Even though millions of people are diagnosed with sleep apnea every year, it is a disease that is not often discussed. Many people do not even know what sleep apnea is. If you have recently been diagnosed with the disorder, it is critical that you educate yourself on what it is all about. This article is filled with health care tips related to sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea can be connected to your weight. If you are overweight, consider going on a diet to lose a few pounds. Studies have shown that overweight people who suffer from sleep apnea were able to improve their symptoms by losing about 25 pounds in a year: give it a try!
Get a checkup regularly and act upon your doctor’s suggestions. Besides excess weight, you could be suffering from health issues such as heart disease and hypertension, which can greatly increase your chance of suffering from sleep apnea. Even problems with blood sugar can make sleeping a miserable experience for apnea sufferers.
Check if a corrective device can help alleviate your sleep apnea symptoms. Having an overbite, an undersized jaw or a recessed chin can cause your airway to be more narrow because of how your jawbone is set. These devices help create proper alignment of your jaw while you sleep, opening up your airway more. As a result, you experience fewer sleep apnea symptoms.
Drink less alcohol and smoke less if you suffer from sleep apnea. Alcoholic beverages cause the upper airway to become overly relaxed, and smoking causes swelling in your airway. So, cutting back or completely giving up both can improve your symptoms or even cure your sleep apnea problem completely.
Exercise your neck and throat. Sleep apnea is caused by your throat becoming obstructed as you sleep. By strengthening the muscles in your neck, throat, and jaw, you can help your muscles withstand the pressure. Spend a few minutes every day performing exercises designed for the jaw and neck area.
Take back a good night of rest by side sleeping. When people sleep on their back, their tongue and soft palate rest to the back of the throat, which blocks the airway. Try to fall asleep on one of your sides to see if your symptoms get better.
If you do not know if your snoring is from sleep apnea or just simple snoring, try using a sleep diary. In this diary, you will need to record how much time you spend in bed, the number of times that you awaken each night, and how tired you feel when you arise in the morning.
If you have sleep apnea and were just prescribed a CPAP, keep trying different masks until you find the one that fits you just right. Some masks may not be the right size or shape for your face. If your CPAP mask is leaking air into your eyes all night or rubbing the skin on your forehead raw, ask your sleep center to prescribe a different mask for you.
Sleep apnea is a serious condition that can be improved by losing weight if you are obese. Losing about 25 pounds can dramatically improve this condition. For some people that will cure the problem, for others it may just help improve the symptoms that you are experiencing. Try to eat healthy and make sure to get enough exercise every day.
Sleeping at a high altitude can worsen your sleep apnea because of the lower levels of oxygen. If you are going to a place located higher than what you are used to, take a CPAP machine with you. The best thing to do would be to completely avoid high altitude.
If you use a continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP machine to treat your sleep apnea, sleep with it every night. When you take the mask off at night, your symptoms will return. Sometimes they might disappear for one or two nights, but then return. Wearing the mask every night prevents episodes of sleep apnea from occurring.
If you suspect you have sleep apnea, ask your sleep partner to listen to your breathing while you sleep. See if they detect loud snoring as you get deeper into sleep. In addition, ask if they notice any periods when you appear to stop breathing for a time and then suddenly let out a loud snort and start breathing again. If you sleep alone, consider tape recording yourself to listen for these breathing abnormalities.
A CPAP machine can assist you in sleeping if you do have sleep apnea. If the air you are taking in is moist and warm, you will have a better night’s sleep. A lot of modern CPAP machines have a humidifier on them; ask your doctor about it.
If simple changes in your lifestyle, such as regular sleep hours and losing weight, have not eliminated your sleep apnea episodes, it is time to consult with a sleep specialist. The specific causes of your sleep apnea can be evaluated, and an individual treatment plan can be designed for you.
While sedatives and other sleep medications may help you fall asleep they are not so good when suffering from apnea. If possible, avoid taking any sleep aids to see if this improves your apnea problems. You just may find that something you thought was helping you to sleep was actually decreasing the quality of your sleep.
One way to reduce problems with sleep apnea is to start playing a wind instrument. These types of instruments will actually train your muscles in your upper airways, which are the muscles needed to control airway dilation while you are sleeping. Not only will you sleep better, you will also have a new skill to show off!
Sleep apnea is a disorder that is not talked about enough. It afflicts millions of people and can have serious, and even deadly, health consequences. The health care tips and strategies outlined in this article have educated you on some of the best ways that you can treat sleep apnea and lead a healthy, fulfilling life in spite of the disorder.
Read more: Sleep Apnea Tips You Can’t Afford To Miss!
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