Do you suffer from loud snoring during sleep or excessive tiredness, lethargy, and drowsiness through the day in spite of a good night’s sleep? You could be suffering from Sleep Apnea Syndrome. Sleep Apnea happens to be a very common condition among millions of adults worldwide and it often goes undiagnosed! It can be difficult to identify sleep apnea on your own since the most prominent symptoms only occur when you’re in deep slumber. But you can get around this difficulty by asking your spouse or roomy to observe your sleep habits. Snoring, daytime drowsiness, lethargy, forgetfulness and morning headaches are some of the signs and symptoms of sleep apnea. An official diagnosis of sleep apnea, however, requires seeing a sleep specialist and taking a sleep test at home with the help of a portable monitor, or an overnight stay at a sleep clinic. While a diagnosis of sleep apnea can be disheartening, it is treatable. In fact, there are several self-help tips you can do on your own, particularly for mild to moderate sleep apnea. Though these self-help tips can go a long way in reducing sleep apnea symptoms, they should not replace medical evaluation and treatment.
Lifestyle changes that can help you:
First and foremost it is very important to lose excess weight. Even slight weight loss of up to 10% is seen to relieve the constriction of your throat due to excess fat. It is seen that Sleep Apnea goes into complete remission once the person loses weight. Once you lose the excess weight you must take extra effort in maintaining the weight loss as the symptoms recur if you re-gain the lost weight. You should aim for a neck circumference of less than 17inches to effectively stay clear of sleep apnea.
Smoking has a huge role in worsening of Sleep Apnea, so if you are a smoker, it is the time that you Quit Smoking!
You can keep your nasal passages open at night by using a saline nasal spray. Though using a nasal decongestant or a nasal spray for a very long time is not a good idea as it has its own side-effects. Hence this serves as a short term help in cases of Sleep Apnea.
You should avoid alcohol and certain medications like Tranquilizers and Sleeping pills as these are known to relax the muscles in the back of your throat, thus interfering with breathing.
Avoid Caffeine and heavy meals two hours before going to bed.
Prop your head up. Elevate the head end of your bed by four to six inches, or elevate your body from the waist up by using a pillow or cushion. Keeping your head elevated will reduce airway blockage.