How to Cure Your Sleep Apnea (or at Least Learn to Live with It)

Summary: Sleep apnea can be improved with some changes in lifestyle and health and by being aware of your breathing. Here are a few things you can do to help yourself before considering surgery.

Sleep apnea is a problem that can interfere with your sleep in various degrees. If you snore, if you wake with a headache or a dry mouth, or if you are constantly tired or feeling less alert the next day, then sleep apnea may be a problem. And let’s be honest — you might not be able to completely cure it, especially if your type of sleep apnea is the more medically termed obstructive sleep apnea – but here are some things you can do during the day to breathe better while you sleep.

Snoring is the first indication that something is wrong, even though snoring is common. If you wake frequently in the night, sometimes gasping for air, and if you wake so frequently that it interferes with your routine the next day, it may be time to see a doctor.

It is important to deal with sleep apnea, especially if this disruption in sleep is having an effect on health or mood.

Here are some things to do before considering surgery.

Take a Yoga Class
Yoga focuses on proper breathing techniques and strengthening the lungs, as well as clearing blockages in the throat. Yoga will also help you to relax better and as it is a form of exercise. It will also strengthen your muscles and increase your flexibility.

Lose Weight
Even a small amount of weight loss can cause big changes to your breathing. This is a win-win circle. If you take yoga, you will get exercise. Exercise leads to stronger muscles, increased metabolism and weight loss. You will have a better night’s sleep because of it, and because of a better night’s sleep, you will have better health. Nice!

Cut Back on Substance Use
Don’t drink before bedtime, or take pills or sedatives to help you sleep. These may interfere with breathing or stop you from waking up properly to breathe. Don’t take anything that may put you into a sleep so deep that you can’t wake yourself at night. Of course, don’t smoke tobacco products.

Sleep Comfortably
Get good pillows, a comfortable mattress and keep your room at a proper temperature. Sleep on your side; sleep apnea can be worse for those who sleep on their backs.

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure
Talk to a doctor about wearing a sleep mask to help you breathe at night. CPAP therapy masks are a widely used, commonly accepted form of breathing aide for sleepers who can breathe on their own.

Wear the mask over the nose and mouth. The mask should fit comfortably and snugly; there shouldn’t be any gaps or leaks. The CPAP machine can be uncomfortable in the beginning, but don’t take it off. You should get used to it after a few nights.

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