You have been diagnosed with Sleep Apnea. This is likely a scary time in your life, and you might not fully understand what you need to do to improve your condition and continue living a productive life. While this diagnosis can be debilitating if not managed correctly, there are things you can do to continue living productively and sleeping well.
Learn how to play a wind instrument. Studies have found that playing a wind instrument like the flute or the didgeridoo can help with sleep apnea. Wind instruments exercise your breathing and help your body get accustomed to taking in sufficient amounts of air. Your throat will be able to better control airway dilation.
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.
To help diagnose your sleep apnea, your doctor may ask you to keep a sleep log. Keep track of how many hours you’re sleeping the entire night and any symptoms you have. You can ask your spouse or a family member to let you know you how often you snore at night. This helps the doctor discern whether you have sleep apnea or not.
If you have sleep apnea and were just prescribed a CPAP, keep trying different masks until you find the one that fits you just right. Some masks may not be the right size or shape for your face. If your CPAP mask is leaking air into your eyes all night or rubbing the skin on your forehead raw, ask your sleep center to prescribe a different mask for you.
Don’t give up on treatment for sleep apnea after one doesn’t work. There are a variety of treatments for your condition, so finding the right one is sometimes a process of trial and error. The number and severity of your symptoms influence what treatment is correct one for you. Giving multiple treatments a chance ensures you find the one that works the most effectively.
If you suspect you have sleep apnea, ask your sleep partner to listen to your breathing while you sleep. See if they detect loud snoring as you get deeper into sleep. In addition, ask if they notice any periods when you appear to stop breathing for a time and then suddenly let out a loud snort and start breathing again. If you sleep alone, consider tape recording yourself to listen for these breathing abnormalities.
If you have sleep apnea, and your CPAP does not seem to be working out for you, consider alternate types of machines. You may be a person who needs the air pressure to change throughout the night as you sleep. Your doctor can prescribe a machine that uses different technologies to deliver air, such as an APAP, a BiPAP, or a machine equipped with C-FLEX. Each of these adjusts the pressure up and down as you sleep, which can make it more comfortable and effective for you.
Having a basic understanding of your Sleep Apnea condition can help you in many ways. By taking some time to review the information presented here, you will better prepare yourself to continue living productively and enjoying a great night sleep. This makes the condition less debilitating, and it helps you to enjoy a higher quality of life.