Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder in which your breathing is continually interrupted while you sleep. While these pauses in your breathing may only last 10 to 20 seconds, they can happen over and over again—sometimes 100 times per night.
Each time, patients are jolted awake, but most may not remember it. These interruptions in your sleep cycle translate into a light, disturbed sleep that can affect your focus and productivity the next day.
Sleep apnea can even be deadly since it can cause a multitude of health issues—starting with your heart.
Reducing Your Sleep Apnea at Home
Some mild cases of sleep apnea can benefit from lifestyle changes, including:
Losing weight: Patients who are overweight can often benefit from weight loss, reducing airway blocks and blood pressure. Even a small amount of weight loss can clear your throat and improve sleep apnea.
Exercising: Exercising can help improve your energy and strengthen the muscles in your throat for improved breathing.
Sideways sleeping: Sleeping on your back is one of the biggest culprits for sleep apnea since it can cause your airways to block. By sleeping on your side, you can keep your airway open and reduce snoring.
Eliminate alcohol before sleeping: Drinking alcohol and taking sedatives before you sleep can relax your throat muscles and interfere with breathing.
Quit smoking: Tobacco can lead to sleep apnea by increasing fluid retention and inflammation in your upper airways.
No bedtime coffee: Don't drink any caffeine within two hours of sleep.
Do You Think You Have Sleep Apnea?
If you think your sleep could be better, you may be suffering from sleep apnea. During your sleep apnea evaluation, we will go over common signs of this sleep disorder and how it can affect your health. We may recommend a sleep study to understand your sleep cycles.
Give Oak Family Dental a call today to schedule an appointment with us.