There are hundreds of people who suffer from an unknown ailment – unknown even to themselves. This ailment is called sleep apnea, and aside from damaging the quality of a night’s sleep, it also carries more severe health risks. This article offers tips on how to survive when you have sleep apnea.
Try losing a few pounds, if you suffer from chronic sleep apnea. Controlled studies have proven that people with this sleep disturbance benefit greatly after losing 20 or more pounds. Symptoms may even diminish completely, so you now have yet another reason to get your weight down to a healthier number!
If you are unsure whether or not you have sleep apnea, consider setting up an audio or video recorder next to your bed. When you review the recording, watch or listen for choking, gasping or other signs that you are not getting enough air as you sleep. Present your findings to your doctor if you suspect that you do have apnea.
Getting a CPAP machine is probably the best option for your sleep apnea. These machines will keep your airways open and help you breathe. You should talk to your doctor about CPAP machines and figure out which model would be the most adapted. This machine should work if you use it properly.
Get a CPAP mask that fits your face perfectly. If the mask that comes with your CPAP machine is too narrow or too loose, you will probably experience discomfort when you sleep and the machine might not work properly. Get a customized mask if you need to: the expense will be worth it.
Adjust your CPAP machine. Most machines come with default settings that might not correspond to your needs. You should be able to regulate the airflow: try different settings and choose one that seems to work for you. If you feel like your machine is not working like it should, try changing the settings again.
Try some throat and mouth exercises. One reason people suffer from sleep apnea is because their throats close when they sleep. Strengthening these muscles can decrease the chance that they will go slack while you are sleeping. Try some tongue, jaw and neck exercises to increase your throat strength.
Try to sleep on your sides to keep sleep apnea from ruining your sleep. When you sleep on your back, the airways get obstructed due to the throat and nasal passages being more prone to obstruction. Try to fall asleep in a side position, and discover if that relieves your sleep apnea tonight.
If you suspect that you have a sleeping disorder, but are unsure, enter a sleep study. They may be able to diagnose your disorder as sleep apnea and make suggestions regarding treatment. Treatments include mouth guards, CPAP, diet changes, and modifications of sleeping habits. You won’t know your options until you speak with someone about it.
By understanding and analyzing these tips, you are better prepared to deal with your own sleep apnea, or even that of a loved one. You can turn nighttime from a battle into bliss or from purgatory into peace. By ensuring a good night’s sleep, you will improve the quality of your entire life.