Controlling Your Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea usually needs professional treatment to completely go away, especially depending on how severe your apnea is. However, there are still a few things you can do at home to lessen the symptoms and help keep your apnea under control.

  1. Diet – If your sleep apnea is caused by excess weight, the solution is much simpler than if you have sleep apnea due to genetic reasons. You need to eat healthier and exercise to lower your weight and help lessen the pressure on your neck from excess skin and fat.
  2. Consume Less Alcohol – Sleep apnea can form or become worse with alcohol use. Each person has differing alcohol tolerances so some may be able to consume more than others without any issues, however, it’s still a good idea to cut back the alcohol consumption on a daily basis.
  3. Re-evaluate Prescription Medicine – If you notice your apnea is worse when you’re taking prescription pills (especially any sort of sedative or sleeping pill) consult your doctor to lower your dose or change your treatment altogether. Pills that relax your body can make your apnea significantly more dangerous.
  4. Don’t Smoke – We all know smoking is dangerous for many reasons – you can add sleep apnea to that list. Smoking allows nicotine in cigarettes to loosen the muscles that are used to keep your airways clear. If you’re a heavy smoker, your airways may have a hard time staying open.
  5. Sleeping Position – Try sleeping on your side and not on your back to help naturally keep your airways open. Also, try raising your bed a slight angle so that your body isn’t completely horizontal. Tilting the bed may also help keep your airways open. There’s also a pillow designed specifically to hold your head in place to give you the optimal breathing position. (It’s called a cervical pillow)
  6. Sleep – A good night’s rest does wonders for your body. It helps your brain and body function properly throughout the day. Sleeping properly is also known to help reduce sleep apnea symptoms.

If you have sleep apnea, making small changes can help you manage your symptoms a lot better. However, don’t use home treatment as an excuse to skip seeing a doctor to monitor your treatment! Dr. Lorraine Burio of Candlewood Dental Care has been treating patients with sleep apnea over twenty-five years. She is an expert on the most up-to-date treatments and technologies that can help completely eliminate your sleep apnea! Call us at 203-746-1200 or make an appointment here to start your treatment.