Sleep Apnea and Lifestyle Changes You Can Make

Have you recently been diagnosed with sleep apnea or strongly suspect you have it? Sleep apnea is a difficult condition that does not affect just your sleep—it can affect nearly every area of your life. Sleep is important, and when disrupted night after night, it can cause long-term effects on the body. CPAP machines are less than desirable for many people, due to the fact that they are bulky, loud, difficult to travel with, uncomfortable, and have dangerous recalls. Luckily, there are some things you can do to help your symptoms without a CPAP machine. Keep reading to learn more about sleep apnea, lifestyle changes you can make, and why proper sleep apnea treatment without a CPAP machine is the best way to go for long-term success.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a common condition in which your breathing stops and restarts many times while you sleep. This can prevent your body from getting enough oxygen. You may want to talk to your healthcare provider about sleep apnea if someone tells you that you snore or gasp during sleep, or if you experience other symptoms of poor-quality sleep, such as excessive daytime sleepiness.

Don’t Want to Wear a CPAP?

When people think about sleep apnea treatment, they immediately picture a CPAP machine. CPAP machines are the most common treatment for sleep apnea because they use pressure to open the airways, allowing you to breathe better and get a better quality of sleep. However, CPAP machines do not actually help your sleep apnea condition; all they do is put a Band-Aid on it.

CPAP machines are notorious for being loud, bulky, uncomfortable, difficult to keep clean and maintain, hard for partners to deal with, and don’t travel easily. What’s more, CPAP machines have had dangerous recalls. If you do not want to wear a CPAP machine for your sleep apnea condition, you don’t have to!

Lifestyle Changes for Sleep Apnea

Rather than signing up to become chained to a CPAP machine for the rest of your life, you can make some simple lifestyle changes to help your sleep apnea symptoms and get proper treatment to help with the root cause.

Weight Loss

One of the best things you can do for your overall health, including for sleep apnea, is to lose weight if you happen to be overweight. There are many effects of obesity, including:

  • All causes of death (mortality)
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • High LDL cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol, or high levels of triglycerides (dyslipidemia)
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Gallbladder disease

Obesity is also linked to sleep apnea due to the extra weight around the neck. When there is extra weight, extra pressure is put on the airways, which can cause an obstruction. By losing weight, this will go down and should help with sleep apnea symptoms if obesity is the root cause.

Establishing a Healthy Sleep Routine

A healthy sleep routine can significantly help sleep apnea symptoms and overall sleep patterns. Some of the ways you can establish a healthy sleep routine include:

  • Have a set bedtime and stick to it so that your body can get into a proper circadian rhythm
  • Make the bed a place for strictly sleeping. If you do other things on your bed, such as watch TV or work, it will be more difficult for your mind to relax while in that space
  • Try your best not to use devices right before bed. Instead, find a relaxing activity to do instead, such as reading or working on a puzzle

Treating Your Allergies

One of the other root causes of sleep apnea is chronic congestion. Breathing through your mouth while occasionally congested, such as when you’re sick or have seasonal allergies, is normal. However, treating your congestion can do wonders for your snoring habit and sleep apnea symptoms if you have frequent allergies and it is an issue for you. Talk to your doctor about going on an allergy medicine regime or other ways you can help your allergy symptoms.

Avoiding Sedatives Like Alcohol and Sleeping Pills

When suffering from sleep apnea, it is important to avoid certain sedatives such as alcohol or sleeping pills. These things will help you get to sleep initially. However, they tend to cause an unusual sleep pattern that causes you to wake up when you usually would not. This is because sedatives relax your mouth and tongue muscles too much, which can cause issues with your natural airflow and, therefore, cause sleep apnea symptoms to occur.

If you are having trouble getting to and staying asleep, talk to your doctor about ways to overcome this. You can establish a new sleep routine, find medications that can work for you, and make other lifestyle changes to help with sleeping better.

Start Exercising

Exercising is great for your body for many reasons. Not only does it help you lose weight, which is important for treating sleep apnea without a CPAP machine, but it will also help your overall mood, strength, and nighttime sleep. Exercise increases your energy levels, which can cause your body to become tired at night and allow you to sleep better. Exercise also helps with your heart and can help improve your breathing, which are all important when it comes to treating sleep apnea.

Quit Smoking

If you are a smoker, you already know quitting will improve your overall health. Smoking causes cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung diseases, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Smoking also increases the risk of tuberculosis, certain eye diseases, and problems of the immune system, including rheumatoid arthritis.

Smoking also causes nasal allergies and swelling in the airways, which contribute to sleep apnea. Quitting smoking will help your sleep apnea symptoms significantly, should this be the root cause of your issues.

Treat the Root Cause of Sleep Apnea

The best lifestyle change you can make for yourself while suffering from sleep apnea is choosing to treat the root cause. After you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, it is important to make an appointment with a sleep apnea specialist who can help diagnose your root cause.

Finding the root cause of your sleep apnea issues is the key to a long-term successful recovery. You do not have to be chained to a CPAP machine just because you have sleep apnea. You deserve better, including solving the actual issue.

Proper Sleep Apnea Treatment with Gorman Health and Wellness

Dr. Gorman is a part of the breathing wellness movement, which aims to increase awareness and improve treatment for sleep-related airway conditions like sleep apnea. He has partnered with organizations focused on collaborating with dentists to apply the sciences of Craniofacial Epigenetics (the study of cranial modifications caused by gene expression as opposed to genetic code alteration) and Pneumopedics® (the practical application of oral appliance therapy and non-surgical airway remodeling) in the management of sleep apnea.

Together, the application of these sciences allows for underlying causes of airway obstruction to be treated in 98% of cases, resulting in a high success rate among sleep apnea patients. For every sleep apnea case at our practice, Dr. Gorman will gather patient data and determine the patient’s specific needs based on home sleep test results, dental impressions, CT scans, and images. Our state-of-the-art technology, paired with Dr. Gorman’s experience with sleep disorders, allows him to find the most effective treatment plan for each individual’s particular case, yielding improved daytime and nighttime breathing for the patient.

“I have been helping people suffering from Sleep Apnea with a non-invasive, clinically approved treatment method. This method has allowed my patients to sleep with far fewer events per hour allowing them to get rid of their CPAP and BiPAP machines. Imagine not having to use one of those machines, getting back a much greater quality of life along with the benefits of being able to breathe better.” – Dr. Gorman.

For more information on Dr. Gorman, improving your sleep apnea, and finding treatment without the need for a CPAP machine, contact us today.

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