Behavioral therapy is as easy as it sounds. Making changes in behavior to minimize the symptoms of sleep apnea. Patients with mild obstructive sleep apnea may benefit with implementing a few lifestyle changes. Patients with more severe cases of sleep apnea may benefit from a supplemental implementation of lifestyle changes in addition to use of an oral appliance.
How can you lessen the effects of apnea on your own?
- Stop smoking! The effects of smoke on the lungs and throat can also worsen your sleep apnea.
- Limit your intake of alcohol. It can worsen snoring and increases relaxed muscle tone in the throat.
- Do not drink alcoholic beverages three hours prior to bedtime.
- Go to bed at a reasonable hour. Sleep deprivation can cause heavy snoring.
If you are overweight, consider a healthy weight loss plan. Sleep apnea tends to occur more often, and manifest itself more severely, in patients who are overweight and obese. Researchers have shown that even a small amount of weight loss can decrease the occurrence of breathing pauses. Regrettably, weight loss is extremely difficult for patients with untreated sleep apnea.
Other Behavior Tricks to lessen Obstructive Sleep Apnea
- Using pillows or raising the head of the bed to elevate the head works to help some apnea patients breathe easier during sleep
- Using tennis balls or shark fin pillow to eliminate back sleeping can be a major help in patients with positional apnea.
- Sleep on your side or stomach to avoid collapse of the airway
- Try not to eat a heavy meal close to bedtime
- Avoid or limit the use of sleeping pills and mood-altering drugs
- Avoid the use of antihistamines at night
- Limit intake of certain dairy foods before bed, as they can increase mucous production and encourage snoring
- Eat a well-balanced diet
- Reduce allergens in your home, such as dust and dander
- Sleep with windows closed
- Use a humidifier in your bedroom
The medical dangers of obstructive sleep apnea are horrible. Come see our Pasadena Texas Sleep Apnea Office to discover how Dr. Nugent is treating sleep apnea patients. Visit us at 3421 Burke Rd #1, Pasadena Texas 77504.