September 13, 2016
Sleep apnea is a hard problem to have. You are always tired, your throat is sore, and you may even suffer from headaches. You don’t have to live like this. Here are some easy ways to deal with your sleep apnea holistically.
Take Care of Your Sleep Apnea
Dealing with doctors and uncomfortable devices to help you sleep is not what many consider to be a good time. Why go the hard route when you haven’t even given the natural approach a shot? You may be surprised at how big a difference a few lifestyle choices can make. Here are some simple life hacks that can help you deal with your sleep apnea.
Improve Exercise and Diet – This seems to be the solution to almost every problem people have. It is mentioned so often that some people start to discount it as just something that everyone says will help, but in this case, it is absolutely true. With obstructive sleep apnea, the cause of your blocked airway is biological material in your throat getting into the airway. Excess weight can cause your throat to be narrower due to fat buildup. This contributes to the likelihood that this extra fat will block your airway while you sleep and cut your breath off. Exercise and diet are the only two absolutely effective ways of losing weight, or body fat. Cutting down on your body fat percentage can result in a wider, more open airway. This will lessen your sleep apnea symptoms and help you sleep soundly for more of the night.
Quit Smoking – Aside from the obvious benefit of not filling your mouth and lungs with cancer-causing agents, quitting your smoking habit can also help lessen your sleep apnea symptoms. Smoking is thought to contribute to fluid retention in your airway. If you are retaining fluid anywhere in your body, that area begins to swell. In your airway, swelling narrows the opening and increases the likelihood of sleep apnea episodes. Smoking also contributes to increased inflammation in your airway. The effect of inflammation is the same as fluid retention, as your airway will get more narrow as inflammation increases. Don’t cause yourself the undue grief of increased sleep apnea, wheezing, short breath, and possibly cancer. Quit smoking and sleep soundly.
Avoid Sedatives – This may sound counterproductive. One symptom of sleep apnea is insomnia, and a sedative is a wonderful antidote for that. The problem occurs with the effects that the sedative has on the muscles in your throat. The sedative will relax your throat muscles and cause them to sag. Think of your bicep. When you flex it it gets hard and raises. When you stop flexing it, it sags down. This is similar to your throat muscles. As they begin to relax, they will sag into your airway. This sagging increases the likelihood of sleep apnea and will actually rob you of sleep instead of providing it.
No Caffeine or Food Within Two Hours of Bedtime – This should be common sense. If you would like to have a restful night’s sleep, don’t drink a beverage that is meant to keep you up and alert. Avoiding a heavy meal before bed will keep you more comfortable and able to rest better. If you must eat before bed, keep it light and keep it quick. This way, you can sleep more soundly and possibly avoid unwanted sleep apnea symptoms.
Get into a Routine – As with everything in life, establishing a routine will do nothing but good things for your sleep apnea symptoms. Get ready for bed at the same time each night, and stick to it. The more scheduled your routine is, the less stress you will feel, and the more sleep you will get. The more rest you get, the less your sleep apnea symptoms will occur.
Home Sleep Aids
Here is a home remedy to help you sleep better. Mix these ingredients together with some warm water, and sleep more peacefully throughout the night.
Honey – Honey has anti-inflammatory effects, and it may help reduce swelling in your airway. This will help lessen the likelihood of a blockage.
Chamomile – This herb will help to relax you when it is time to go to bed. Chamomile also promotes sleepiness and lightly sedates you (not enough to affect throat muscles).
Cinnamon – This has been suggested as an effective treatment for sleep apnea symptoms in some cases, and it also has a light sedative effect in line with what chamomile provides.
We also offer home sleep appliances. Mouthguards and splints from Mint 32 Dentistry can help you deal with your sleep apnea symptoms without the use of medication or other invasive procedures. These devices can help reduce the risk of whole body problems and diseases associated with untreated sleep apnea. Dr. Morton can safely help you get the sleep you need.
Call our Alpharetta, GA office today at 770-901-2719 to schedule an appointment. You can use our online form to schedule your appointment as well.