There are hundreds of people who suffer from an unknown ailment – unknown even to themselves. This ailment is called sleep apnea, and aside from damaging the quality of a night’s sleep, it also carries more severe health risks. This article offers tips on how to survive when you have sleep apnea.
If you decide to try a CPAP machine, do not give up until at least a few weeks. A lot of sleep apnea patients give up before they really get a chance to get used to their machine. Wait until you are comfortable with sleeping while wearing a mask and you should really notice a difference.
Try your best to lay off tobacco and nicotine products. Cigarette smoke can irritate your upper airway causing it to swell up, subsequently hindering your ability to breath during the night. Quitting smoking could therefore, significantly improve your sleep apnea symptoms and will also improve your body’s overall health and your feelings of well-being.
If you have sleep apnea, be sure to ask your doctor every five years if you should have a follow-up sleep study. As your weight and health change, your CPAP pressure may need to be adjusted. The most accurate way to reassess your needs is to have another sleep study with CPAP so the appropriate pressure can be determined.
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.
Exercise your throat. Make faces. Stick out your tongue. Rotate your jaw. It might feel a bit silly, but it can actually help people who suffer from sleep apnea. Doing these things exercises the muscles your body needs to moderate its breathing. Studies have shown that doing these exercises a few times a day can make a huge difference.
Losing weight is an excellent way to alleviate the symptoms of sleep apnea. Weight loss alone can be an effective treatment for those with mild sleep apnea. Loosing even a little weight can allow you to breathe more freely and get a good night’s sleep.
For people who smoke, the best way to correct a sleep apnea condition is to quit smoking. Smoking is one of the biggest causes of sleep apnea. When people stop smoking their risk of sleep apnea is reduced and they can get a full night sleep within days of quitting.
On easy way to help limit your sleep apnea is to stick to regular sleeping hours. When you stick to a sleep schedule that is steady and consistent, you will be more relaxed and sleep much better. Apnea episode frequency will be greatly reduced if you can get plenty of sleep every night.
Don’t drink alcohol, especially at night. The reason most people drink alcohol is to relax, but it also causes the muscles that control your airways to relax as well. When you go to sleep with ultra-relaxed airway muscles, it can make your sleep apnea symptoms worse. Do your body and your wallet a favor and cut out the booze.
Many people simply lay down whenever they feel about it, and then complain when they aren’t sleeping well. The human body is based off of routine, so it is greatly beneficial to go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day. This can even help with snoring and apnea issues.
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!
If you suspect that you have sleep apnea, talk to your doctor about undergoing a sleep study. During the course of the study, you will be hooked to monitors while you sleep. These monitors will tell doctors about the levels of oxygen in your blood, the states of sleep you enter, and whether or not your breathing is inhibited while you sleep.
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.
If you have tried everything else and talked to a medical professional, then it is time to consider more permanent solutions for your apnea. There are some breathing devices that a medical professional can recommend for you. Although it may be annoying to lug the machine around, it is better than the alternative.
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.
For sleep apnea patients who are using CPAP therapy, cleaning your equipment is essential to avoiding bacteria buildup that can lead to sinus infections. Simply washing your mask every couple days in a soapy solution of mild dishwashing liquid (i.e. Ivory Clear) is enough to wash away any harmful residue. Alternatively, you can obtain treated wipes from your DME provider or online that can be used to wipe down your mask each morning after use. Disinfecting in a 50/50 solution of white vinegar and water is recommended weekly.
By understanding and analyzing these tips, you are better prepared to deal with your own sleep apnea, or even that of a loved one. You can turn nighttime from a battle into bliss or from purgatory into peace. By ensuring a good night’s sleep, you will improve the quality of your entire life.