Have you ever heard of the condition of sleep apnea? It is a condition that causes breathing problems during sleep. It affects an estimated 10 million Americans, and many people aren’t even aware they have it. But there are things you can do to treat this problem and improve the quality of your sleep. There are lifestyle changes for sleep apnea that can help and improve your overall health.
If you feel tired and sleepy even after sleeping for a good 7-8 hours? Chances are, you might be suffering from sleep apnea. It’s a condition where your breathing repeatedly stops and starts while you sleep at night. Besides, loud snoring with your mouth open is also a sign of sleep apnea.
The most common symptoms of sleep apnea include:
- Poorly-rested body
- Loud snoring
- Gasping for air while sleeping
- Morning headache, and
- Day-time sleepiness
To get treatment, you will have to get yourself checked by a doctor who will then develop a treatment plan accordingly.
However, if your symptoms are mild, incorporating some of these lifestyle changes for sleep apnea can be helpful.
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Sleep Apnea Treatment Lifestyle Changes
A sleep apnea treatment lifestyle change may be just what you need to improve your quality of life. Read on to discover more about these changes!
1 . Change Your Sleep Positions
This might seem like a trivial thing, but altering your sleep position can have a significant impact on your sleep. In fact, in a 2006 study, it was found that many cases of obstructive sleep apnea ( a type of sleep apnea) are influenced by position.
It showed that sleeping on your back ( the supine position) can worsen your condition. Many people report that sleeping on the side helps their breathing rate to become normal. It is said to avoid sleeping on your back because this position puts extra strain on your neck muscles.
2. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Research has shown that your weight has a significant impact on your sleep apnea symptoms. For instance, obesity in children and women, especially, can cause airway obstruction and narrowing of nasal passages.
These obstructions can result in a sudden stop of breathing while you sleep. Hence, doctors advise maintaining a healthy weight to avoid the symptoms of sleep apnea.
3. Try Natural Sleep Aids
Essential oils like Lavender, Jasmine, and Citrus have been used for centuries as natural sleep aids. They help reduce stress, calm your head and promote a good night’s rest. Many people also take marijuana in the form of e-juice to relax their restless minds and get relief.
CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) are two major components that induce relaxing effects. For intensified effects, people prefer thc vape juice for vaping as it kicks in the results quite faster. If you’re a regular marijuana user, you might already know how much dosage you need. But, if you are a newbie, try to keep your dosage low.
4. Avoid Smoking
Lifestyle changes for sleep apnea such as quitting smoking and limiting the intake of alcohol can promote better sleeping patterns. Regular alcohol consumption relaxes the throat muscles, which control your breathing and leads to snoring. This causes inflammation in your airways, making breathing difficult.
Similarly, tobacco use can lead to swelling in your airways which can worsen your symptoms of sleep apnea. If you’re an addict, consult a doctor and get the required help as to what can be done to manage your condition.
5. Reduce Alcohol Consumption
If you’re struggling with sleep apnea, one of the first steps to lifestyle chnages is to reduce alcohol consumption. Alcohol has been shown to worsen symptoms of sleep apnea by causing airway collapse.
In addition to reducing alcohol intake, other lifestyle changes can help improve sleep quality. For example, if you snore, try using nasal strips or oral appliances to keep your airways open during sleep.
You might also consider trying a CPAP machine (continuous positive air pressure) to prevent airway collapse while you sleep.
6. Exercise More Often
Another thing you can do to help prevent sleep apnea is to exercise more often. This will help keep your body weight down and make breathing easier.
If you suffer from sleep apnea, try to get at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day. You can use a pedometer to track your steps. Try walking around the block or taking a brisk walk after dinner.
Is Sleep Apnea A Life Threatening Condition?
According to reasearch, people with severe sleep apnea have a high risk of death. In this study on August 1st issue of the journal sleep shows that people with severe sleep apnea have a mugh higher risk than people without it. The righ of death also increases when sleep apnea is left untreated.
Results show that people who have severe sleep apnea, which involves frequent breathing pauses during sleep, have three times the risk of dying due to any cause compared with people who do not have sleep apnea.
Here are some things to remember:
Learn about the symptoms of sleep apnea
If you think you might suffer from sleep apnea, talk with your doctor about getting tested. He or she will ask questions about your lifestyle habits, such as how much alcohol you drink, whether you smoke cigarettes, and what medications you take. They will also ask about your family history of sleep disorders.
Understand how sleep apnea affects your life
Sleep apnea is a condition where breathing stops briefly during sleep. This happens when airway muscles relax and block airflow into the lungs. It’s more common than you might realize.
According to the National Heart Lung Blood Institute (NHLBI), an estimated 18 million Americans have some form of sleep apnea. That means one in five adults has sleep apnea.
Discover what treatment options are available
If you think you have sleep apnea, talk with your doctor. There are several different treatments for sleep apnea, including lifestyle changes, medications, surgery, and devices.
As mentioned above lifestyle changes include losing weight, quitting smoking, and avoiding alcohol. Medications can help keep your airways open while you sleep. These include antihistamines, antidepressants, and nasal sprays.
Surgery can remove excess tissue in the back of the throat. Devices such as CPAP machines use positive pressure to keep the airways open.
Find out if you should see a doctor
If you think you might have sleep apnea, schedule an appointment with your doctor. They will ask questions about your symptoms and perform tests to determine whether you do indeed have sleep apnea.
Read more about sleep apnea
Sleep apnea is a condition where breathing stops briefly during sleep. This happens when airway muscles relax and block airflow through the nose and mouth. It’s caused by a combination of things, including obesity, enlarged tonsils, nasal congestion, and other medical issues.
People who suffer from sleep apnea often feel tired throughout the day and struggle to stay awake while driving or performing other activities. They also tend to snore loudly and breathe shallowly.
5 Things You Can Do to Improve Your Sleep Quality
If you struggle to sleep at nights, this is for you. If you ever woken up feeling groggy in the morning, learn what things you can do to improve your sleep quality.
Drink plenty of water
Drinking enough water throughout the day will help keep you hydrated and reduce the likelihood of waking up feeling thirsty. Aim for eight glasses of water per day.
Avoid caffeine after noon
Caffeine is a stimulant that keeps us awake. It also has an effect on our body temperature, which makes it harder to fall asleep. To avoid these effects, try avoiding caffeine after noon.
Go to bed at the same time every night
If you go to bed at different times each day, your body will adjust to the new schedule and you won’t feel tired as much when you go to bed. Try going to bed at the same hour every night so your body knows what to expect. Establish a good night time routine to get a better sleep quality.
Don’t use electronics before bedtime
It’s common practice to turn off electronic devices an hour or two before bedtime. This helps us wind down and prepare ourselves for sleep.
Research shows that using these devices right up until bedtime can disrupt our natural circadian rhythm and make it harder to fall asleep.
Regular exercise has been shown to improve sleep quality by increasing blood flow to the brain, improving oxygen levels, and reducing stress hormones. If you’re having trouble falling asleep, try exercising at least 30 minutes before bedtime.
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OVER TO YOU: What lifestyle changes for sleep apnea can you add?
Living with sleep apnea can be a heck of a challenge. It can hamper your everyday activities and adversely affect your life in so many ways. If you are also suffering from the symptoms, consult your doctor and incorporate these above-mentioned lifestyle changes to get relief. Have a great sleep!