Many people become frightened when they hear the term sleep apnea. It is true that sleep apnea is an extremely serious health problem, but the good news is that it can be treated and managed effectively. The key is knowledge and education. This article contains treatment advice and health care tips related to 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!
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.
Understand the effects that smoking and drinking alcohol have on sleep apnea, if you are trying to get a grip on your quality of sleep. Smoking enlarges airways, while alcohol can relax them too much, both of which will contribute to the symptoms of sleep apnea severely. Consider making the necessary cut-backs that will cut down on your sleep problems.
Do not take sleeping pills if you suffer from sleep apnea. These pills are not recommended if you suffer from this condition because they relax the muscles of your throat. Skipping them can actually help you get a better night of sleep because your apnea symptoms are not aggravated.
Start sleeping on your side. When you sleep on your back and have sleep apnea, your airway gets block by your tongue and throat tissues. To avoid rolling onto your back once you are asleep, try sleeping with pillows cushioning your side. This helps prevent you from turning onto your back.
Doctors often recommend that sleep apnea patients consider treatment with a CPAP – Continuous Positive Airway Protection – mask and machine. The machine sends air through a hose to a mask covering your nose. The purpose is to help keep your airway open so you are breathing normally as you sleep. While the machine may initially seem a little foreign and uncomfortable, a great many patients adapt quickly and find they are getting much more restful sleep as a result.
One great way to track your sleep progress, especially if you sleep alone, is by recording yourself in the night. The next day you can watch for signs of apnea and see if there are specific times or triggers that cause the apnea. This is a great resource for your medical professional as well.
As was stated in the opening paragraph of this article, although sleep apnea is a serious medical problem, it can be effectively treated. The key is to educate yourself on the nature of the disorder and to read up on all of the treatment options. Apply what you have learned from this article to help you treat your sleep apnea.