Understanding the sleep apnea condition is one of the fundamental issues facing America today. Nearly 50 percent of sleep apnea sufferers are unaware that their condition is life threatening. It is estimated that 80 percent of sleep apnea sufferers are completely unaware that they even have the condition. This is why physicians are pushing for accurate sleep apnea testing for their patients.
Smoking, obesity, lack of exercise and a narrowed airway are the most common factors affecting someone suffering from sleep apnea. Reducing your risk for sleep apnea or the severity of your sleep apnea can sometimes be as simple as a few lifestyle changes. Below is a list of lifestyle changes for sleep apnea sufferers.
Eating healthy and regular exercise can help you lose weight. Weight loss has been proven to reduce the number of times breathing ceases due to sleep apnea. Taking off extra pounds will help airflow to your lungs and in turn, increase energy and stamina. Hence, visiting a dietitian or a nutritional counselor can help you manage your sleep apnea. In many cases an unhealthy diet can be the leading cause of sleep apnea.
Reducing your overall alcohol consumption, especially before bedtime. While alcohol can make a person initially sleepy, especially if a large quantity is consumed before your head connects with the pillow, more often than not the effect is disruptive toward sleep quality.
You should stop smoking regardless of whether or not you suffer from sleep apnea. If you smoke and can’t seem to quit, at least cut back. During the night, the muscles that control your airway relax due to the nicotine in cigarettes that you smoked throughout the course of the day. As a result, you are more likely to have your airway obstructed while you sleep.
Try sleeping with a lateral body position during sleep (versus supine) Sleeping on your side is best to decrease the incidence of mild sleep apnea.
Sleep hygiene is defined as the habit and/or practices that allow you to sleep well on a regular basis. Some of the sleep hygiene best practices are: turning your bedroom into a sleep haven and keeping it very dark, make sure the noise level as low as possible and keep distractions and gadgets out of sight.
By following the simple tips listed above you will be able to better manage your sleep apnea or greatly reduce your chances of developing the condition all together.
If you suspect you have sleep apnea and would like to learn more about all available treatment options, we can help. Please contact one of our medical concierges today at (855) 863-4537 to schedule a consultation today.