Our Sleep Team is Here to Help YOU
It’s Dr. Merriman,
Thank you for visiting our resource center. I personally curate the resources listed here, and periodically update, and add to this page when I come across something that I feel is valuable information for you. So, I hope you will check in regularly. Also know that I do not have an affiliation, or commercial relationship with any of these resources. I do not benefit in any way by listing them here. I do so as an extension of my desire to help you live a healthier, happier, and more engaged life. Feel free to share this page with friends and family as sleep is the universal foundation of all pillars of Self Care and Wellness.
Some suggested resources for your sleep health, wellness, and healthy longevity
At NJDSMC, we understand how the mind body connection impacts our wellness and disease process. So, in addition to treating disease, we place emphasis and promote behavioral and lifestyle choices as a cornerstone for living a healthy, happy, and long life. We are pleased to bring to you an approach to your care that reflects what the emerging field of mind-body neuroscience is revealing about the mind body connection.
Our Web site, https://www.njdentalsleepmedicine.com/
Videos by Dr. Merriman on our website:
-Dr. Merriman addresses – ‘What to Do if You are Struggling with Sleep?’
–Therapists Hour with Kristin Osborn and Dr. Sunita Merriman, an interview
A seminal article by Dr. Merriman
‘ACEs, Integrative Medicine, and the Mind Body Connection – Why Dental Sleep Practitioners Must Take a Seat at the Table.’ in Dental Sleep Practice, Winter 2020 edition.
Dr. Merriman’s quarterly newsletter SLEEP WELL. You can subscribe to it by going to the box at the top of any page on this website. Previous editions of SLEEP WELL are also available on the SLEEP WELL page on our website.
WHAT IS SLEEP APNEA?
An excellent Review article in Nature and Science Osman AM, Carter SG, Carberry JC, Eckert DJ. Obstructive sleep apnea: current perspectives. Nat Sci Sleep. 2018 Jan 23;10:21-34. doi: 10.2147/NSS.S124657. PMID: 29416383; PMCID: PMC5789079.
A Key Sleep Article ‘Sleep is essential to health: an American Academy of Sleep Medicine position statement’ in Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, Vol. 17, No. 10 2119 October 1, 2021
A recent study on the impact of unhealthy behavioral risk factors on longevity- Behavioural risk factors and healthy life expectancy: evidence from two longitudinal studies of ageing in England and the US, Paola Zaninotto , Jenny Head & Andrew Steptoe
Findings-The co-occurrence of unhealthy behavioral risk factors reduces considerably the number of remaining years of life expected to live without disability and without chronic conditions.
An excellent Journal- The Lancet, Health Longevity
– ‘Why We Sleep- Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams’ by Matthew Walker, PhD
– ‘Breath- The New Science of a Lost Art’ by James Nestor
– ‘The Oxygen Advantage’ by Patrick McKeown
– ‘Close your Mouth- Buteyko Breathing Clinic Self Help Manual’ by Patrick McKeown
– ‘The Breathing Cure- Develop New Habits for a Healthier, Happier & Longer Life’ by Patrick McKeown
– ‘ Yoga Nidra: The Art of Transformational Sleep’ by Kamini Desai
What is Sleep Hygiene and why is it important to practice it regularly
Our website has a link to AASM for healthy sleep tips.
Just go to our web site’s ‘What is Sleep Apnea’ page and scroll down to, ‘Here are some tips for you’
Another resource is ‘The Role of Sleep Hygiene in Promoting Public Health’: Sleep Med Rev. 2015 August; 22: 23–36. doi: 10.1016/j.smrv.2014.10.001.
A Tool Kit for Sleep
Some actionable information from The Huberman Lab can be found at https://hubermanlab.com/toolkit-for-sleep/
*IMPORTANT NOTICE- Always consult with your Physician before starting any new physical protocol, and/ or adding any nutritional supplements to your diet, including any over the counter and natural products .*
A Bedtime Routine and Calming Bedtime Rituals We enthusiastically believe in the power of smartly created bedtime routines, because they work. ‘One-third of Americans don’t get enough sleep on a regular basis, according to the CDC. If you’re one of them, creating a bedtime routine is one of the easiest steps you can take to enjoy better sleep. Bedtime routines are a simple lifestyle change that can help your mind and body relax before bed’. – Sleep Foundation. This link will take you to an excellent article on the topic bedtime routines and help you curate one of your own taste and interests.
Expressive Journaling There is mounting evidence to support the benefits of journaling at bedtime. We actively encourage our patients to consider this practice. Try it. You may be surprised how well it helps you not only sleep better, but reduce ruminations, stress, problems, and worries that you take to bed with you. They all jump on to your pages once you write them down, and tend to stay there, leaving your body and mind more relaxed, and able to focus on getting some good quality shut eye.
Positional Therapy Positional therapy is an intervention that helps to keep the person on their side during sleep. Examples include something on the person’s back to stop them from rolling over (like a tennis ball), special pillows, or alarms that vibrate when the person rolls onto his or her back.
Integrative health aims for well-coordinated care among different providers and institutions by bringing conventional and complementary approaches together to care for the whole person.
Functional Medicine determines how and why illness occurs and restores health by addressing the root causes of disease for each individual.
Trauma-informed care shifts the focus from “What’s wrong with you?” to “What happened to you?” A trauma-informed approach to care acknowledges that health care organizations and care teams need to have a complete picture of a patient’s life situation — past and present — in order to provide effective health care services with a healing orientation. Trauma-informed care seeks to: Realize the widespread impact of trauma and understand paths for recovery; Recognize the signs and symptoms of trauma in patients, families, and staff; Integrate knowledge about trauma into policies, procedures, and practices; and actively avoid re-traumatization.
Patient-centered care, addresses an individual’s specific health needs and desired health outcomes are the driving force behind all health care decisions and quality measurements. Patients are partners with their health care providers, and providers treat patients not only from a clinical perspective, but also from an emotional, mental, spiritual, social, and financial perspective.
Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Adverse childhood experiences are associated with adult sleep disorders.
A key article– Adverse childhood experiences are associated with adult sleep disorders: a systematic review; Kajeepeta, S., Gelaye, B., Jackson, C. L., & Williams, M. A. (2015). Adverse childhood experiences are associated with adult sleep disorders: a systematic review. Sleep medicine, 16(3), 320–330. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sleep.2014.12.013
To learn more about how ACEs can have a tremendous impact on future violence victimization and perpetration, and lifelong health and opportunity you can go to this Center of Disease (CDC) link.
To learn more about the ACE Score, you may go to this link.
Two-thirds of us have at least one ACE. The good news is that toxic stress is treatable. A consensus of scientific data demonstrates that early detection and intervention are associated with improved outcomes related to toxic stress.
to be connected to the secure DentalWriter portal for your Sleep Screening Consultation and Medical Insurance Information.
Services Included in Your Medical Oral Device Therapy (MODT) Case Fee
• Virtual or In Office visit (usually combined with the Records Visit).
• A Comprehensive Review of your medical, sleep, dental, social, mental, and emotional history.
• Review of your medical reports, sleep studies forwarded by your sleep physician. Review of your responses to NJDSMC questionnaire.
• Discussion of what Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is, Medical Oral Devices (MOD) for treatment of OSA, Medical Oral DeviceTherapy, and how it works.
• Discussion of possible side effects, rates of success, and current limitations of MODT.
• Screening Exam to confirm that you are a candidate for MODT.
• Recording your vital signs and neck circumference.
• Evaluation, and recording of conditions of your dentition, periodontal status of teeth, Temporomandibular joints (TMJ), muscles of mastication and the head and neck area, tongue, palate, and alveolar bone of mandible and maxillary arches.
• A visual upper airway evaluation that includes examination of your tongue, tongue level, soft palate, Mallampati classification, presence or absence of tonsils, tonsils grade, if tonsils are present, uvula, gag reflex, maxilla, mandible, range of motion of mandible, and assessment of any Temporo mandibular disorder (TMD).
• Initial Diagnosis.
• Impressions for diagnostic casts for fabrication of MOD.
• Determination of a personal Targeted Protrusive Position (TPP) for patient’s MOD and with a George Gauge for transfer.
• Customized selection of appropriate MOD.
• Fabrication of custom MOD by a leading, research focussed company that prioritize device design and materials used that keeps in mind patient comfort, ease of use, effectiveness and longevity of the device.
• Review of MODT Patient Manual.
• Fabrication of custom Morning Repositioner.
• Demonstration of how to insert and remove the MOD.
• Opportunity to practice inserting and removing MOD with staff at NJDSM.
• Titration instructions, given verbally, and in writing.
• Post Titration Sleep Study Prescription.
• A NightOwl® mini multi night use, disposable Home Sleep Test.
• Mouth Tape (for patients who are mouth breathers).
• Prescription for fluoride application.
• A hard case, lip balm, and bag for patient MOD.
• Benefits Verification
• Pre-authorization (only if required by your insurance)
• GAP application, if indicated
• Claim submission with required supporting documentation from your sleep physician
• Claim appeal, if necessary
• Claim resubmission, if necessary
• Post 24-48 hours after initial insertion: check in phone call
• Post 4-5 week insertion: virtual visit
• Post 8-9 week insertion: virtual visit
• Any necessary in-office visits to address possible side effects
6-to-9 month Follow-up Visit
The American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) recommends that persons fitted with a MOD return to their sleep physicians for a follow-up sleep test 6 months after their MOD is optimally fitted. We have included the review of the results of your follow-up medical visit in your case fee.
Does NJDSMC offer a senior citizen courtesy for patients over 65 years of age?
Yes. Please get details from the Manager, NJDSMC
Can I file my own insurance claim?
Yes. Unless you are a Humana Military patient. In that case, we must file your claim for you.
May I get a duplicate/second oral appliance medical device?
Yes, it is available. Many of our patients request a Duplicate Oral Appliance (*Must be decided at time of records/impressions*) for personal reasons. This request must be made at the time of the Records/Impression visit to qualify for a 50% courtesy of the original case fee. Anytime after that visit, there will be a full fee charged for a second appliance.
What are the methods of payment accepted at NJDSMC?
Cash, check, Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Health Savings account credit cards, 3rd part financing. Note- 3rd party financing must be approved by NJDSMC before MODT is started.