Sleep apnea is a health condition in which breathing patterns become abnormal during sleep; it includes some temporary pauses in breathing. The irregular sleeping patterns lead to lethargic feelings due to a lack of energy. If this condition is left untreated, it can result in many health complications like mood disorders.
The good news is that you can control your sleep apnea by making small changes in your lifestyle, eating habits, physical activity, mindfulness, and personal hygiene. Here are some tips that can benefit you in managing your sleep apnea.
How does physical activity impact sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea and physical activity are closely related. Getting an adequate amount of exercise benefits weight loss that reduces the rigorousness of sleep apnea. Besides, some other benefits of physical activity are also seen in people having a healthy weight.
The blockage in the airways results in obstructive sleep apnea, and this obstruction results from multiple factors. Regular exercise tones not only the muscles but also the airways. It makes your airways open at night.
What adjustments should I make to improve my symptoms?
Inflammation and irritation are the significant factors that cause airway blockage and congestion. We don't realize that our sleeping environment contributes to these factors. Fortunately, we can improve our sleep environment by using specific environmental monitors like purification symptoms or making home allergy-proof.
People having seasonal allergies like pollen allergy in the springtime can get help from over-the-counter remedies to soothe airways. But before using any therapy, consult your doctor to ensure you are doing everything right.
Positions that help in sleeping easier
Positions are vital in keeping your airways clear and obstruction free while sleeping. The most obvious culprit behind airway blockage is the tongue. Like other muscles, your tongue relaxes and falls back during sleep resulting in the blockage of the airways.
Sleeping on the front side or even side sleeping can benefit you to feel more relaxed. But it isn't easy to stay on one side of the bed as most of us continuously move around during sleep. Another way to keep the tongue out of the way is by sleeping on an incline. Sleeping at a slight incline, with head slightly elevated with pillows, keep the tongue at rest between the jaws.
How does smoking or alcohol affect my sleep?
Alcohol is a significant contributor to sleep apnea as it causes the airway to become relaxed while sleeping and also disrupts the brain's ability to arouse as a result of airway blockage. On the other hand, there is no clear relation between sleep apnea and smoking. But smoking does irritate the airway and results in lung diseases that also cause sleep apnea.
However, the studies show that smoking can worsen the present sleep apnea due to an underlying disease.
Can practicing mindfulness benefit?
Few pieces of evidence show the benefits of mindfulness practices on sleep apnea. Practicing mindfulness improves sleep quality for individuals who have sleep apnea and wake multiple times during sleep.
Besides, people treating their sleep apnea with PAP (Positive Airway Pressure) therapy find practicing mindfulness beneficial in their treatment. Mindfulness also relieves stress that automatically improves sleep quantity and quality.