Sleep apnea is a common and serious sleep disorder that affects an individual’s breathing during sleep. Undiagnosed and untreated sleep apnea can worsen an individual’s mood, raise their blood pressure and even stress the heart.
Some people suffering from this disorder use a device known as a continuous positive airway pressure device, which enables easier breathing.
However, making some lifestyle changes may also help sleep apnea patients sleep better. Below are a few changes that may be beneficial to patients with sleep apnea.
Avoid some medications
Opioids are known to relax the body’s breathing muscles and slow down an individual’s breathing rate. Patients with sleep apnea are advised to be extra careful when using these painkillers. Other medications that may impact sleep apnea include atypical antipsychotics, testosterone, muscle relaxers and high-dose benzodiazepines.
The use of alcohol is known to make obstructive sleep apnea worse for various reasons, including the fact that it decreases the tone of the breathing muscles in the upper airway. Additionally, individuals who drink a lot of alcohol usually put on weight. Northwestern Medicine sleep medicine specialist Kuljeet Gill recommends that patients give up alcohol completely.
If you can’t do so, it is recommended that you limit the use of alcohol to weekends and stop drinking at least four hours before going to bed. If you’re a heavy drinker, you’re advised to try and cut back on your intake. This will help lessen the negative impact of alcohol on your sleep apnea.
Physicians have found that physically inactive individuals have a higher risk of developing sleep apnea. Incorporating more exercise into one’s routine helps shed fat around the upper airway. This is in addition to improving an individual’s sleep quality, helping them feel less sleepy, boosting oxygen levels and lessening the severity of one’s sleep apnea.
Yale Medicine sleep specialist Meir Kryger states that even without shedding weight, regular movement can also increase an individual’s energy levels and boost overall health. While more research is needed to determine exactly how exercise helps with sleep apnea, physicians recommend exercise for half an hour every day, for five days a week.
This sleep disorder is more common in obese adults because extra fat tissue blocks the upper airways. An expert in sleep-related breathing disorders from Yale Medicine, Christine Won explains that losing weight can lessen how bad obstructive sleep apnea symptoms are in some patients. However, she notes, it doesn’t eliminate the need for a continuous positive airway pressure device, or CPAP.
In addition to this, patients with sleep apnea can also benefit from changing their sleeping positions and practicing good sleeping habits, including going to bed at the same time every day, etc.
While implementing lifestyle changes may help in the management of obstructive sleep apnea, patients still require treatments such as those made by Vivos Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: VVOS) in order to have a better quality of life despite an OSA diagnosis.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Vivos Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: VVOS) are available in the company’s newsroom at http://ibn.fm/VVOS
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