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Tips for Living Well If You Have Sleep Apnea

Tips for Living Well If You Have Sleep Apnea

At Willowbrook Dental Clinic in Langley our dentists understand how challenging day-to-day life can be for patients suffering from sleep apnea. Here, are a few tips to help you sleep better at night, and get the most out of each day, when dealing with sleep apnea.

Tips To Help You Reduce Sleep Apnea Side Effects

Sleep apnea is a serious disorder that requires professional diagnosis so that you can get the treatment you need to sleep better. If you believe that you may be suffering from sleep apnea, it's important to visit your doctor or dentist for diagnosis and a treatment plan. Sleep apnea can have a number of negative side effects on both your metal health and overall physical health, if left untreated.

If you have already been diagnosed with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea you are likely familiar with the number of ways that disrupted sleep can effect your daily life. Luckily, for many sleep apnea patients, making a few changes to their lifestyle can help them to improve the quality of their sleep, and feel better throughout the day.

Here are a few lifestyle changes that you may want to try in order to help reduce your sleep apnea symptoms. That said, it's important to keep in mind that lifestyle changes may not work for everyone. Speak to your doctor or dentist in order to find out if these changes may be right for you.

Weight Loss May Help Reduce Your Sleep Apnea Symptoms

People who are overweight face an increased risk of developing obstructive sleep apnea. If you are overweight and suffering from sleep apnea, studies have shown that losing as little as 10% of your body weight could help to significantly reduce your sleep apnea symptoms. This is because people who are carrying extra weight are more likely to have extra tissue in the back of their throat, which can cause the airway to collapse, blocking or restricting the flow of air into the lungs while they sleep. By losing weight you may be able to reduce the amount of extra tissue at the back of your throat, and keep your airway open.

Losing weight is easier said than done, we know. However, many sleep apnea sufferers find that losing weight becomes easier once their condition has been diagnosed and treatment starts. This could be due to getting a better night's sleep thanks to treatments such as C.P.A.P. and other oral devices that also help to reduce sleep apnea symptoms. 

Losing weight may also help to make your other treatments more effective, and could bring with it a number of other health benefits that will make living with sleep apnea a little easier. 

Avoid Alcohol To Sleep Better

Alcohol has been shown to disrupt sleep for anyone, but for those with sleep apnea, alcohol may make their symptoms even worse. Alcohol can cause the muscles in your throat to relax, increasing the likelihood of your upper airway collapsing and causing snoring or obstructive sleep apnea. If you suffer from sleep apnea, try skipping alcohol for a couple of nights a week to see if your symptoms decrease. If this approach works for you, the improved sleep quality may make passing on that glass of wine a little less of a chore.  

Increasing Daily Exercise Might Help to Improve Your Mood

Exercise is a simple and inexpensive way to help improve your mood, your overall health, and your sleep apnea symptoms! If you suffer from sleep apnea and don't tend to get much exercise, you may be surprised at how good a little exercise can make you feel. There are many studies linking weight loss to exercise, but exercise can do much more than just burn calories!

Some of the benefits of increased exercise may include:

  • Less tension
  • Reduced feelings of depression and anxiety
  • Increased energy
  • Reduced risk of heart attack and stroke
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Faster weight loss
  • Improved endurance
  • Better muscle tone
  • Improved sleep quality
  • Improved circulation

Quit Smoking To Help Improve The Effectiveness of C.P.A.P.

Although there are no proven direct links between smoking and sleep apnea, quitting smoking can help to improve your breathing overall, and help to prevent nasal congestion which can prevent you from getting the most out of your C.P.A.P. treatment. People who smoke are already keenly aware of the countless health reasons to quit, helping you to breathe more easily each night might be another good reason to add to the list.

If you'd like to learn more about sleep apnea treatments available from your dentist, contact our Langley dentists today.

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