Many people experience difficulty sleeping, though the underlying causes can be difficult to determine.
Consequently, many people try to deal with the undesirable symptoms they experience without realizing that this approach is actually counterintuitive.
In this article, we will discuss 3 methods for treating obstructive sleep apnea, a common sleep disorder. We will focus on alternative methods of treatment that emphasize lifestyle changes and address the underlying cause.
First, however, we will give a brief overview of the Sleep Apnea as well as some of its effects.
What Exactly is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep Apnea is a sleep disorder that involves difficulty breathing during sleep.
It can be especially difficult to treat since many people don’t even know they are suffering from this disorder. This is because disturbances usually entail only a brief period of waking followed by quickly going back to sleep.
Additionally, many other sleep apnea symptoms, like daytime fatigue, snoring, morning headaches, irritability, irregular heart rhythms, and attention problems are usually dismissed as either not significant enough for worry or stemming from some other cause.
Many people do not want to admit the underlying cause of their symptoms, and so engage in irrational thinking.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea, in particular, refers to difficulty breathing that is related to relaxed throat muscles, which block your airway while you sleep. Once the body recognizes the blockage, it wakes you up so that you can free the passageway.
This can happen as many as 30 times an hour, which makes it difficult to enter deeper sleep states that are more restorative and cleansing.
Get Tested for Sleep Apnea
The most important step in treating your obstructive sleep apnea is to seek more information.
Most forms of sleep apnea can be cured by lifestyle changes, but some of them are caused by underlying diseases like cancer or tumor growths. In addition, some people are predisposed to obstructive sleep apnea through inherited allergies, body size, and various autoimmune diseases.
Thus, it’s critical that tests be performed to rule out these more serious conditions.
At these clinics, heart rate, blood oxygen levels, breathing patterns, and brain activity are measured using various medical devices. This gives doctors a holistic picture of what is happening when you sleep, allowing them to determine a proper course of treatment.
Modify Diet to Slim Down
By and large, the most common cause of obstructive sleep apnea is obesity. This is because deposits of fat around the body can lead to inflammation around the throat, which leads to constricted airways.
Thus, any lifestyle changes that addresses the underlying weight problems will also lead to vast improvements in breathing while sleeping.
Perhaps the most direct way to address obesity is through modifying diet. This includes both what you eat and when you eat it.
One easy method is to simply add more fruits and vegetables to your diet. This will lessen the stress of having to cut calories or go on a stringent diet, and stress is surely related to overeating.
Even further, adding fruits and vegetables will provide you with extra fiber and nutrition that will help with digestion. Better digestion translates to better assimilation and excretion, which allows your body to gradually return to a state of balance.
Adding more fruits and vegetables over time will also force you to replace other unhealthy components of your diet like processed sugars. Fruits are high in natural sugars and are thus more satiating and filling.
Make sure you avoid eating heavy meals late at night, as this can lead to accumulation of food in your liver, which makes the body more inefficient while you sleep. Late-night eating also puts an extra burden on your thyroid and throat, which will impair breathing.
Exercise Helps You Sleep Better
On a basic level, exercise facilitates better breathing because sweating helps rid the body of toxins that can obstruct various biological processes. In addition, exercise burns calories and promotes healthy weight levels.
Simply going on a walk for 30 minutes a day is one approach to losing weight and thus treating your obstructive sleep apnea.
On a deeper level, exercise helps boost serotonin activity which can lead to happier moods.
This will lead to better energy levels, less stress, and more motivation to tackle your underlying health issues. Thus, exercise can result in a positive feedback loop that makes more exercise even easier. Over time, this will lead to less inflammation around the throat as well as better breathing patterns during sleep.
Our Final Thoughts on Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea is related mostly to lifestyle, which is actually a positive thing. It means that you have complete control over it, and can reduce its negative impact by exercising, eating healthier, and getting tested at a sleep center.
If you focus primarily on your weight levels, then over time your body will naturally return to a state of health, which is accompanied, of course, by better sleep patterns.*
*”The information on this site is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, treatment and diagnosis.”
Feature image via Sleep Junkies