August 4, 2014
Sleep Apnea Lifestyle and Home Therapies
I know this is a favorite way for many sleep apnea suffers to avoid facing their problem. The only reason I am even blogging about this is that if does work for some people that have mild sleep apnea. A few people with moderate sleep apnea may receive relief. If you have severe sleep apnea, get into your doctor immediately as you are at high risk for a heart attack or even a stroke.
In some cases, self-care may be the most appropriate way for you to deal with sleep apnea and possibly central sleep apnea. Try these tips:
Lose excess weight. Even a small loss in excess weight may help relieve constriction of your throat. Sleep apnea may be cured in some cases by a return to a healthy or ideal weight. If you don't already have a weight-loss program, talk to your doctor about the best course of action for weight loss.
Exercise. Getting 30 minutes of moderate activity, such as a brisk walk, most days of the week may help ease obstructive sleep apnea symptoms.
Avoid alcohol and certain medications such as tranquilizers and sleeping pills. These relax the muscles in the back of your throat, interfering with breathing.
Sleep on your side or abdomen rather than on your back. Sleeping on your back can cause your tongue and soft palate to rest against the back of your throat and block your airway. To prevent sleeping on your back, try sewing a tennis ball in the back of your pajama top.
Keep your nasal passages open at night. Use a saline nasal spray to help keep your nasal passages open. Talk to your doctor about using any nasal decongestants or antihistamines because these medications are generally recommended only for short-term use.
Stop smoking, if you're a smoker. Smoking worsens obstructive sleep apnea.
Talk to your doctor about facial and throat exercises. There are some facial and throat and jaw exercises that may strengthen the muscles to prevent them from closing when sleeping. This is no guarantee, but I have a friend with moderate sleep apnea that has been through the sleep lab and sleep apnea was confirmed. I don't know who he talked with, but the day after his sleep lab, he started exercising and did this for two months. His wife was surprised that he was not snoring and felt he was no longer having apneas. Another sleep lab six months latter showed he was normal and this time he was only tested for sleep apnea and no other sleep disorders. The other fact was that he was already at normal or ideal weight.
Please, please do not think that you can tough it out and severe sleep apnea can kill you. Do it for your loved ones so that you can live with them and they with you.