If you or a loved one is suffering from sleep apnea, then you should know that it is very possible to help reverse the problem by changing a few risk-factors. You can also lessen the risk of suffering from the disorder one day in the future by making a few simple changes to your life today.
These steps may not completely remove the risk of suffering from Sleep Apnea over the course of your life – but they can certainly help to reduce the odds.
With that being said, here are some of the steps that you can take.
Start An Exercise Regimen
Getting some exercise can do a lot of good to help you maintain a better state of health and well-being – and this is certainly true when it comes to Sleep Apnea as well. In fact, losing weight is one of the best steps that you can take to lower your risk for this very-common sleeping disorder, as having more fatty tissue around the neck can mean a definite increase in the odds that you will develop some problems with it.
Try to fit in 20 minutes of exercise per day, if you can. If you can’t exercise that much, at least try to fit in about 30 minutes three days a week. Taking a walk, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, jogging, playing a sport, or even hiking with friends can make a difference. Little changes add up to big gains over time, so making even a small effort will go a long way.
If you can, start hitting the gym. Lifting and/or running on the treadmill have so many benefits – and will help you a lot, in every aspect of your life.
Start Eating Healthier
Changing your diet can also do a lot to help contribute to weight loss – which will, in turn, decrease your odds of developing or suffering from sleep apnea. Try drinking fewer sugary drinks, and stick more to water, unsweetened tea, and coffee instead (regular black coffee – not the sugary kind).
As far as foods go, try to eat fewer fried, fatty foods, and eat more whole foods and vegetables. There are a lot of different healthy-eating guidelines out there, so you should research the ones that seem to fit you the best and follow those.
Eating out less, and eating less fast food, can also help a lot.
Drink More Water
Staying hydrated can help your airway to stay properly coated with liquids, which will keep it from getting dry and sticky. Dry and sticky means a higher likelihood of snoring – and potentially, could make you more susceptible to sleep apnea.
Stop Drinking Alcohol, Especially Within The Hours Before You Go To Bed
Alcohol is a depressant, meaning that it actually relaxes your muscles. And if you go to bed buzzed or drunk… well, your muscles will relax even more-so than they normally would have.
And this means that you will be at an even bigger risk for experiencing obstructive sleep apnea.
Plus, drinking beer or hard liquor can be a double-negative for people suffering from OSA, as it can contribute to a greater calorie intake at the same time… which can lead to faster weight gain.
Statistics tell us that smokers are 2.5 times more likely to have obstructive sleep apnea than those who don’t smoke. The reasoning for this, many believe, is because smoking causes the airway to ‘swell,’ which contributes to airway restriction and makes it more difficult to breathe.
Smoking even causes swelling in the nose and throat… which can also contribute to a snoring problem, even if it does not lead to full-fledged sleep apnea.
All of these factors are controllable, meaning that you can most certainly affect your risk of suffering from OSA by making a few small changes. By choosing to make a change in one or more of these categories, you can effectively reduce the odds that you will end up sleep deprived… so be proactive and start making choices that will lead you to a better quality of sleep.
Your well-rested future self will thank you!