Sleep apnea is a condition that causes people to stop breathing for short periods while they sleep. It is a prevalent condition – an estimated 22 million Americans suffer from it – but it is disruptive. Many people with sleep apnea snore loudly during the night, which can be frustrating to them and anyone else in their household.
Thankfully, there are some things you can do to alleviate its effects. Today, let’s discuss some tips that can help you minimize snoring and give everyone – including you – a more peaceful night’s sleep.
Change Your Sleep Position
When a person sleeps on their back, their tongue and soft palate tend to rest against the back of the throat. This position can partially block your airway – and for someone with sleep apnea, that will only make the condition worse. This is why many people find it more comfortable (and less noisy) to sleep on their side.
Sleeping on your side can help open your air passages, making it easy for you to breathe through the night. However, it is important to note that this is not the case for everyone. For example, children with sleep apnea may actually snore less while on their backs. Test different sleeping positions and see what works best for you.
Quit Smoking and Limit Alcohol
Some of our more indulgent lifestyle habits can have lasting impacts on our health. This includes both smoking and drinking, which can worsen the effects of sleep apnea. Drinking relaxes the muscles in your throat, making them more likely to block your airways while you sleep. Smoking increases inflammation in your airways, making it more difficult to breathe.
If you limit these habits in your daily routine, you might notice that your sleep apnea becomes much more manageable. In fact, if you limit these habits, you will find that your health improves across the board. It’s worth a try!
Maintain a Healthy Weight
If you are overweight or obese, you have a greater risk of suffering from sleep apnea. Studies have shown that each unit increase in your BMI can increase your risk of developing it up to 14%! Luckily, the reverse is also true; many people who suffer from sleep apnea have seen their condition improve after losing weight.
Much like quitting smoking and drinking, losing weight can be an effective way to improve both your sleep apnea and your overall health. Try to make small changes to your routine that will allow for more movement and healthier habits. You might feel better and sleep better.
Use a Humidifier
Sometimes, sleep apnea is the product of your environment – specifically, the air in your bedroom. Dry air can irritate your respiratory system, leading to inflammation or congestion. One way to avoid this irritation is by adding moisture to the air with a humidifier.
You can fill a humidifier with plain water or add a few drops of scented oil for an aromatherapy experience. This will help make your bedroom more comfortable and can help keep your airways clear throughout the night.
Try an Oral Appliance
If you’ve tried all these at-home remedies and are still suffering from sleep apnea, it might be time to talk to your dentist about getting an oral appliance. Your dentist can make a custom mouth guard or other devices that will position your jaw and keep your airways clear.
TruBlu Dentistry can help you improve your sleep apnea with dental devices and other treatment options. To learn more, contact one of our offices today!