You sleep for an average of 8 hours a day, but still feel tired. You’ve tried everything to sleep better – sleep masks, taking melatonin before bed or drinking chamomile tea. But nothing seems to help you sleep better at night and stay asleep longer during the night. If any of this sounds familiar, you may be suffering from sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is a condition where your airway gets blocked when you sleep which interrupts your sleep cycle and disturbs the quality of it. This blog post will give you some tips on how to overcome sleep apnea so that not only can you get more restful sleep each night but also work towards improving your overall health and wellbeing.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that affects around 5% of the Australian population. It’s characterized by brief interruptions in your breathing while you sleep. These pauses can last anywhere from a few seconds to minutes, and may occur 30 times or more an hour. This can lead to restless sleep, daytime fatigue and other health problems.
There are three types of sleep apnea:
– Central Sleep Apnea: This occurs when your brain doesn’t send correct signals to muscles that control breathing. This is the least common type of sleep apnea.
– Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA): This occurs when your throat and/or nasal passages relax during sleep, which narrows the airway and blocks airflow.
– Complex Sleep Apnea: A combination of central and obstructive sleep apnea.
How to Overcome Sleep Apnea
There is no one-size-fits-all answer for overcoming sleep apnea, as the best treatment plan will vary depending on the individual’s unique situation. However, here are some general tips that may help:
See your doctor
The first step is to see your doctor and discuss your sleep problems. They will be able to determine if you have sleep apnea and recommend a treatment plan.
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)
If your doctor has diagnosed you with moderate-serious sleep apnea, they might recommend a CPAP machine for your use.
CPAP, which is the acronym for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, is a machine that produces air through a mask while you sleep.
You can purchase CPAP machines online to assist with sleep apnea.
Avoid sleep medications
Sleep medication should always be your last resort, as they can have dangerous side effects and could worsen sleep apnea symptoms.
If you do decide to take sleep medication it’s best not to mix with alcohol or other drugs that may impair breathing while sleeping – this includes certain prescription painkillers like opioids.
Exercise has been shown to improve sleep quality in people who suffer from sleep apnea, as it has been scientifically proven to improve sleep quality in general.
It can also help by reducing fat around the neck area which helps stabilize airflow during sleep.
So if you’re looking for an effective way on how to overcome sleep apnea naturally, try starting a regular exercise routine!
Other Ways To Improve Sleep Quality
Even though there are several ways of overcoming sleep apnea, it’s important to also focus on improving sleep quality in other ways.
Establish a regular sleep schedule
Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day helps regulate your body’s natural sleep rhythm. When this rhythm is out of balance, sleep disorders can occur.
Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed
Caffeine can interfere with sleep while alcohol can cause disrupted sleep patterns. It is recommended to not drink caffeine after midday, and cut off your alcohol intake a few hours before going to bed.
Keep a cool, comfortable environment in your bedroom
Make sure your room is dark, quiet and cool – around 18 degrees Celsius is ideal. This ideal environment can assist in your quality of sleep. If it is too bright and warm, then chances are you will struggle to sleep properly.
If you’re still struggling to get a good night’s sleep after trying these tips, don’t hesitate to speak with your doctor about other treatment options that may be available to you. Sleep apnea doesn’t have to keep you from getting the sleep you need, a good night’s rest can be one visit to the doctor away.