Sleep Apnea- Dealing with the Disorder
If your partner complains that you snore during your sleep, or if you wake up in the morning feeling tired and grouchy, you may have a common sleep disorder called sleep apnea. This means that at night, your airway is blocked and you stop breathing during your sleep. If you have this condition, you need to find treatment right away to avoid further problems.
You really need to do your best to lose weight if you have sleep apnea. Those who have sleep apnea typically have a neck circumference of 17 inches or more. This excess weight around the throat causes the airway to collapse more easily during sleep. Reducing your weight by even ten pounds can have a beneficial impact on your sleep apnea.
If you have just been diagnosed with sleep apnea and prescribed a Continuous Positive airway Pressure (CPAP), join a CPAP support group. It can be quite difficult to get used to sleeping with a mask on your face every night. Sitting in a room full of other people going through the same thing can be very empowering. You can learn from others who have had the same issues you are having and made adjustments to make it work.
Avoid drinking alcohol to excess. Your muscles are relaxed by drinking alcohol. You may want to feel more relaxed, but it can exacerbate your apnea. When your throat muscles relax, your airway narrows and causes sleep apnea. If you’re not going to give up alcohol, then just don’t do it right before bedtime.
Try your best to lay off tobacco and nicotine products. Cigarette smoke can irritate your upper airway causing it to swell up, subsequently hindering your ability to breath during the night. Quitting smoking could therefore, significantly improve your sleep apnea symptoms and will also improve your body’s overall health and your feelings of well-being.
Check if a corrective device can help alleviate your sleep apnea symptoms. Having an overbite, an undersized jaw or a recessed chin can cause your airway to be more narrow because of how your jawbone is set. These devices help create proper alignment of your jaw while you sleep, opening up your airway more. As a result, you experience fewer sleep apnea symptoms.
The first thing to do when you think you are dealing with sleep apnea is to discover if it is really apnea or just advanced snoring. If you have a loved one sleeping with you, this can be done alone at home, but if not you may need to visit a sleep clinic.
If you have difficulties sleeping because of your sleep apnea, you should avoid driving or operating dangerous machines. If you do not get a good night of sleep, take public transportation instead of driving to prevent accidents and do not take a job in a factory or on a construction site.
If simple changes in your lifestyle, such as regular sleep hours and losing weight, have not eliminated your sleep apnea episodes, it is time to consult with a sleep specialist. The specific causes of your sleep apnea can be evaluated, and an individual treatment plan can be designed for you.
Life after your CPAP diagnosis may seem overwhelming at first. However, there is a lot of help to be found if you look for it. This article has shared just a few easy ideas for dealing with your sleep condition. Start applying these today and you will feel more in control of your life in no time.