5 Tips on How to Cope With Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a disorder often characterized by loud snoring and fatigue throughout the day.
Other symptoms of this sleep disorder that affects your breathing while you’re asleep include:
- Gasping during sleep
- Morning headaches
- Mood swings
- Pauses while you sleep
- Excessive sleepiness during the day
- Poor concentration
People with sleep apnea will stop breathing for short intervals during their sleep. During the breathing pauses, the person also jolts awake due to insufficient oxygen.
Unfortunately, other than causing sleep deprivation, untreated sleep apnea can also lead to serious complications such as mental issues, memory loss, heart failure, and death in extreme cases.
The good news is that there exist lifestyle treatment options that can help you cope with sleep apnea.
For instance, getting a breathing device such as the CPAP machine for sale can help you breathe better at night if you have obstructive sleep apnea.
A Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine is a highly recommended appliance for sleep apnea patients. The machine, which you can find on the No Insurance Medical Supplies website, delivers oxygenated air to your airways throughout the night via a mask and a tube, improving your breathing and allowing you to achieve uninterrupted sleep.
Other lifestyle changes that can help reduce your sleep apnea episodes are explained below.
1. Lose Some Weight
Obesity can obstruct your airways and cause you to stop breathing during your sleep.
If you’re overweight, your doctor may recommend you lose a few kilos to improve your breathing at night.
An added benefit of maintaining a healthy weight is that it reduces your risk of suffering from depression, stroke, high blood pressure, and heart failure, illnesses often caused by sleep deprivation.
2. Check Your Sleeping Position
Sleeping on your back can make your sleep apnea worse.
The back sleeping position narrows your airways as it causes your tongue and jaw to drop back towards your throat. If you prefer to sleep in this position, keep your head elevated with a pillow to help you breathe better.
The stomach sleeping position is also not the best for sleep apnea patients, as it can obstruct your breathing when you put your head down or on the side.
On the other hand, the side sleeping position is the best when you have sleep apnea. This position allows your airways to stay open, improving your breathing.
3. Go Slow on the Alcohol
If you often take a glass of wine to help you sleep, you should stop.
Taking alcohol, sleeping pills, and other sedatives before sleep makes breathing difficult as they relax your thorax and neck muscles. Alcohol also leads to constant awakenings at night.
Additionally, you should also quit smoking if you have sleep apnea. Tobacco use leads to inflammation and fluid retention in the upper airways, worsening your sleep apnea.
Studies also show that smokers have a high risk of developing obstructive sleep apnea.
Exercises do more than help keep your waistline fit. Engaging in moderate exercise for at least 30 minutes daily can reduce your sleep apnea episodes.
Exercises such as walking, yoga, biking, aerobic exercises, and strength training can strengthen the muscles of your airways and improve your breathing at night.
5. Get a CPAP Machine
An oral appliance like a CPAP machine helps you breathe better while you sleep.
The special mouth guard repositions your lower jaw and prevents obstruction during sleep. An oral appliance is suitable for people with mild obstructive sleep apnea or those who may have difficulties using a CPAP device.
Hopefully, these tips will help reduce your sleep apnea episodes. Talk to a sleep specialist if you still have trouble breathing at night, even after trying the above tips. Your specialist will guide you on what to do or recommend other treatment options for your sleep apnea.