Health + Wellness

Combating Sleep Apnea

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Tips to put an end to your sleepless nights

Similar to insomnia, sleep apnea is a known sleeping disorder that interrupts your sleep. This condition occurs when you suffer from an irregular breathing rate during sleep. Upon developing this disorder, you will experience pauses in your breathing that could range from a few seconds to a few minutes. This affects your sleeping rhythm by switching you from deep to light sleep, and compromises your sleep quality.

Sleep apnea is further broken down into obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and central sleep apnea. The latter is not as common as compared to OSA. This sleeping disorder could cause your body, especially the brain, to receive insufficient oxygen. Not treating sleep apnea seriously can lead to several health issues such as stroke, heart failure and even depression.

People of all ages, particularly obese individuals, are prone to sleep apnea. If you’ve been suffering from sleep apnea for some time, here are some tips to improve and manage your sleeping disorder.

Lose weight

Your throat muscles relax, causing your throat to narrow when you sleep. Sleep apnea tends to block part or even the whole of your airway.

If you are overweight, an extra soft fat tissue is usually found in the back of your throat. This increases the width of your windpipe and blocks your airway further. To overcome sleep apnea, it is ideal to shed some pounds.

You may opt to go for a high-protein diet, cut down on consuming carbohydrates and start exercising. By losing weight, it helps to widen your airway, allowing you to breathe easier.

Start exercising

Besides losing weight, you can also exercise to overcome your sleeping disorder. If you are not used to exercising daily, you can start small by going for walks.

Your sleep duration and quality of sleep are impacted by the exercise that you do. You should attend aerobic and resistance training classes to help reduce snoring, one of the symptoms of this disorder. Yoga is also a good form of exercise to enhance your throat muscles and breathing.

Quit smoking

Sleep apnea might deteriorate if you do not attempt to quit smoking. Smoking intensifies the swelling in your upper airway, causing you to snore louder and more regularly. Your throat might also be more prone to inflammation and fluid retention.

Giving up smoking can help reduce inflammation and widen your airway. This helps to ease symptoms of sleep apnea such as deep snoring.

Change sleeping position

Your sleeping position could also contribute to sleep apnea. Sleeping on your side is better than sleeping your back. By doing the latter, your airway is being obstructed due to your tongue and soft tissues resting at the back of the throat.

Make it a habit of sleeping on your side or get an extra pillow to prop your head up. This helps to open your throat and airway, allowing you to regulate your breathing.

Stick to your sleeping schedule

Cultivating a healthy internal body clock is critical in promoting good quality sleep. Staying up late at night and waking up early or vice versa will make you feel edgy and restless throughout the day.

A regular sleeping schedule promises sufficient rest for your brain and body, which leads to a higher chance of overcoming sleep apnea. You might also want to avoid exercising too late or consuming too much caffeine that could disrupt your sleeping schedule.

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