In our last post, we discussed how avoiding certain foods, like high fat dairy and red meat, can help ease the symptoms associated with sleep apnea. Today, we look at other natural ways to alleviate the severity of sleep apnea symptoms.
Sleep is a precious thing. It’s your body’s way to press the refresh button after an entire day of nonstop movement, and most people look forward to bedtime. Unfortunately, a truly restful night’s sleep is hard to come by for the millions of Americans suffering from sleep apnea. This sleep disorder disrupts your sleep cycle countless times a night, which results in daytime fatigue and irritability. If you believe that you may have sleep apnea, a visit to Dr. James Stewart, your Livonia dentist, is your first step on the path to wellness.
It’s Your Body, You Control It
Normally, a CPAP machine is suggested for the initial treatment of sleep apnea. The Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine is a mask worn over your face while you sleep. The CPAP delivers a steady stream of air to keep your airway open throughout the night. While you can benefit from it greatly with nightly use, the mask can make it difficult to fall asleep. Luckily, the CPAP machine is only one of many ways to help minimize your symptoms. Dr. Stewart also regularly recommends oral appliance therapy for patients with mild or moderate sleep apnea. With oral appliance therapy, patients wear a device similar to a mouth guard that thrusts the lower jaw outward and thus keeps the airway open during sleep.
Natural Solutions to Your Sleep Apnea
You can also opt to minimize the symptoms of your sleep apnea through natural alternatives that you can easily do in your own way, and in your own time.
- Hit the gym. Losing a few pounds can help reduce the obstructive tissues causing the blockage in your airway while you sleep. In fact, a recent study showed that people who took four 40-minute walks every week experienced a 25% reduction in symptoms.
- Don’t take muscle relaxers. Since the blockage is your airway is caused by relaxed muscles, adding a muscle relaxer will only worsen the issue. If you take a sleeping pill, make sure to check it’s free of muscle relaxers.
- Limit your alcohol. Drinking also relaxes your muscles so avoiding alcoholic beverages before you go to bed is a smart idea.
- Sleep at a slight, upright angle. A 30 degree angle can help prevent the obstruction of your airways.
- Become a side sleeper. If you’re a back sleeper, and sleeping at an incline hasn’t worked, try sleeping on your side. You can discourage the back sleeping habit by attaching a tennis ball to the back of your pajama top or nighttime shirt.
- Stop smoking. Smoking affects your respiratory system, and by improving your lung function, nighttime breathing isn’t as labored.
Visit Your Livonia Dentist for Sleep Apnea Treatment
In addition to CPAP and oral appliance therapy, these natural remedies may help improve your symptoms. To schedule an appointment, call our office at (734) 425-4400. You can also visit our website to view a full listing of our services, testimonials, and print patient forms. We look forward to treating patients from Farmington Hills, Plymouth, Northville, Dearborn Heights, Garden City, and surrounding areas