Snoring keeping you or your partner up at night? Sleep apnea might be the culprit. Sleep apnea is when your body stops breathing at various times throughout the night while you sleep. This stoppage in action means that your brain may not be getting the oxygen it needs. Sleep apnea is different for different people, so knowing what’s best for you personally is important when deciding how to go about treating it.
First of all, you should figure out which type you have. Obstructive sleep apnea is the more common form of the two. This is when your throat muscles become more relaxed when you sleep, which blocks the airway and harms breathing. The other kind of sleep apnea is central sleep apnea. This is when the brain fails to send the appropriate signals to the muscles that control breathing, which causes stoppages in breathing throughout the night.
No matter which type of sleep apnea you’re suffering from, the side effects could end up being devastating. Sleep apnea is linked to several health problems including high blood pressure, heart attacks and diabetes. It can also lead to depression and headaches.
There are a few different ways that you can treat sleep apnea from the comfort of your own home. One treatment is to change sleeping positions. This remedy is particularly helpful for obstructive sleep apnea. For some people, sleeping on their back makes their throat muscles rest backward, causing difficulty breathing and snoring. Turning on your side or elevating your head can fix this problem by keeping the throat muscles in place. A common trick to stop you from sleeping on your back is taping a tennis ball to your back. That way when you inevitably go on your back in your sleep, your body will become discomforted and turn over.
Losing weight and avoiding alcohol could also cure your sleep apnea. Alcohol disrupts the sleep cycle by lowering the melatonin levels in your body. Staying in shape and keeping extra weight off your body also helps it to sleep better.
Depending how severe your sleep apnea is, it may take more to cure it. The first step to curing is understanding what it is and what might be causing it. If none of these remedies work, call your doctor to see what measures you should take.