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If you suffer from sleep apnea, it can be frustrating having so little control over your quality of sleep. With episodes of apnea and hypopnea taking you out of deep sleep and possibly even waking you, there are some tactics for reducing and in some cases even remedying the symptoms completely.
To understand how these tips help, first, you must understand what happens when you experience sleep apnea. It’s a common condition where the walls of the throat relax, narrowing the airways and preventing air from flowing naturally.
1. Lifestyle Changes
Those who have large necks are at higher risk of developing sleep apnea. It’s possible that through weight loss you can tackle the issue. This is one of the common treatments suggested by doctors, although it isn’t applicable to everyone.
Changing your diet and eating habits are also related to improvements, not only for weight loss. A symptom of sleep apnea is craving carbohydrates. This is due to less restful sleep causing fatigue, this then leads to hormonal changes which make you feel hungry. Those with severe sleep apnea have been linked to eating more protein and fats, regardless of their weight.
2. Adjustable Beds
Sufferers of sleep apnea have reported significant improvement when using adjustable beds. Historically these beds were only used in hospitals, but as technology and medicine have improved it’s become apparent that different sleeping positions can aid and sometimes completely negate symptoms of conditions such as sleep apnea.
This works by adjusting the position of the neck and in turn the walls of the throat. This can alleviate any pressure or tightness in the throat by keeping it in a position that allows for the best airflow. These can be great not only for sleep apnea but they can help a whole other host of sleeping and back problems.
3. Manage Your Allergies
Even for people without sleep apnea, sleep is not as fulfilling when suffering from allergies. Sometimes allergies are the cause of sleep apnea, so it’s not surprising that taking care of your allergies is an important part of managing the condition. It may be as simple as preventing your cat from sleeping on your bed or mentioning allergies to your doctor.
4. Exercise and Yoga
While beneficial for losing weight, which in itself is a tip for helping sleep apnea, exercise and yoga, in particular, can help to strengthen the muscles in the neck and throat. This can help your body naturally fight the condition as you sleep. Yoga especially has shown great results for those seeking treatment.
5. Sleeping Position
Sleeping on your back can negatively influence sleep apnea. Try sleeping on your side, as this prevents your tongue and the soft tissues in your mouth and throat from obstructing your airways. If you toss and turn in your sleep, try sewing an object like a tennis ball to the back of your PJs to make it uncomfortable to sleep on your back.