You have been diagnosed with Sleep Apnea. This is likely a scary time in your life, and you might not fully understand what you need to do to improve your condition and continue living a productive life. While this diagnosis can be debilitating if not managed correctly, there are things you can do to continue living productively and sleeping well.
Try losing a few pounds, if you suffer from chronic sleep apnea. Controlled studies have proven that people with this sleep disturbance benefit greatly after losing 20 or more pounds. Symptoms may even diminish completely, so you now have yet another reason to get your weight down to a healthier number!
Getting a CPAP machine is probably the best option for your sleep apnea. These machines will keep your airways open and help you breathe. You should talk to your doctor about CPAP machines and figure out which model would be the most adapted. This machine should work if you use it properly.
If you decide to try a CPAP machine, do not give up until at least a few weeks. A lot of sleep apnea patients give up before they really get a chance to get used to their machine. Wait until you are comfortable with sleeping while wearing a mask and you should really notice a difference.
Consider sleeping sitting up if you have sleep apnea, and you do not have a CPAP available. Perhaps you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, but you have not had your CPAP prescribed yet. Maybe the power went out, and your CPAP will not work without electricity. Whenever you have to sleep without the benefit of CPAP therapy, sleeping sitting up will help to keep your airway from collapsing.
Stop smoking. Smoking cigarettes is bad for you for many different reasons. Smoking can also cause sleep apnea. It isn’t just bad for your lungs; it can also cause your upper airway to swell. This can make it difficult for you to get the breath that you need at night.
Understand the effects that smoking and drinking alcohol have on sleep apnea, if you are trying to get a grip on your quality of sleep. Smoking enlarges airways, while alcohol can relax them too much, both of which will contribute to the symptoms of sleep apnea severely. Consider making the necessary cut-backs that will cut down on your sleep problems.
Do you always sleep on your back? Try sleeping on your side instead. When you sleep on your back with a head propped on a pillow, your airways get narrower. Go to sleep on your side and use cushions to prevent yourself from rolling in your sleep. Your airways should remain open as long as you are on your side.
You may benefit from wearing a medical bracelet that explains your sleep apnea, the treatment your are undergoing for the condition and the proper pressure level for your CPAP. If anything happens where you require medical attention, those assisting you need to know about both your sleep apnea and the CPAP. The ID should say that you have this condition, you require a CPAP, and it should identify the pressure levels you require for effective treatment.
Try using a nasal spray for an irritated nose. It may offer a couple nights of relief. Avoid using nasal sprays over a long period of time; your mucus membranes could become damaged and irritated. Always speak with your pharmacist to make sure you choose the product that is right for you.
Do not let your condition, treatment or even your CPAP machine embarrass you. You need not be self-conscious about your need to use a CPAP machine; be upfront about its medical necessity with friends, relatives, and room-mates. Always know that the CPAP machine is something that you need which can help you, and if someone looks down upon you for using it, then they weren’t your friends anyway.
Don’t drink alcohol, especially at night. The reason most people drink alcohol is to relax, but it also causes the muscles that control your airways to relax as well. When you go to sleep with ultra-relaxed airway muscles, it can make your sleep apnea symptoms worse. Do your body and your wallet a favor and cut out the booze.
If you consume alcohol or smoke, this could be the underlying cause of your sleep apnea symptoms. Meanwhile, smoking causes the swelling of the airways; alcohol does the complete opposite and relaxes them too much. If you want to be able to sleep well each night, limit or quit smoking and/or drinking.
Oftentimes a simple humidifier can help with the dryness and irritation caused by using a CPAP machine when treating your sleep apnea. With the constant airflow, many people suffer from dry skin and irritation from using the CPAP machine. A humidifier or special facial moisturizers can help to ease these symptoms.
Your nasal breathing may contribute to sleep apnea. If you have a stuffy nose, make sure that you help open your airways with a nose spray. Your local drugstore sells over the counter sprays that are great for this purpose, but feel free to ask a pharmacist for help choosing the right one.
Avoid anything that can make your sleep apnea worse, especially high altitudes. Sleeping in a high altitude ie. airplanes can actually make your symptoms worse as the loss of oxygen increases. If you must travel, make sure you talk to your physician about how you can relieve your symptoms of sleep apnea.
Prop up your upper body while you sleep. If you have an adjustable bed, raise the head of the bed about four to six inches. If you have a standard bed, purchase a body or a special cervical pillow to keep your upper body raised while you are sleeping.
Having a basic understanding of your Sleep Apnea condition can help you in many ways. By taking some time to review the information presented here, you will better prepare yourself to continue living productively and enjoying a great night sleep. This makes the condition less debilitating, and it helps you to enjoy a higher quality of life.