Sleep Struggles: 7 Elements Aggravating Your Sleep Apnea

October 20, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — danajones @ 7:26 pm
A man with sleep apnea sleeping on his back

Sleep apnea affects millions of Americans every year, so if you’re struggling with it, you’re not alone. Those who have been affected by it know it can affect your whole quality of life, not just your sleep. If you haven’t sought treatment for your sleep apnea yet, you should. Until then, the best thing you can do is minimize the impact of your symptoms.

If you want to know what you should avoid to live more comfortably until you seek help, continue reading. Below are seven factors that may be making your condition worse.

1. Weight Gain

Excess weight, especially around the neck, can contribute to the narrowing of airways, making breathing more challenging during sleep. If you’ve noticed weight gain, healthy eating and regular exercise can help ease your sleep apnea symptoms.

2. Sleep Position

The way you position yourself during sleep can play a role in the severity of sleep apnea symptoms. Sleeping on your back may encourage the collapse of the airway, worsening the condition. Experiment with sleeping on your side or consider using pillows to encourage side sleeping. This might alleviate some symptoms.

3. Alcohol

While it may be tempting to unwind with a drink before bedtime, you should refrain. Alcohol can relax your throat muscles and dry out your mouth, worsening sleep apnea symptoms. Limiting alcohol intake, especially in the hours leading up to bedtime, can help you get a more restful night’s sleep.

4. Age

This is a factor beyond your control, but it nonetheless contributes to your sleep apnea severity. As you age, your muscles become less toned, leading to a gradual weakening. This can affect the muscles in your throat. Though you can’t change your age, you can examine your habits and try to lead a healthier lifestyle.

5. Smoking

Smoking is a known contributor to sleep apnea. The chemicals in tobacco smoke can irritate and inflame the airways, leading to increased obstruction during sleep. Quitting smoking can be challenging but is an important step in improving your respiratory health.

6. Pre-Existing Conditions

Do you know if you have hypertension or diabetes? These conditions can worsen sleep apnea and managing them is essential for mitigating the severity of your sleep apnea symptoms. Be sure that you’re following guidelines from your doctor and getting regular checkups for your health.

7. Medications

Some medications, including muscle relaxers and painkillers, can affect the muscles in the throat. Opioids, in particular, can suppress the respiratory system and lead to breathing problems. It’s important to communicate with your doctor about your sleep apnea diagnosis to ensure that prescribed medications are compatible with your condition.

If you believe you have sleep apnea, don’t wait to seek help. Professional treatment could mean the difference between an improved quality of life or a constantly disrupted sleep cycle. Until you can get help, lifestyle modifications can save you a lot of discomfort and time.

About the Practice

At Ridgefield Perfect Smile Center, their team of highly trained professional dentists is standing by to offer you top-quality care. They have made it their mission to utilize the latest dental technology and techniques to offer customized treatment plans for your needs and your budget. To schedule a sleep apnea consultation, call (203) 438-8919 or visit the website to delve into other services they provide.

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