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Dr. Barry Raphael of the Raphael Center for Integrative Education discusses sleep medicine and breathing issues.

Dr. Raphael is a skilled practitioner in the field of orthodontics. He is particularly interested in sleep/breathing issues (airway-centered dysfunction) and malocclusion, and the early treatment techniques that can help to avoid them. Dr. Raphael teaches at the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, and at the post-graduate level in the US and abroad, and of course at his center, the Raphael Center for Integrative Education in New Jersey. Dr. Raphael is the president of the New Jersey Association of Orthodontists and is a respected authority in his field at large.

As Dr. Raphael states, today we know more about sleep and the reasons behind sleep disruption than ever before. He delves into a detailed explanation of how we take air in during our sleep and the processes that take place as we breathe. He explains the kind of suction activity that the chest creates that helps to pull air in through the nose, and when all is functioning properly this is a fairly effortless process and the diaphragm will distribute air evenly throughout the lungs. However, for some, there is ‘turbulence,’ which is a ‘swirling’ of the air as it moves through the body that causes a significant amount of negative pressure. Dr. Raphael explains that this can cause the sidewalls of the airway to flutter, which makes noise, and this noise is what we have labeled as—snoring. Snoring, he states, is one of the hallmarks of negative pressure in the airway. Dr. Raphael discusses the discomfort that can be created and the ways to deal with these airway issues.

The orthodontics expert outlines other ways that turbulence can be created in the breathing process, specifically detailing nasal issues, and ways that a ‘narrowing’ can be created that will impact breathing negatively. Continuing, Dr. Raphael discusses the fields of sleep medicine and sleep dentistry and the innovative progress that is being made in them, offering new hope for sufferers.

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Dr. Raphael says that eight to fifteen percent of the population has sleep apnea, but of those, many never figure out that this is a problem for them at all, leaving the issue unaddressed. He explains the many ways the body tries to adapt during sleep, in order to get the air that it needs. Dr. Raphael explains how apnea can stress the organs, and how it usually is developed over a long history of intermittent breathing issues that occur during sleep.

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Additionally, he outlines autonomic responses, and how stress affects breathing and the body.

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