Lifestyle Changes To Manage Sleep Apnea

What Is Sleep Apnea?

Most of us remain aware that getting a good night’s sleep is essential if we want to stay alert and focused throughout the day. Sleep apnea is a condition that causes a person to stop breathing for a brief period while sleeping. It means that the brain and body are not getting enough oxygen. It also disrupts sleep, making the person with sleep apnea tired or irritable the next day.

Sleep apnea, if left untreated, can lead to high blood pressure, a heart attack, or a stroke. Sleep apnea can cause heart failure if it is severe and has been present for a long time. However, many more people may be unaware of this condition, potentially leading to serious health problems later in life.

Some of the factors that contribute to sleep apnea are controllable through lifestyle choices. And that is what you will learn more about in this article. It will help you understand this condition better and seek proper treatment if it aggravates. However, to ensure that it doesn’t come to that, these lifestyle modifications will help you through the process.

10 Lifestyle Changes To Manage Sleep Apnea

For milder cases of sleep apnea, your doctor may only suggest lifestyle changes like losing weight or quitting smoking. If you have nasal allergies, your doctor will advise you on how to treat them. If these measures do not improve your symptoms, or if your apnea is moderate to severe, there are several other treatments available.

Self-care may help you deal with obstructive sleep apnea and possibly central sleep apnea in some cases. Wearing a CPAP mask at night is a traditional treatment for sleep apnea. Although helpful, some people find this method to be unsettling. Some home remedies may provide the same advantages.

Here are a few ways in which lifestyle changes may help you to manage sleep apnea:

1. Maintain A Healthy Weight
Doctors frequently advise people suffering from sleep apnea to lose weight. Obesity, particularly in the upper body, increases the risk of airway obstruction and narrowing of the nasal passages. These obstructions can cause you to stop breathing abruptly or for extended periods while you sleep. Maintaining a healthy weight can help keep your airways clear and reduce the symptoms of sleep apnea. According to research, obese people who lose just a few pounds may avoid upper airway surgery or long-term CPAP therapy. In some cases, losing weight can cure sleep apnea. However, if you regain your weight, the condition may reappear.

2. Stay Physically Active
If you are not physically active, your chances of developing sleep apnea increase. Exercise can assist you in losing fat around your upper airways. Even if you don’t lose much weight, regular movement can boost your energy and improve your overall health. Aside from weight loss, research shows that physical activity can help people with sleep apnea increase their oxygen levels, feel less sleepy, improve their sleep quality, and reduce sleep apnea problems.

3. Quit Drinking & Smoking
Changes in your lifestyle can improve your health and encourage better sleeping habits. To reduce sleep apnea complications, consider quitting smoking and limiting your alcohol consumption. Alcohol tends to relax the muscles in your throat that control your breathing. It can result in snoring and a disrupted sleep cycle. It can also cause inflammation in your airways, obstructing airflow. Tobacco use, like alcohol, can cause inflammation and swelling in your airways. It can aggravate your snoring and sleep apnea.

4.Avoid Certain Medications
Opioids, a type of painkiller, should be used with extreme caution. They can further slow your breathing rate and relax your breathing muscles. Consult your doctor to see if it is safe to use over-the-counter sleeping pills. It’s not that over-the-counter sleep aids worsen sleep apnea, but you don’t want to mask an underlying breathing problem.

5. Alter Your Sleep Position
Changing your sleeping position, even a minor adjustment, can help reduce sleep apnea symptoms and improve your sleep. Sleeping on your back, also known as the supine position, has been shown in studies to aggravate symptoms. Sleeping on one’s side can help some adults’ breathing return to normal. Discuss your body positioning and sleep apnea symptoms with your doctor to determine your treatment options.

6. Use A Humidifier
Humidifiers are air-conditioning devices that add moisture to the air. Your body and the respiratory system can get irritated by dry air. Using a humidifier can help to open your airways, reduce congestion, and promote clearer breathing. Consider adding lavender, peppermint, or eucalyptus oil to a humidifier for additional benefits. These three essential oils are well-known for their anti-inflammatory and soothing properties.

7. Try A Dental Device
Oral appliances, which reposition your jaw or tongue to keep your airway open while you sleep, can help with sleep apnea. Mandibular advancement devices and tongue stabilizing devices are the two major categories. These reduce the obstruction in the back of your throat by moving your lower jaw or tongue forward. These appliances range in price from low-cost over-the-counter (OTC) options to high-end devices custom-fit by the dentist.

8. Treat Nasal Congestion
A stuffy nose does not cause sleep apnea. The issue begins in your throat, behind your tongue. However, if you have mild sleep apnea, you can treat your allergies with surgery, anti-inflammatory drugs, or corticosteroids may help. In addition to allergy medication, rinsing with saline one or two times per day can be beneficial. Nasal sprays and irrigation kits are available over-the-counter.

9. Adopt Good Sleep Habits
It will not cure your sleep apnea. However, healthy habits, on the other hand, can make it easier to get a good night’s sleep. There are numerous behavioral strategies that your doctor may advise you to try. Exercise may help you stay alert during the day while also tiring you out enough to crash at night. Meditation and other relaxation techniques may assist you in falling asleep comfortably and staying asleep longer.

10. Adopt Healthy Eating Habits
Experts agree that you should avoid heavy meals, caffeine, and spicy foods at night. These can aggravate heartburn. It is the process by which acid moves from your stomach to your throat. The reflux, or acid, can get so high that it irritates the upper breathing passage, exacerbating the apnea.

These lifestyle changes can help you live with sleep apnea and, in some cases, even avoid its recurrence. Therefore, if you suspect yourself of having sleep apnea, consult a doctor immediately and seek appropriate treatment for it.

Sleep Apnea Diagnosis & Treatment

Your doctor may conduct an evaluation based on your signs and symptoms as well as a sleep history, which you can provide with the assistance of someone who shares your bed or household, if possible. You will almost certainly get referred to a sleep disorder center. There, a sleep specialist can assist you in determining whether you require further evaluation. An evaluation frequently entails overnight monitoring your breathing and other body functions while sleeping at a sleep center. The home sleep testing method may also be an option for you.

In addition to making lifestyle changes, most people with sleep apnea will require treatment to keep the airway open while sleeping. Continuous positive airflow pressure (CPAP) therapy is currently the most effective treatment for mild to severe sleep apnea.However, you will find many other treatment options that work well in treating moderate to severe sleep apnea.The treatment options include:

1. Positive Airway Pressure (PAP) Therapy
For most people with obstructive sleep apnea, positive airway pressure (PAP) therapy is the first-line treatment. PAP therapy requires patients to wear a mask over their nose and mouth. An air blower is a device that gently forces air through the nose and mouth. The air pressure gets set just high enough to keep the upper airway tissues from collapsing during sleep.

PAP therapy prevents airway closure while in use, but apnea episodes reoccur when PAP is discontinued or incorrectly used. Positive airway pressure devices come in several styles and types to meet the specific needs of patients. Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), Bi-Level PAP, Auto CPAP, and Adaptive Servo-Ventilation are among them.

2. Hypoglossal Nerve Stimulator
A stimulator gets implanted beneath the skin on the right side of the chest. The electrodes tunneled beneath the skin to the hypoglossal nerve in the neck and intercostal muscles (between two ribs) in the chest. Remote control gets used to turn on the device before going to bed. Then the hypoglossal nerve gets stimulated with each breath, the tongue moves forward out of the airway, and the airway gets opened.

3. Mandibular Advancement Devices
These are devices designed for people who have mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea. It is possible to create dental appliances or oral mandibular advancement devices that help prevent the tongue from blocking the throat and advance the lower jaw forward. These devices aid in keeping the airway open while sleeping. If this treatment is correct for you, you should consult with a sleep specialist and a dentist.

4. Surgery
People with obstructive sleep apnea and others who snore but do not have sleep apnea may benefit from surgical procedures. Outpatient procedures are one of the many types of surgeries performed. People who have excessive or malformed tissue obstructing airflow through the nose or throat, such as a deviated nasal septum, significantly enlarged tonsils, or a small lower jaw with an overbite that causes the throat to be abnormally narrow, may benefit from surgery. These procedures typically get performed after conservative measures and when the CPAP trial has failed to improve sleep apnea.

When To See A Doctor?

Sleep apnea gets linked to many health problems, including difficulty concentrating, depression, heart attack, and stroke. It may also increase the risk of hypertension. The connection between the conditions is not always clear, but anyone experiencing sleep apnea should seek medical attention because it may indicate an underlying problem. If you are unaware that you have sleep apnea, your partner, spouse, or other household members can notify you.

Therefore, seeking medical assistance when lifestyle changes don’t work happens to be the next step to treat sleep apnea. You should see a doctor immediately if you notice sleep apnea symptoms to understand the next course of action.


Sleep apnea is a common condition in which your breathing stops during the night. It can cause fatigue and difficulty concentrating, and it may be a symptom of a more grave ailment. You may be unaware that you have sleep apnea, but someone you live with may notice. If you are experiencing daytime sleepiness, you should consult a doctor who can help you determine the cause and help you take steps to improve your sleep.

The first line of treatment might include the lifestyle remedies talked about in this article. But, the treatment options may vary depending on the severity of sleep apnea in a person.

How Can Aims Healthcare Help?

When it comes to medical treatment, you want to seek advice from experts. Aims Healthcare’s Doctor on Call service in Dubai helps you reach out to qualified and certified doctors that offer the best possible treatment for your sleep apnea problem in the comfort of your home, office, or at the hotel. We enhance the experience of attaining medical attention and treatment. We make the best healthcare professionals accessible and just one call away. So, to receive personalized medical care, comprehensive diagnosis, treatment, and after-care exclusively at your doorstep, Get in touch at +971 458 26 555 or fill out the contact form for more information.

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Sleep apnea can disrupt your sleep and cause several bad days in succession. But, with effective lifestyle changes and therapy options available for sleep apnea, you can get a good night’s rest without worrying about other health problems. Read on to find out how!

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