The moment you get diagnosed with sleep apnea is the moment you start finding ways to better your sleeping patterns to prevent the condition from worsening. This includes using the appropriate PAP treatment, using things like The LOOKEE® Sleep Oxygen Monitors to track apnea events, and paying regular visits to a sleep specialist. Aside from medical treatments, how can you take matters into your own hands and change your lifestyle habits to start alleviating sleep apnea symptoms? Continue reading to find out!
Maintain a Healthy Weight
According to the American Medical Association, an increase in weight has been associated with the occurrence of sleep apnea symptoms, especially in overweight/ obese individuals. Studies have shown that sleep apnea patients who maintain a healthy weight have a lower apnea-hypopnea index. Hence they experience apnea events less frequently.
The reason why obesity plays such a prevalent role in worsening obstructive sleep apnea is due to the upper airway. Obese individuals have excess fat and tissue surrounding their throats, which further contributes to the narrowing and thus obstruction of the airway. Patients should incorporate a 20-minute walk or another form of cardio into their day (yoga has also been highly recommended).
Change your Sleeping Position
Many patients have found that they only experience symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea when they lie on their backs. Hence they recommend repositioning to sleep on your side instead, as this takes the pressure off the chest and allows the airway to remain open.
The LOOKEE® Sleep Oxygen Monitors track PAP effectiveness by measuring your SpO2 levels throughout the night. When they drop below normal levels, a gentle vibration will wake you up to change your sleeping position and prevent an apnea event from occurring.
Your diet can influence your weight and how you sleep at night. A healthy diet can also assist in maintaining a good weight and putting less strain on the airway. Experts recommend a diet consisting of high fiber, nutritious fruits, and refined carbs. These foods help patients stay fuller for longer without feeling heavy. Fatty meats that are hard to digest and full-fat dairy products that increase mucus production should be avoided as they can result in restlessness, fatigue, and breathing difficulties.
Avoid Substance Abuse
Extensive smoking, drinking, and the use of opioid medications can damage the throat tissue surrounding the upper airway. Substances that act as depressants (such as alcohol) cause interruptions in an individual’s sleep cycles. Since they slow respiration, it results in breathing difficulties and lower blood oxygen levels, thus worsening sleep apnea symptoms. Depressants also cause the throat muscles to over-relax, causing the airway to collapse.
Manage Nasal Issues
Having a blocked nasal airway or sinus problems can cause further breathing difficulties for patients with sleep apnea. These problems can usually be managed through a nasal spray or regular steaming with eucalyptus essential oil. Excessive snoring is associated with many sleep apnea symptoms and often gets worse as the condition progresses. Hence, people who experience this as well as sore throats, restlessness, and difficulty concentrating should consult a sleep specialist for a check-up.
When used in conjunction with apnea treatments and sleep monitoring, lifestyle changes can play a key role in managing sleep apnea symptoms. There’s only so much that the doctors can do! By playing your part, you bring yourself a few steps closer to a good night’s sleep.
- Obesity, Sleep Apnea, and Hypertension
- The Effects of Sleep Apnea on the Body:
- Sleep Apnea Relief: 8 Simple Ways to Complement Your Sleep Apnea Treatment:
- Eating Right When You Have Sleep Apnea https://www.ladydentistanchorage.com/eating-right-when-you-have-sleep-apnea/