Our dentists at Ladner Village Dental in Delta understand how challenging day-to-day life can be for patients suffering from the negative effects of sleep apnea. In today's blog we share 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 Reduce Your Sleep Apnea Symptoms
Sleep apnea is a serious medical disorder that requires professional diagnosis so that you can get the treatment you need. 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 health.
If you have been diagnosed with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) you are likely familiar with the number of ways that disrupted sleep can negatively impact your daily life. Fortunately, for many sleep apnea patients, making a few changes to their lifestyle can help them to improve their quality of sleep, and feel better throughout the day.
While lifestyle changes may not help everyone, if you're looking to reduce your sleep apnea symptoms, here are a few things that you may want to try. Be sure to speak to your doctor or dentist in order to find out if these changes may be right for you.
Weight Loss to Reduce Sleep Apnea Symptoms
People carrying a few extra pounds face an increased risk of developing obstructive sleep apnea. The good news is that, if you're overweight, 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.
Losing weight can help reduce symptoms because people who are overweight are more likely to have extra tissue in the back of their throat. During sleep, this extra tissue can cause the airway to collapse, blocking or restricting the flow of air into the lungs. Reducing the amount of extra tissue at the back of the throat may help to keep your airway open and keep you breathing normally.
That said, we understand that losing weight is easier said than done. Nonetheless, many sleep apnea sufferers find that losing weight becomes easier once their condition has been diagnosed and treatment begins. This could be due to getting a better night's sleep thanks to treatments such as C.P.A.P. or oral devices available from your dentist.
Losing weight may also help to make your treatment more effective, and bring with it a number of other health benefits that could 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 symptoms more severe. 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 improve? Getting a better sleep may make passing on that glass of wine a little less of a chore.
Increasing Daily Exercise to Improve Mood
Increasing your exercise can be 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. Many studies link weight loss and exercise, but exercise can do much more than just burn calories!
Benefits of increased exercise can 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
Quit Smoking To Help Improve The Effectiveness of CPAP
Although 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.