Do you suffer from sleep apnea?
The Greek word “apnea” literally means “without breath.” Sleep apnea is an involuntary cessation of breathing that occurs while an individual is asleep. Risk factors include being male, overweight, and over the age of 40, but sleep apnea can strike anyone at any age, even children. According to the National Sleep Foundation, over 41 million people in the U.S. suffer from sleep apnea.
Here are the symptoms of sleep apnea:
- Loud snoring
- Waking up with a very sore or dry throat
- Restless sleep
- Occasionally waking up with a choking or gasping sensation
- Sleepiness or lack of energy during the day
- Morning headaches
- Sleepiness while driving
- Recurrent awakenings or insomnia
- Forgetfulness, mood changes, and a decreased interest in sex
If you suffer from one or more of those symptoms, you definitely have sleep apnea. That’s the bad news. The good news is that you can cure it. Here are 5 ways you can treat sleep apnea.
Most people who suffer from sleep apnea are obese or overweight. According to the American Sleep Apnea Association (ASAA), being overweight or obese are risk factors for the condition. The main reason for this is people who are weigh more than they should tend to have excess tissue at the back of their throat. To get over the condition, simply lose weight. Losing weight can shrink or redistribute the obstructive tissue, providing a solution to apnea.
Don’t sleep on your back
Sleeping on your back allows the tissues in your throat to obstruct your airways more easily than when you lie in other positions. Try sleeping on your stomach or on your side to see your sleep apnea improves.
Seek medical treatment
If you don’t have luck treating your condition through lifestyle changes, medical treatment for sleep apnea can be very effective. Treatment measures such as positive air pressure therapy (CPAP) work well for those who suffer from sleep apnea. The CPAP allows airflow to go throw your nose and mouth; therefore, improving breathing while at rest.
Wear an oral guard
Wearing an oral guard, similar to a sports mouth guard, may be an option to help reposition the tongue and lower jaw. This can help improve sleeping. A dentist who specializes in sleep medicine will have to conduct this procedure. You may need upper tissue surgery to remove tissue in the airway if the dentist recommends that.
Stop smoking and limit alcohol intake
You probably know smoking and drinking excess alcohol is detrimental to your health. Nonetheless, be aware both severely instigate sleep apnea symptoms. Smoking worsens the snoring caused by sleep apnea. Also, drinking alcohol can cause you to wake up frequently throughout the night. So it is best to stop smoking and limit alcohol intake.
Follow those 5 tips and you will begin to relieve your sleep apnea symptoms.