If you suffer from sleep apnea, you know that it is no joke. It is a hard affliction to live with, especially upon first diagnosis. Learning that your sleep is being interrupted at night can be hard to swallow. Fortunately, the article below describes some things that can help you deal with it.

Consider doing a few very specific exercises before going to bed each night, to alleviate some of your sleep apnea symptoms. Exercising throat and tongue muscles has been proven in scientific studies to reduce snoring, improve breathing and lessen the more profound effects of sleep apnea when done according to doctor’s orders.

Get a custom mouth guard. These are made for people with sleep apnea. It is a great alternative to CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) and is much more comfortable to wear at night. A mouth guard will work by positioning the jaw and tongue in a helpful way that will allow for easier breathing while asleep.

Did you know that sleep apnea is more than just snoring? Your breathing may actually stop, or it may become very shallow, and this could happen upwards of a hundred times or more each night. If you feel you may be suffering from this affliction, you should see a doctor and be properly diagnosed and discuss a treatment that works best for you.

If you use a CPAP machine, make sure the mask fits well. Most people who quit using their CPAP machine usually say it is because the machine is uncomfortable. There are a number of different masks available, so you are not forced to use one that causes discomfort. Try out many different styles to find the right one.

When you get your sleep apnea diagnosis and the doctor gives you a CPAP machine, be determined to stick with CPAP therapy. It can be a real adjustment getting used to sleeping with a mask on your face every night. However, your life and health depend on it. So tell yourself this is not optional, and set your mind on making it work.

If you consume alcohol or smoke, this could be the underlying cause of your sleep apnea symptoms. Meanwhile, smoking causes the swelling of the airways; alcohol does the complete opposite and relaxes them too much. If you want to be able to sleep well each night, limit or quit smoking and/or drinking.

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.

If your sleep apnea is caused by misalignment of your jaw, which results in the narrowing of your airway, you may benefit from visiting a doctor. A doctor can look at the alignment and suggest a night mouth guard that will force your airways to stay open while sleeping by holding your jaw in proper alignment.

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!

Learn to recognize sleep apnea. If you snore a lot or choke and can’t breathe during the night, this is probably a sign of sleep apnea. Use a tape recorded if you sleep alone and listen to the tape to find out how much noise you make during the night.

Some people may experience sleepiness brought on by sleep apnea. Make sure that if you are one of the many who experience this, don’t operate any vehicles or heavy machinery. Do the responsible thing and get the right treatment. Don’t operate any vehicles or machinery without treatment, as you can be a hazard to yourself and others.

Lose weight. If you find yourself having difficulty sleeping, take the time to evaluate your weight. If you are obese, that is likely a major factor in your sleep apnea. Start on a diet and exercise regime right away so that you can slim down and sleep more comfortably every night.

Shed the pounds that have been bugging you. Those same pounds that you cringe at when you look in the mirror may also be causing your sleep apnea. In fact, there is a rule of thumb out there that for every 10% of the weight you lose, your sleep apnea will improve by 30%.

One thing you can try if you suspect that you have sleep apnea is sleeping on your side instead of on your back. While this may not help if you are very overweight, it can reduce the effects of gravity on your airway. You can sew a pocket at the back of your PJ top and place a small ball in it, if need be, to keep yourself off your back.

Make some drastic lifestyle changes if you must, in order to cure your sleep apnea. This means if you are smoking, drinking or taking sedatives, avoid doing so. If you don’t, this can worsen your sleep apnea symptoms. If you are addicted to smoking or drinking, consider getting help before being able to relieve your sleep symptoms.

If you use a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure)device for your sleep apnea, make sure you know how to put it on correctly. Make sure the straps are tightened just right and make sure the device is sealing over your air passageways. The device’s fit is important to its operation.

Now that you’ve read this entire article, you should have a better understanding of what can help your sleep apnea. Take what you’ve learned to heart, and apply it to your everyday life. You should notice a marked improvement in the amount of rest that you get. This will help you live a better life.

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