the musculature of the soft palate and tongue also lose tone and can collapse backward,  thereby obstructing your airway.  When this happens, your body responds in emergency mode, never allowing you to proceed to the healing, regenerative deeper stages of sleep.

If you feel tired no matter how long you sleep, consult with Dr. Goldman at (510) 527-6673 regarding the possibility of keeping your airway open while sleeping with a comfortable, non-invasive oral airway dilating device.

What’s Your Snore Score?

so tired!




Yes    No

___    ___    1. Are you a loud and regular snorer?

___    ___    2. Have you ever been observed to gasp or stop breathing while sleeping?

___    ___    3. Do you feel tired or groggy upon wakening, or often have a morning headache?

___    ___    4.  Are you often fatigued or tired during wake-time hours?

___    ___    5.  Do you fall asleep sitting, reading, watching TV or driving?

___    ___    6.  Do you often have problems with memory or concentration?

If you have one or more of these symptoms, then your are at higher risk for having Obstructive Sleep Apnea. If you are also overweight, have a large neck and/or have high blood pressure, then the risk increases even further.  Untreated Sleep Apnea can severely impact your health and well-being.

If you or someone close to you answers ‘Yes’ to one or more of these questions, you should discuss your symptoms with a specially trained dentist like Dr. Goldman or your physician.  Call (510) 527-6673 to schedule a consultation.

Different treatment options exist, the one that is right for you depends on severity, anatomic structure and other aspects of the disorder.  At times a combination of therapeutic measures may be necessary.  Dr. Goldman will work closely with your physician to choose the best treatment option for you.



The Full Breath Solution


There are currently over sixty FDA-approved appliances to treat Sleep Apnea; however, they can be divided into two basic categories:

1. Mandibular Advancement Appliances

These are the most common type of appliance used to treat Sleep Apnea.  As the appliance moves the lower jaw to a more forward position, the base of the tongue is also moved forward thereby opening the airway.  This is a time-proven method for keeping the airway open while sleeping and is the treatment of choice for many patients.

2. Tongue Fixation Appliances

Until recently this type appliance was a treatment of ‘last resort’.  Recent advancement in materials, methods and design have been incorporated into a new device called the ‘Full Breath’. Dr. Goldman has completed training and certification and can expertly provide this unique service to those suffering from nightly obstruction of their airway. Excellent results are being obtained with this exciting new modality which works on the same basis as a physician’s tongue depressor. The advantages are that the lower jaw can remain in it’s most comfortable position without needing to be moved into a forward position.  This is particularly helpful in those patients who are prone to TMJ discomfort.  By allowing the jaw to remain in it’s comfort zone many of the side-effects of mandibular advancement can be avoided.  In addition, the appliance is very comfortable and and fits on just one arch as opposed to most other Sleep Apnea oral appliances which require components to be fitted onto both the upper and lower teeth.

Watch this video featuring the inventor of the Full Breath, Dr. Bryan Keropian.  Find out more about this particularly effective solution to the choking and partial suffocation which occur dozens (and even hundreds) of times each night in those suffering with Sleep Apnea.


Sleep Apnea and Insurance

Medical insurance and sleep apnea treatment

If you are interested in a comfortable, non-invasive solution for treating your apnea or snoring we will take a copy of your medical insurance card and get your primary care doctor’s contact information. Unfortunately dental insurance rarely covers sleep apnea treatment. The good news is that medical insurance almost always covers some or all of sleep apnea devices.  No need for worry,  we will take care of the entire insurance paperwork process… from getting a pre-estimate to ensuring that you obtain the maximum benefit from your particular policy.

Medicare has recently approved oral devices as a first line option in the treatment of mild to moderate sleep apnea.  While currently not an in-network Medicare provider, we will help those covered by Medicare through the entire process.  We are officially contracted with Kaiser to provide Oral Appliances to Kaiser patients.