Our team of dentists in Surrey understands that day-to-day life can be challenging for anyone who suffers from the negative effects of sleep apnea. In this post, we list a few tips that may help you sleep better when dealing with sleep apnea.
Tips for Reducing Sleep Apnea Symptoms
This serious medical condition needs professional diagnosis and treatment. If you suspect you might have sleep apnea, it’s important to visit your doctor so you can be diagnosed and he or she can develop a treatment plan that works for you. Patients with untreated sleep apnea can experience numerous negative physical and psychological side effects.
If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, you’re probably familiar with the ways this condition can disrupt your sleep and negatively impact your quality of life. Fortunately, you may be able to make a few lifestyle changes to help improve the quality of your sleep and help yourself feel better throughout the day.
While lifestyle changes may not be effective for everyone, there are a few things you may want to try if you’re aiming to reduce your sleep apnea symptoms. Before trying these lifestyle changes, be sure to speak to your doctor.
Improve Your Mood With Daily Exercise
One inexpensive way to help improve your overall health, mood and sleep is to increase your daily exercise. If you tend to put off exercising, you may be surprised at what a positive impact it will have. Many studies link exercise to weight loss, but exercise can help you do so much more than burn calories.
Avoid Alcohol to Increase Your Chances of Better Sleep
While alcohol can disrupt sleep for anyone, for those suffering from sleep apnea alcohol can make their symptoms worse. Because alcohol can cause the muscles in your throat to relax, this increases the risk of your upper airway collapsing — leading to snoring or obstructive sleep apnea.
If you’re hoping to improve the quality of your sleep, you may want to consider skipping alcohol for a couple of nights each week to see if your symptoms improve. It may be worth it to pass on that glass of wine if you’re able to achieve a better night’s sleep.
Weight Loss May Help Reduce Sleep Apnea Symptoms
Did you know that carrying extra weight increases your risk of developing obstructive sleep apnea? If you are carrying a few extra pounds and suffering from sleep apnea, studies have shown that losing as little as 10% of your body weight can significantly reduce symptoms and allow you to sleep better.
People who are overweight are more likely to have extra tissue around their throat, so weight loss can help reduce symptoms of sleep apnea. While you sleep, this extra tissue can cause the airway to become obstructed and restrict airflow to the lungs. You can help keep your airway open and breathe more freely by reducing the amount of extra tissue around your throat.
Benefits of exercise can include:
- Lower blood pressure
- Improved sleep quality
- Faster weight loss
- Better muscle tone
- Improved circulation
- Improved endurance
- Less tension
- Reduced feelings of anxiety and depression
- Reduced risk of heart attack and stroke
Quit Smoking to Help Improve CPAP’s Effectiveness
While there are no proven direct links between sleep apnea and smoking, quitting smoking can help to improve your breathing overall, and help to prevent nasal congestion. Making the choice to quit can also help you get the most out of CPAP.
We know that patients who smoke are already aware of the many health benefits of quitting — getting a good night’s sleep is just another one to add to the list.
Ask Your Dentist About Sleep Apnea Treatment
Depending on your exact diagnosis, medical history and current health status, your dentist at Clover Hills Dental may be able to make a formal diagnosis of your specific case, then offer many different treatment options. We may recommend a gentle, easy-to-wear dental device, potentially helping you to avoid unwanted surgery.