Certain patients with mild sleep apnea may be managed without CPAP or surgery. These measures may also help people who are pursuing other treatments.
People who are overweight are more likely to develop sleep apnea. Therefore, maintaining an ideal weight is important in managing sleep apnea. Before starting a diet or exercise program, talk with your doctor about your plan to make sure it is safe. Losing weight can reduce symptoms of sleep apnea.
Some people breathe better and snore less loudly when sleeping on their sides or stomach. There are simple techniques to keep you from sleeping on your back, including sewing a tennis ball to the back of your pajama top, wearing a soft backpack at night, or placing a pillow under a shoulder.
Products to avoid
Alcohol, smoking, and certain medicines that make you sleepy can all make sleep apnea worse. Sedatives can make it harder for you to wake you up when you stop breathing, which makes the pauses in breathing longer. Smoke irritates the tissue in your nose and throat, which can make the airway more likely to collapse while you are asleep.
There is little scientific evidence that various nasal sprays and nasal strips that are sold to limit snoring have any significant effect on obstructive sleep apnea. Talk to your doctor if you plan to use these products.
Adopting good sleeping habits may improve the quality of your sleep, whether or not you have sleep apnea.
The first step in managing a sleep disorder is good sleep hygiene, or practicing good sleep habits. Here are some sleep hygiene tips to improve the quality of your sleep:
Remember, good sleep hygiene is the first step in managing a sleep disorder.
Last reviewed on 09/20/2006
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