Sleep Apnea is a condition characterized by periodic disruption of breathing while a person is sleeping. There are two types of sleep apnea, central and obstructive. The later being the most commonly encountered and is also the most common cause of excessive daytime sleepiness.
Sleep apnea is a potentially life threatening condition and it has been associated with heart attack, stroke, hypertension, decreased libido. It also causes dull headaches and daytime drowsiness that can result in accidents, loss of productivity and social problems.
Common signs and symptoms include loud snoring, apneic spells (cessation of breathing) followed by gasping for breath. Most of the times the patient isn’t aware of the condition and it is their partner who sheds light on the apneic episodes which are the hallmark of the disease.
We strongly suggest that you consult your doctor if you are suffering from Sleep apnea and also try the following practical interventions. In mild cases these may improve or even cure snoring and sleep apnea.
Shed Some Weight
Weight gain increases the width of the neck and narrows the airway making it more likely for you to snore at night. Also not drinking enough water can make the soft palate sticky, thereby increasing the chances for sleep apnea. So hydrate yourself before bed and shed a few pounds for healthy sleep.
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Say No To Late Night Snacking
Avoid eating late at night. The last meal should be 2-4 hours before bedtime. Eating late at night is known to increase mucous production and can be a contributing factor to snoring, during the night. It is this extra mucous that restricts the air passages intensifying your snoring problem or even be the exact cause of your nightly snoring.
Changing sleeping positions can help overcome snoring. People who lie on their backs are more prone to snoring because the soft palate collapses in the back of your throat, creating vibration. Sleeping on the side will maintain an open airway and make you less likely to snore.
Snuggle Up With the Perfect Pillow
Pillows can also be the culprit if they make your neck too high, so not too fluffy and not too flat are the best options. Pillows should be cleaned frequently just like bedding because overtime they become a haven for allergens which may contribute to snoring by causing inflammation of the airway.
The Air You Breathe
Change the air filters and dust your home regularly. Allergens like pollen, dust, animal dander and other unseen particles can cause allergic reactions that irritate your throat and nasal passages and cause blockage of airway leading to snoring.
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