Our Richmond dentists understand how challenging day-to-day life can be for patients suffering from the negative effects of sleep apnea. Here, are a few tips to help you sleep better each night, and get the most out of each day, when dealing with sleep apnea.
Tips To Help You Reduce Sleep Apnea Side Effects
Sleep apnea is a serious disorder that requires professional diagnosis so that you can get the treatment you need and deserve. If you think that you may be suffering from sleep apnea, it's important to visit your doctor for diagnosis and a treatment plan. Left untreated, sleep apnea can have a number of negative side effects on both your metal health and overall physical health.
If you have been diagnosed with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea you are likely familiar with the variety of ways that disrupted sleep can effect your daily life. Fortunately, for many sleep apnea patients, making a few changes to their lifestyle can help them to improve the quality of their sleep, and feel better throughout the day.
Here are just a few things that you may want to try to help reduce your sleep apnea symptoms. Keep in mind that lifestyle changes may not work for everyone. Be sure to speak to your doctor or dentist in order to find out if these changes may be right for you.
Weight Loss May Help Reduce Your Sleep Apnea Symptoms
Those people who are carrying a few extra pounds face an increased risk of developing obstructive sleep apnea. Studies have shown that losing as little as 10% of your body weight could significantly reduce sleep apnea symptoms so that you can sleep better. This is because people who are overweight are more likely to have extra tissue in the back of their throat, which can cause the airway to collapse, blocking or restricting the flow of air into the lungs while they sleep. Reducing the amount of extra tissue at the back of the throat may help to keep your airway open.
That said, we all know that losing weight is easier said than done. However, many sleep apnea sufferers find that losing weight becomes easier once their condition has been diagnosed and treatment begins. This may be due to getting a better night's sleep thanks to treatments such as C.P.A.P. and other oral devices available from your dentist.
Losing weight may help to make your treatment more effective, and will also bring with it a number of other health benefits that will make living with sleep apnea a little easier.
Avoid Alcohol To Sleep Better
Alcohol can disrupt sleep for anyone but for those with sleep apnea, alcohol may make their symptoms worse. Alcohol can cause the muscles in your throat to relax, increasing the likelihood of your upper airway collapsing and causing snoring or obstructive sleep apnea. If you suffer from sleep apnea, why not try skipping alcohol for a couple of nights a week to see if your symptoms decrease? Improved sleep quality may make passing on that glass of wine a little less of a chore.
Increasing Daily Exercise Might Help to Improve Your Mood
Exercise is a simple and inexpensive way to help improve your mood, your overall health, and your sleep apnea symptoms! If you have sleep apnea and don't tend to get much exercise, you may be surprised at how good a little exercise can make you feel. There are many studies linking weight loss and exercise, but exercise can do much more than just burn calories!
Some of the benefits of increased exercise may include:
- Reduced feelings of depression and anxiety
- Reduced risk of heart attack and stroke
- Less tension
- Increased energy
- Improved endurance
- Faster weight loss
- Better muscle tone
- Improved sleep quality
- Improved circulation
- Lower blood pressure
Quitting Smoking To Help Improve The Effectiveness of CPAP Therapy
While there are no proven direct links between smoking and sleep apnea, quitting smoking can help to improve your breathing overall, and help to prevent nasal congestion which can prevent you from getting the most out of your C.P.A.P. treatment. Patients who smoke are already keenly aware of the countless health reasons to quit, helping you to breathe more easily each night might be another good reason to add to the list.