Sleep Apnea: 10 Ways to Prevent It
The number of people who have sleep apnea is staggering. In the United States alone, it’s estimated that more than 24 million adults suffer from this condition. And while some cases are mild and can be treated with lifestyle changes, others require a physician or other medical professional.
Sleep deprivation is not only an unpleasant experience but also dangerous to your health and well-being in many ways. For example, it can lead to accidents, obesity, depression, and even death by heart attack or stroke. If you’re awake for about one out of every five minutes during the night because you’re struggling to breathe, then there’s a good chance that you need help managing your apnea symptoms – such as using a CPAP machine at night – before they take their toll. In this article, we will hope you find ways to prevent sleep apnea!
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a disorder of sleep in which your breathing is repeatedly interrupted during sleep. These pauses typically last between 10 to 20 seconds. They can happen up from 5-100 times per hour, meaning that you spend more time sleeping than necessary on lighter levels of consciousness. It isn’t easy to recover mental sharpness or productivity the next day when you aren’t getting enough sleep. Sleep apnea is technically a kind of parasomnia because your body and mind are active when they should be still and relaxed. Sleep apnea generally occurs in people who are overweight or have large tongues. However, many people do not realize that they suffer from it until they visit their doctors for other health problems. It can be dangerous to your health and well-being, which is why it’s essential to take steps to prevent it by making a few lifestyle changes over time.
For those who experience sleep apnea, it can be a severe problem, and in some cases, deadly! So if you suspect that might apply to yourself, talk with a sleep specialist without delay about how you could get tested for this condition and what treatment would work best on you since there are many different types available depending upon the severity of symptoms present in each person’s case.
Types of Apnea
Sleep Apnea Comes in Three Forms.
- Obstructive sleep apnea,
- Central sleep apnea, and
- Complex sleep apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea: Such types of sleep apnea are the most common type of sleep disorder, affecting up to 70 million people in America alone. It occurs when your muscles relax during REM (rapid eye movement) or deep non-REM stages that obstruct airflow through their nasal passages, causing loud snoring noises and interrupting breathing patterns with panting for air due to lack of oxygen supply.
Central sleep apnea: Central sleep apnea is a much less common type of snoring that happens when the brain can temporarily send signals to control breathing. An underlying health condition often causes it, and people with central apneas never experience loud or disturbing noises during their rest periods because they don’t produce enough vibrations as in other types such as obstructive ones where air leaves vocal cords, resulting in sounds like “HISS” being made when aloud talking or yelling even in sleep.
Complex or mixed sleep apnea: Such sleep apnea is the blend of both obstructive and central symptoms. Some patients being treated for OSA develop CPAP therapy with the use of a machine, but continue to have difficulty breathing while sleeping as it was found that their airways were successfully splinted open during treatment, causing them minimal discomfort at night time moments when sleep enters in but then immediately switching to central sleep apnea where the brain stops sending signals that control respiration.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
It is tough to identify the cause of sleep apnea on your own since the most prominent symptoms only occur while you’re asleep. But there are some ways that a bed partner or even just by recording yourself during slow-wave (non REM) deep, restful slumber may help shed light onto what’s plaguing our nights with interrupted breaths and gasping for air!
The usual symptoms of sleep apnea may include:
Frequent loud snoring; Choking, or popping sounds during sleep can be heard by others close to the sufferer. Daytime fatigue and drowsiness, even if they get up multiple times per night for short periods to not fall asleep at work!
Ways for Treating Sleep Apnea
It can be unsettling to receive a sleep apnea diagnosis. However, the good news is that it’s treatable, and for most people, treatment makes an enormous difference in how they experience mentally and physically!
#1 Cutting down Your Caloric Intake
Losing weight can be the key to living a better life. It is usually not a total cure, but it will reduce your chances of experiencing breathing episodes and even make sleep apnea symptoms less bothersome for you as well!
Losing just 5 pounds could mean that one day soon- maybe tomorrow or next week -you’ll wake up feeling well-rested without any chest pains or shortness breaths in between snooze alarms due to its impact on daytime drowsiness levels are often caused by overweight people’s elevated blood pressure rates.
Even though exercise does not lead to weight loss, it can decrease your sleep apnea breathing episodes and improve energy during the day. Aerobic activities like running or swimming are great for strengthening muscles in the airways. At the same time, resistance training aids with building stronger chest walls that may help reduce snoring issues caused by enlarged throats from excessive opening and closing of those passageways during rest hours – which leads us back into our first point: choosing an activity will depend largely upon what’s most suitable based on personal preferences; some people might find yoga beneficial because its postures work toward improving balance as well!
#3 Avoid Alcohol and Anti-Anxiety Drugs
Avoid alcohol, anti-anxiety medication, and other sedatives before bedtime is essential because they relax the muscles in your throat, which interferes with breathing. This includes benzodiazepines (e.g., Xanax), sleeping pills like Benadryl or Claritin, and opiates such as morphine or codeine.
It’s important to note that these drugs won’t only make you feel tired at night; their use can also have lasting effects on respiratory function long after sleep deprivation ends. The risks include addiction risk factors including craving for more chlorpromazine than what one has produced by themselves over time, trouble breathing upon waking up from tablets containing this type of medicine due not just strong side effects but even death if misused.
#4 Side Sleeping Position
One of the most well-known can temporarily approach home remedies for sleep apnea is a body positioning pillow or similar device. These positioners work by keeping you from sleeping on your back, which can lead to obstructive episodes when they do so, and keep snoring at bay in general as well! One example would be a side sleeping backpack – this vest-like clothing item has an extra bulgy part near where one’s shoulders meet with its straps that prevent the wearer from rolling over too far into what some call “sleep paralysis.” It also causes discomfort if you decide consciously to try turning around fully before bedtime.
#5 Elevate Your Head of the Bed
Sleeping with the head of the bed at an angle, like 60 degrees trusted source, may help reduce apnea episodes. For people who have difficulty sleeping on their back but find it easier to lie down and rest while supine, this solution could be just what they need! You can do wonders in achieving these positions by using pillows or purchasing a body wedge for yourself.
#6 Playing the Didgeridoo
Did you know that playing the didgeridoo can help with sleepiness and apnea? A small study found this to be true. The participants who played had reduced daytime sleepiness compared with those who didn’t! It’s essential for us all to know more about how we are affecting our health—and what effect different things like music or exercise might have on these symptoms, so they don’t go untreated because someone doesn’t realize they need medical attention right away when their pediatrician missed something negative happening along the way. Sleep apnea is also known to increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, and diabetes.
#7 Appliances for the Mouth or the Teeth
Sleep apnea can be treated with a few everyday household items. One such solution is to wear an oral device that holds your tongue or jaw in a particular position, which helps facilitate better breathing and may lead you back onto the track for sound slumber! Although these devices work well on their own, most people need prescription lenses because they don’t want any distractions during sleep time, so make sure before buying one. Some might not pass safety standards if worn while driving, etcetera.
#8 Avoid Caffeine and Heavy Meals
People with sleep apnea are recommended to avoid having heavy meals and beverages right before going to bed, as this may have a negative effect on their breathing. Heavy meals will require the person to work hard during sleep, making a recipe for a restless night’s rest! Heavier food is harder to digest, so digestive function becomes compromised if one is already suffering from respiratory distress. Just another reason to eat right before you go to bed.
#9 Open Your Nasal Passageways for Fresh Air
If a person has a stuffy nose or a deviated septum, it could worsen sleep apnea. If that is the case, sleeping with your mouth closed and breathing through your nose may help remedy things. Sleep Apnea Mouthpiece devices come in all different shapes and sizes, but the one thing they have in common is that all Sleep Apnea Mouthpiece devices are an effective way to get rid of this problem.
#10 Continuous Positive Airflow Pressure (CPAP) Therapy
People with sleep apnea will need treatment that helps keep their airways open during the night. Continuous Positive Airflow, or CPAP therapy, is currently one of the most effective treatments available and can be used by people who have mild or severe cases of their condition.
You are breathing through your nose while sleeping is essential to staying alive. A CPAP device or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine will deliver a steady stream of air as you sleep to keep open and prevent pauses for breathing that could be life-threatening if not treated immediately.
Sleep apnea can affect a person’s quality of life and physical health. Home remedies, such as healthy lifestyle changes and elevating your head at night, may help reduce episodes during sleep time; however, if you have moderate or severe cases, then it’s recommended to see a doctor who will probably prescribe them with some CPAP machine device for support breathing in order not be affected by this issue more than once!
Sleep apnea is a condition that affects roughly one in three people, but it can be prevented with some simple lifestyle changes. If you suspect you may have sleep apnea or are looking for ways to avoid it, we would love to help. We offer comprehensive services, including home testing and treatment options on the latest CPAP equipment so contact us today! Hunterdon Pulmonary & Sleep Associates has been providing excellence for many years. Contact our team of sleep specialists at (908) 237-1560 if you’re interested in learning more about how we can help alleviate your symptoms.