Sleep apnea is when your breathing stops and starts as you sleep. The most common form is known as obstructive sleep apnea, with an estimated 22 million Americans suffering from the sleep disorder. If left undiagnosed, sleep apnea can cause and increase several health complications, such as triggering mental health issues and leading to poor immune function.
While there are breathing devices like a CPAP machine, which can be purchased from Medguru medical supply, there are several lifestyle changes that you can make to improve your quality of life.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Those who are obese are at an increased risk of getting sleep apnea. The best way to combat symptoms linked with sleep apnea is by losing and maintaining a healthy weight. Doing so will keep your airways clear and may eliminate the need for long-term CPAP therapy. In some instances, losing weight can eradicate sleep apnea altogether, however, if you put weight back on, it is possible for the condition to return.
Change Your Sleep Position
Although it’s considered a small change, altering your sleep position can reduce symptoms attached to sleep apnea. We all need to get a good night’s sleep for our mental and physical wellbeing, so it’s important that you don’t sleep on your back. Many adults who sleep on their side find their breathing returning to normal. If you aren’t sure what to do, your doctor can advise you further on the best positions to sleep in.
Incorporating regular exercise into your routine can not only boost energy levels, lower blood pressure, but also improve sleep apnea. Yoga in particular is known to encourage oxygen flow, which can drastically boost your respiratory strength. There are many types of poses that you can try out that will decrease the number of sleep interruptions you experience. Whether you’re a lover of fitness or not, yoga is a low-intensity exercise that can provide tons of health benefits.
Use a Humidifier
Dry air can cause irritation to your body and its respiratory system, so you may want to consider purchasing a humidifier that adds moisture to the air. A humidifier can decrease congestion, open your airways, as well as promote clearer breathing. To get the maximum benefits, you can add oils like peppermint and lavender, which are known for their soothing and anti-inflammatory benefits.
We’re all aware of how bad smoking is for our general health, but you may not realize the negative impact it has on your sleep apnea. Tobacco use can cause your airways to swell, which makes your snoring worse. Giving up smoking is one of the best lifestyle changes you can make, so if you’re struggling to kick the habit, there are lots of tips and resources online that you may want to check out.
Sleep apnea is a lot more serious than you may think. It’s not just a case of getting a bad night’s sleep or snoring loudly. In some instances, sleep apnea can be fatal, so if you have obstructive sleep apnea, following all the advice above may help in easing symptoms.