Sleep Sounder Even With Sleep Apnea

June 14, 2009 | CPAP Benefits |
Sleep Sounder Even With Sleep Apnea

So your doctor says you have sleep apnea. Your doctor probably recommended the nightly use of a CPAP machine, which is the number one treatment for this disorder. With the use of your CPAP machine every night you should see an improvement in how you sleep and how you feel in the morning. However, there are a number of things that you can do to improve your sleep and to improve your sleep apnea in conjunction with the use of your CPAP machine.

  1. Weight loss
    Unless you are extremely overweight, usually weight loss is not enough to entirely eliminate your sleep apnea. But, it can certainly help. Weight loss is believed to improve sleep apnea by changing the shape of the airway which decreases the probability of airway collapse.
  2. Avoid Alcohol Before Bed
    Alcohol tends to relax the muscles in the airway which will worsen your snoring and sleep breathing issues. If you insist on drinking, allow yourself sufficient time for your blood-alcohol level to decrease to zero before going to bed.
  3. Sleep on Your Side
    Many married couples will have already figured this one out – each time your partner wakes you up and tells you to roll over. Sleeping on your back increases the chance of airway collapse due to gravity’s effect on the jaw and tongue. Sleeping on your side helps to eliminate this problem.
  4. Elevate Your Head
    Many sleep apnea patients notice that they sleep better when in a recliner. Just like side-sleeping, elevating your head helps to decrease the effect of gravity on your airway. It will improve your sleep apnea and overall sleeping experience. Elevating the head of your bed just 30-60 degrees can improve your sleep and chance of having apnea episodes.
  5. Talk to Your Dentist
    I know this one sounds strange, but many people that use nightly dental appliances such as mouthpieces have found that the use of these items increase their snoring and apnea episodes. Talk to your dentists about other forms of dental treatment that may not interfere with your sleeping and sleep apnea.
  6. Quit Smoking
    Smoking increases the inflammation and fluid build-up in the upper airway reducing its size, leading to a higher risk of airway collapse. This risk usually decreases after quitting smoking.
  7. Open Your Nose
    Keep your nasal passages open at night with the use of nasal sprays or allergy medicines.
  8. Maintain Regular Sleep Hours
    Sleep deprivation is believed to be linked with both prolonging sleep problems while you’re sleeping, as well as decreasing the chance that you will awake from those problems. So get your sleep!
  9. Strengthen Your Muscles
    By strengthening your airway muscles with exercises you can decrease your chance of an airway collapse. Singing with a vocal instructor is a great way to strengthen your airway muscles, or you can try a technique called Didgeridoo therapy.
  10. Breathe Rite Strips
    The use of External Nasal Dilation or Breath Rite Strips may reduce the severity of your snoring but will probably not be effective at a sleep apnea treatment.

If you think that you have sleep apnea and have not yet seen a doctor, you should do so. Sleep apnea is a potential fatal disorder if gone untreated. If your doctor recommends that you should treat using a CPAP machine then DO IT! The above methods are not to be done instead of the use of a CPAP machine. Instead, use in conjunction with a CPAP machine to enhance your treatment of sleep apnea.

Chris Vasta CPAP Expert & President at The CPAP Shop

Author

Chris Vasta

Over a 10+ year career at PHH Mortgage managing a $100 million portfolio, Chris Vasta learned the ins and outs of the business world. He learned how to establish business relationships, lead a multi-prong team, and implement strategies for long-term growth. In 2007, Vasta used that experience to transition his role into president of The CPAP Shop. Over his tenure, Vasta has been involved in everything from website design to warehouse layout. His hands-on approach with customers has evolved into an in-depth understanding of the challenges of beginning and adhering to sleep therapy. He often provides his insights on product…


0 Comments Leave new

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published.