Do’s and Don’ts of sleep apnea

A person with obstructed sleep apnea has one or more episodes of shallow breathing or a temporary halt of breathing while they are asleep. When breathing starts up again, the person could gasp for air. Your sleep may be impacted by this persistent issue, but there are luckily strategies to control this pattern. So that you may properly manage your condition, abide by these dos and don’ts.

1. Ensure your sleeping space is comfortable.

Ensure that you receive enough sleep every night or sleep using cpap machine. Keep a regular sleeping schedule and adhere to it. According to some specialists, those who lack sleep may be more prone than others to snoring and sleep apnea. Get extra sleep if you find that these episodes seem to happen when you are too exhausted.

Related: Effects of a Deep Sleep on your Sleep Hygiene

Make your bedroom as cozy and sleep-friendly as you can. Make sure the room where you sleep isn’t too warm or humid. At night, you may wish to lower the heat or crack a window for some fresh air. You may be able to breathe easier and keep your airways open if you use an air purifier.

2. Avoid sedatives and alcohol Before going to bed

Your sleep apnea symptoms might become worse if you take sleeping tablets or consume anything that has a sedative effect. Limit your use of alcoholic drinks throughout the day and avoid them just before bed. A few hours before going to bed, you may also want to avoid consuming chamomile tea since some people find it to be sleepy. Use a non-drowsy formulation if you’re taking antihistamines to treat an allergy or cold.

3. Do Lose Those Additional Pounds

A smart weight-loss program might aid in controlling or preventing your sleep apnea symptoms if you are overweight. Weight reduction is essential to opening up your airways since extra throat tissue in overweight people may obstruct nocturnal breathing. Request a recommendation from your doctor for a realistic weight-loss plan.

4. Avoid Developing a Nicotine Addiction

You undoubtedly already know that smoking is bad for your health. The use of nicotine may make your sleep apnea symptoms worse if you are susceptible to it. Smoking irritates the throat and airways. Additionally, your sleep could be disturbed by that “cigarette cough.” When you stop smoking, keep track of whether your sleep apnea symptoms appear to get better.

Do’s and Don’ts of sleep apnea

5. Do Think About Trying Yoga

While little exercise may improve sleep, yoga may actually strengthen the muscles that support the airways. You may be able to mitigate the consequences of sleep apnea if you include both activities into a healthy workout regimen. Before starting any kind of workout regimen, don’t forget to seek your doctor’s okay.

6. Don’t Sleep Flat on Your Back

To avoid obstructing your airways when resting flat while you sleep, it is preferable to utilize an additional pillow. Consider utilizing a specialized anti-snoring cushion if you also snore. Another piece of advice is to avoid sleeping on your back since for certain people, it might restrict the airways. Instead, try sleeping on your side to see if your problems go better.

7. Always heed medical advice.

A continuous positive airflow pressure machine, or CPAP machine, may be recommended by your doctor if you have severe sleep apnea symptoms. As you sleep, the mask is put over your mouth and nose to assist keep your airways open and deliver constant airflow. Your doctor may provide advice on how to adjust to using the machine every night.

Your doctor could also advise using saline nasal sprays or a saline wash if you have nasal allergies. Your nasal passages may become clearer as a result, improving your ability to breathe. If the air in your house is very dry, using a humidifier could also improve your ability to breathe.

People often have sleep apnea, which is a very common condition. The issue typically goes undiscovered since it happens when you’re sleeping.

During a sleep apnea episode, the shortage of oxygen jolts you awake, usually so quickly that you don’t remember it. You are spending more time in light sleep and less time in the deep, rejuvenating sleep that you need to be active, alert, and productive the following day because your regular sleep cycle has been disrupted. A range of health issues, including mortality in severe situations, may be brought on by sleep apnea. It’s essential that you pay attention to it as a consequence. Make a dental appointment right immediately if you or your bed mate suspect that you or your spouse has sleep apnea.

What changes in way of life may help with the treatment of sleep apnea?

Simple lifestyle modifications may be sufficient to cure mild cases of sleep apnea. If that’s the best place to start, your doctor will let you know. The following adjustments may enhance your sleep and lessen bouts of sleep apnea, even if you are receiving medical therapy.

It’s crucial to reduce weight because:

Losing weight might have a big influence if you’re overweight. Although it is seldom a complete cure, it may help you decrease the amount of breathing episodes you suffer, control your blood pressure, and sleep during the day. Even a tiny amount of weight reduction may open up your throat and reduce the symptoms of sleep apnea.

A nice choice for sleeping is on your side:

The worst posture for sleep apnea is lying on your back because it forces your tongue, mouth, and other soft tissues back toward your throat, obstructing your airway. Since breathing is made more difficult by lying face down or turning your head to the side, sleeping on your stomach isn’t much better. On the other hand, lying on your side keeps your airway open. Using side pillows or body pillows may be helpful if you have trouble falling asleep on your side or wake up on your back.

Do’s and Don’ts of sleep apnea

It is best to abstain from smoking:

Smoking causes more swelling and fluid retention in the neck and upper airway, which exacerbates sleep apnea.

Avoiding certain things includes:

Avoid alcoholic beverages, sedatives, and other medications that reduce anxiety, particularly before night. This has a very straightforward explanation. These chemicals cause the neck muscles to relax, which makes breathing difficult. This includes opiates (such as morphine, codeine, Vicodin, and Percocet) as well as benzodiazepines (like Xanax, Valium, Klonopin, and Ativan), antihistamines (such Benadryl, Claritin), and sleeping drugs.

You must understand that occasionally doing all of these steps won’t be sufficient to solve the sleep apnea-related issues. When that happens, don’t wait to get in touch with a dentist.

Understand the Significant Differences Between Sleep Apnea And Snoring

Not everyone who snores has sleep apnea, and not everyone who snores has the condition. How can you know whether you have sleep apnea or just regular snoring?

The most obvious clue is how you feel throughout the day. Regular snoring doesn’t affect your sleep quality as much as sleep apnea does, so you’re less likely to feel exhausted and tired throughout the day. The way you snore reveals a lot about who you are. If you find yourself gasping, coughing, or producing other strange noises while you sleep, you may have sleep apnea.

Snoring may interfere with your own sleep and that of your bed mate, even if you don’t have sleep apnea. However, there are a number of tips and remedies that might stop you from snoring.

Choosing from these type of CPAP masks

The mask you choose for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) treatment is undoubtedly crucial if you or a loved one has obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The CPAP masks must be as comfortable as feasible, maintain a reliable seal to your nose or mouth, and be simple to maintain since it serves as the interface between you and your CPAP machine. The CPAP masks must fit properly for a variety of reasons. For instance, the patient’s diet and lifestyle (including if they are presently losing weight), the patient’s face’s size and shape, and the face’s bone structure. What position does the patient like to sleep in? Does the patient have any facial hair, such as a beard? Do you get nosebleeds? altered septum? Just a few instances of the variables that need to be taken into account.

In addition to these aspects, it might be difficult to sift through all the devices on the market today to discover the best cpap masks for you since there are so many of them. This is particularly true if you have just received a sleep apnea diagnosis and this is your first exposure to CPAP treatment. Don’t panic; the ideal CPAP masks is available; continue reading to learn where to look. Learn more for choosing CPAP masks based on your sleeping position.

3 Primary CPAP masks Designs

There are three major mask types, while there are hundreds of alternative mask and accessory combinations that may be used to fulfill the demands of certain sleep apnea sufferers. The majority of them have the same fundamental parts, which are the mask cushion, headpiece, and frame. Let’s look at each of the three primary categories separately.

Full-face CPAP Mask

We’ll start with the full face mask, which has the biggest surface area. It is made to cover the mouth and nose, from the nasal bridge to just below the bottom lip, unlike the other two designs. A headpiece secures it in place.

While some CPAP users report feeling claustrophobic due to the size of a full face mask, others say it is more pleasant. Without the threat of developing dry mouth, you may breathe through your mouth or sleep with your mouth open. Newer designs also provide a clear field of view and are thinner than conventional face masks.

If any of the following apply to you: 

  • You need greater air pressure settings
  • Mouth breathers, back sleepers, those with deviated septa or other sinus blockage, those who can’t use a chin strap, and those who sleep with their mouths open.

Full face CPAP masks may be used by back and certain side sleepers without having to worry about the bedding and pillows interfering with the seal.

With a full face mask, you can have trouble achieving a good seal if you have facial hair. The following two alternatives are smaller, more compact, and have a reduced contact area as a result.

Choosing from these type of CPAP masks

Nasal CPAP Mask

On the bridge of the nose, a nasal mask sits and seals. People who find that wearing a full face mask makes them feel claustrophobic and who dislike the sensation of direct airflow into their noses that a nasal cushion mask provides are big fans of nasal masks.

A  cheap chin strap to keep your mouth shut might be the solution you need to make a nasal mask work for you if you find yourself mouth breathing at night.

If you: 

  • Only breathe through your nose, or can comfortably use a chin strap if you find yourself mouth breathing
  • Sleep on your back or side
  • Don’t like the more direct pressure that a nasal pillow mask provides
  • Don’t frequently experience nasal congestion; then a nasal CPAP masks may be beneficial for you.

Some individuals find nasal masks difficult because they might leave red stains where they lay on the nose’s bridge. However, experimenting with various sizes and modifying the headpiece may assist (fyi, we have fit packs available, specifically for this reason!).

They may not be effective for those who have difficulty breathing through their noses, need greater pressures, often have nasal congestion, have a deviated septum, or have nasal injuries that impede the nasal passages.

Nasal  CPAP Pillow Mask

Finally, let’s talk about the nasal pillow CPAP masks, also known as a nasal cushion mask. This mask has the lowest surface area and is preferred by those who want a thin, minimal-contact mask.

Two silicone pillows or cushions on the mask, which sits on the top lip and forces air straight into the nasal passages, are put into the nostrils.

Since the seal is formed at the nose rather than across a wider region, this kind of sleep apnea mask reduces the likelihood of air leakage.

Choosing from these type of CPAP masks

If any of the following apply to you: 

  • You frequently toss and turn while you sleep
  • You sleep on your stomach or side
  • You only breathe through your nose
  • You don’t mind wearing a chin strap
  • You rarely experience nasal congestion
  • You have a beard or other facial hair
  • You find that other masks give you a feeling of claustrophobia

A full face mask could be a better option if you need high pressure, commonly suffer from allergies or sinus blockages, or breathe through your mouth while you sleep.

Customized Masks

The three most typical CPAP masks styles have been discussed, however there are more masks available for unique situations.

A mask used for oral CPAP only allows air to flow into the mouth and not the nose. For those who struggle to breathe through their nose owing to obstruction or congestion, an oral mask may be useful.

A complete face CPAP masks is exactly what it sounds like; it covers the entire face, including the lips, nose, and eyes. Even though it occupies the greatest space, it helps lessen claustrophobia in those who feel uncomfortable with focused air pressure around their lips or nose. It’s a wonderful alternative for those whose face traits make it difficult to locate a mask that fits well.

A hybrid CPAP masks essentially combines a full face mask with a nasal pillow mask; it contains the same kind of cushions that go in the nostrils and covers the mouth while sealing beneath the nose. This kind of mask is ideal for those who sometimes use their mouths to breathe but dislike chin straps and want to have their nasal bridge visible.

Finally, a nasal prong CPAP masks has two prongs that are put into the nostrils and inflated to produce a tight seal, similar to a nasal pillow mask. While they are lighter and have a slimmer appearance than nasal pillows, they are put somewhat deeper. If you need high pressure, they are not for you.