Catch Some ZZZ’s
Sleep apnea is a serious medical condition that can contribute to other serious health problems including daytime fatigue, high blood pressure, heart problems, Type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, liver problems and complications with medications and surgery. If you snore loudly, are ever aware of cessation of respiration while you are trying to sleep, gasp for air, wake with a dry mouth or morning headache, have difficulty staying asleep, have excessive daytime sleepiness or attention problems or are irritable for no apparent reason you may have sleep apnea. It’s very important to see your doctor and discuss these symptoms. You can read about the different types in my article Sleep Apnea . There are some things that you can do that may help with this disorder but always seek medical attention if you suspect that you may have this dangerous disorder. The following tips may help you if you have Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
1-Shed the Extra Pounds
Everyone with sleep apnea is not overweight but if you are, losing weight may make the condition more manageable. In one study, a large number of people with type 2 diabetes were noted to end the study with no symptoms of sleep apnea at all after having lost an average of nearly 24 pounds. (1)
2-Stop Smoking and Drinking Alcohol
Smoking can cause irritation and swelling in the airway and aggravate snoring and pauses in breathing. Alcohol relaxes the muscle in the back of the throat and that can cause a breathing obstruction.
There is some research that indicates that sleep apnea causes us to crave carbs due to a lack of sleep. When we don’t sleep well, we have changes in the hormones that control our appetite and feeling of fullness. If you allow these cravings to steer you off course in your nutrition and gain weight, the excess weight can complicate the sleep apnea.
4-Control Your Allergies
Uncontrolled allergic symptoms can cause the throat to swell and stuff up your nose. When you have less space to breath, it becomes harder. This can make sleep apnea worse. Talk to your doctor and see if a saline nasal spray or a nettie pot used before bed might be a good idea.
5-Find Your Best Sleeping Position
Most people with sleep apnea have more trouble breathing when they are laying on their backs. Try putting two tennis balls into a tube sock and pinning it in the back of your pajamas to help you stay off of your back throughout the night.
Central Sleep Apnea
These methods will not help you if you have Central Sleep Apnea. Your doctor can advise you on this entirely. It is caused by problems that are more complex than Obstructive Sleep Apnea and a CPAP machine or other more sophisticated medical interventions may be necessary. The CPAP machine can be used to treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea as well. Regardless of the type of sleep apnea that you may have , medical intervention is necessary to avoid dangerous complications of this common medical problem.