More than a third of Americans don’t get enough sleep at night. There are myriad reasons behind this sleep deficit, one of which is sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder that is characterized by the breath repeatedly starting and stopping during sleep.
This can seriously disrupt sleep, preventing you from resting well. So what can you do to sleep better if you have sleep apnea?
Follow a Schedule
If you want to have a chance at getting good sleep, you need to practice good sleep hygiene. Following a schedule is part of that. Sure, it’s not going to solve your sleep apnea, but it could help you make the most of the sleep you do get.
Commit to going to bed (without your phone) at the same time every night and getting up at the same time every morning. Resist the urge to change your schedule on the weekends or on your days off. Doing so will only make staying with a solid sleep routine even harder.
Wear a Mask
Because sleep apnea causes you to stop breathing, it may be necessary to get some extra help with breathing at night. Sleep apnea masks help keep your airways open while you sleep. You may know them as CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) masks.
They work by increasing the air pressure in your airway. This keeps your airway from collapsing. Not all CPAP masks and machines meet everyone’s needs, so talk to your doctor about which one is right for you.
Think Long-Term with Diet and Lifestyle Changes
Certain lifestyle habits increase your risk of developing sleep apnea. The good news is that changing your diet and lifestyle could improve your condition. Eating a balanced, nutritious diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains can help you maintain a healthy weight, especially when combined with regular physical activity. Avoid smoking and consuming alcohol as well. These habits can worsen sleep apnea.
Everyone needs sleep. Sleep is necessary for healthy brain function. It also supports your physical health. Sleep apnea can prevent you from getting the sleep you need to function and stay healthy. It also puts a lot of stress on your body, especially your heart. If you think you might have sleep apnea, talk to your doctor as soon as possible. That way you can get the treatment you need so you can get back to having a good night’s sleep.
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