You’ve probably been told your whole life that you should aim to get between 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night, but this is often easier said than done—especially if you suffer from sleep apnea! Unfortunately, this condition affects millions of people every night, causing them to miss out on countless hours of sleep. Those with sleep apnea should seek professional treatment; however, in the meanwhile, many useful at-home remedies can also prove useful for managing milder symptoms. Here’s a closer look at a few of them as well as a brief overview of the condition.
A Brief Overview of Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common form of sleep apnea and is characterized by the full or partial blockage of the airway during sleep. This obstruction causes patients to suffer short pauses in their breathing as they sleep, which then forces them to wake up in order to restore their breathing pattern. These episodes can occur hundreds of times in a given night, meaning that the compounded sleep loss can be quite substantial. In addition to daytime fatigue, unaddressed sleep apnea can also cause serious health issues including cardiovascular problems, hypertension, diabetes, and more.
Useful At-Home Remedies for Addressing Sleep Apnea
Here are a few lifestyle-based solutions you can use to improve sleep quality and promote better breathing patterns during sleep:
- Changing your sleep position can make a significant difference; instead of sleeping on your back, try sleeping on your side to keep your airways open. Also, consider elevating your head using a pillow.
- Strive to maintain a healthy weight by exercising regularly and eating a well-balanced diet. Even modest weight loss can make a noticeable difference.
- Ensure that you stay properly hydrated by drinking plenty of water; this helps to maintain the elasticity of the airway tissues. A humidifier in your bedroom can also assist with this, as well as prevent the nasal passages from becoming dry and potentially obstructed.
- Avoid bad habits before bedtime such as smoking, drinking alcohol, snacking, excessive screentime, disruptive commotion, etc, and try to establish a consistent, relaxing bedtime routine.
Why Profession Treatment Is the Answer
Of course, it goes without saying that the best way to treat sleep apnea is by seeking professional treatment. While useful, these at-home remedies can provide relief for mild to moderate symptoms at best, and temporary relief at that. However, solutions such as CPAP machines or oral appliances are research-backed and proven to counteract the symptoms associated with sleep apnea and restore high-quality sleep, meaning you shouldn’t shy away from getting the help you need to get back to bed!
About 21st Century Sleep Seminars
Under the leadership of Dr. Kent Smith, the team at 21st Century Sleep Seminars is excited to provide an expert level of assistance to fellow dentists looking to enhance their sleep apnea treatment capabilities. If you have any questions about the blog or you’d like to learn more, you can contact their team online or over the phone for further information or assistance. Telephone: (972) 255-3712.