Sleep apnea often casts a shadow on a person’s daily well-being. Characterized by repeated breathing interruptions during sleep, its implications range from daily fatigue to more severe health issues. The urgency for effective remedies grows as more individuals come to terms with its effects. While oral appliances and CPAP machines go hand in hand with sleep apnea management, more individuals are exploring the transformative power of lifestyle shifts. Read this blog to learn about lifestyle changes that can improve your sleep apnea.
Carrying excess weight, particularly around the neck, creates an environment for sleep apnea. This weight presses down on the airways, creating obstructions and causing episodes of halted breathing during sleep. Starting a journey toward weight management involves embracing a balanced diet filled with nutrient-dense foods and committing to regular physical activity. As individuals progress towards their optimal weight, they often find the dual reward of reduced sleep apnea symptoms and an invigorated sense of health and vitality.
Turning to a drink or sedative for relaxation before sleep might have unintended consequences. Alcohol and sedatives have a profound relaxing effect on the throat muscles. This relaxation allows for easier obstruction of the airways, thus magnifying sleep apnea’s impact. Exercising judgment with consuming these substances can profoundly improve your sleep depth.
Sleeping posture can influence the severity and frequency of sleep apnea episodes. When one sleeps on their back, there’s a tendency for the tongue to shift backward, obstructing the airway. A conscious switch to side sleeping can diminish this risk. A supportive body pillow can assist in maintaining this position throughout the night; over time, this simple change can grant you improved sleep quality.
Smoking has various effects on health, with sleep apnea being one of the many conditions it aggravates. Inflamed and irritated airways become more susceptible to obstructions, causing interruptions in breathing. Taking the bold step to quit smoking promises many health benefits, with enhanced sleep quality and diminished sleep apnea symptoms being the most immediate rewards.
The human body thrives on rhythm and consistency. Sticking to regular sleep and wake times cultivates an internal clock, making it easier to fall asleep and wake up naturally. This consistent pattern often paves the way for deeper, more restorative sleep phases with fewer interruptions from sleep apnea. Starting this routine with calming activities like indulging in a good book, soaking in a warm bath, or practicing gentle yoga can help the body’s sleep-wake cycle.
Breathing through a congested nose can be uncomfortable and may further complicate your sleep. After consultation with a medical professional, exploring treatments such as saline sprays, nasal decongestants, or allergy medications can make night-time breathing more effortless and undisturbed.
For those looking to improve sleep apnea in Denver, Colorado, contact us to schedule a one-on-one consultation with Dr. Steven Wilk at the Denver Sleep Apnea Center.