Tips for Improving your Sleep Quality When you have Sleep Apnea
Having a rest disorder like sleep apnea, a condition where the breathing pauses for a few seconds while sleeping, can ruin your night and keep you from feeling refreshed the following morning. Since sleep is essential for your physical, mental, and emotional health, this situation is not ideal. You must figure out ways to ensure restful sleep for your well-being.
So, to help people with sleep apnea catch a good night’s rest, here are a few tips. Have a look!
Tips for improving your rest quality when you have sleep apnea
Since Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) can negatively impact your sleep, which, in turn, can affect your overall well-being, here are a few tips for a good night’s rest:
1. Using continuous positive airway pressure machine:
The gold standard treatment for managing OSA, the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine, consists of a tube and mask. It relieves obstructive sleep apnea symptoms by sending pressurised air into the airway to prevent the collapse of the throat muscles.
The air pressure keeps the throat open when the muscles relax too much during sleep. The sleep apnea machine prevents blockage and pauses during breathing to help you sleep peacefully through the night.
2. Consider trying an oral appliance:
People with mild to moderate sleep apnea can consider using oral appliances as an alternative obstructive sleep apnea treatment. The mouth guard functions by shifting the lower jaw slightly forward and tightening the throat tissues and muscles to prevent obstruction while sleeping.
Oral appliance therapy is an excellent solution for mild to moderate OSA patients with natural teeth and healthy body weight. You may need to consult with your dental care provider and sleep expert if you opt for this treatment method.
3. Changing your sleep position for resting well:
Everyone has a favourite sleep position. While many like to sleep on the back, some lie on the sides or stomach. If you have sleep apnea, experts suggest switching your sleep position from lying on your back to your sides.
When you rest on your back, gravity pulls the soft tissues in the throat downward, increasing the chances of airway blockage. Thus, lying on your sides is recommended to reduce the chances of collapse and the severity of apnea.
If you have sleep apnea, you can also raise the head of the bed by a few inches. Sleeping with your head in an elevated position can help with apnea.
4. Invest in the right pillow:
You may be surprised to know that pillows come in various shapes, sizes, styles, pressures, and firmness to help with sleep. You can try different pillows and pick one depending on your preference and sleep position.
Side sleepers can find a thicker pillow that aligns the neck and takes the pressure off your shoulders. Back sleepers can get thinner pillows, while stomach sleepers can search for even thinner ones.
Sleep apnea patients who complain the CPAP mask gets dislodged by the pillow at night can find special CPAP pillows. Designed to accommodate the masks, they have indented areas on the edges. This leaves space for the mask so it won’t slip.
5. Stick to a sleep schedule:
While following a sleep schedule can’t help manage sleep apnea, the solution helps promote a good night’s rest. Therefore, you should go to bed and wake up at the same time seven days a week. Design your sleep schedule to accommodate at least seven to nine hours of rest every night.
6. Humidify your bedroom:
One common symptom most sleep apnea patients complain about is waking up with a dry mouth. Even people using the CPAP machine to treat the condition deal with dry mouth. It can disrupt your sleep.
One solution to this problem is using a humidifier. It can help with a stuffy nose and dry mouth to promote good-quality rest. Some CPAP devices come with an in-built humidifier to ensure comfort. You can also get an additional one besides the CPAP humidifier for enhanced results.
7. Diet and lifestyle changes:
If you are dealing with sleep apnea, making modifications to your diet and lifestyle habits is suggested for better sleep:
Maintain a healthy diet
Since obesity is one of the primary causes of sleep apnea, eating a balanced diet can assist with losing weight and better sleep. Eat a nutritious diet consisting of vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, and whole grains for best results.
Avoid alcohol and smoking
Consuming alcohol before going to bed is known to worsen sleep apnea and cause loud snoring. Alcohol can disturb your sleep pattern and lead to poor-quality rest.
Tobacco also worsens your sleep apnea and snoring. Quitting the habit can improve your breathing and help with a good night’s rest.
Getting regular exercise
Moderate aerobic exercise is known to benefit heart health and assist with better sleep. You should aim to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day. Experts believe that including yoga, biking, running, walking, and strength training, even two days a week, can improve sleep apnea symptoms.
To Sum Up
Sleeping well through the night is essential for your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Since apnea patients struggle to catch a good night’s rest, following the above-mentioned tips is recommended for sleeping better.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is suggestive in nature and is taken from reputed medical sites. Readers are advised to practise caution and consult their healthcare professionals for seeking proper treatment.