Yes, lifestyle changes can make a difference.
If you struggle with sleep apnea, there are positive lifestyle changes you can make to improve your situation. From eating healthily to using a sleep apnea mask, small changes can enhance your chances at a good night’s sleep.
Improve your diet & exercise
Changing your diet will not cure your sleep apnea, however, enjoying a healthy balanced diet will improve your likelihood of having a sound sleep. Here are some of the foods and drinks to avoid or increase consumption of to improve the quality of your sleep.
Caffeine is a stimulant and can stay in your system for several hours, keeping you awake and your body restless. Swap coffee for chamomile tea. Chamomile tea is full of antioxidants which are believed to relax the body and encourage sleep. If you can’t go without coffee, ensure you only drink it in the morning and avoid it at all costs in the afternoon/evening.
For an afternoon snack try nuts, particularly almonds as they are a source of melatonin, which is a sleep-regulating hormone. For your evening meal try to include more fatty fish in your diet as fish contains vitamin D which can help improve sleep.
Several studies have shown a favourable effect of supervised exercise training on obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). If you are diagnosed with OSA, or have chronic high blood pressure, make sure you consult a doctor before engaging in any exercise changes.
Use a sleep apnea mask
Purchasing and using a sleep apnea machine is another of the lifestyle changes, a positive change, but a change nonetheless. To adapt to this lifestyle change you must become comfortable with using your mask.
Use your mask every night without fail, even if at first it feels a little unusual, to help your body adjust to sleeping with the mask. Adjust your mask during the day so you are not adjusting your mask while you are tired and you can go to bed each night knowing the mask will fit comfortably rather than feeling anxious about its fit.
For more information of sleeping with an apnea mask, read our previous blog post offering further tips and guidance.
Quit smoking and limit alcohol intake
There are many positive benefits to quitting smoking, and there is much help available from local doctors or chemists. Smoking particularly damages your throat and airways, and may even cause your airways to swell.
Although alcohol is a sedative, this does not mean it will help you sleep. Research has shown that alcohol can relax the muscles in your throat, which can actually encourage sleep apnea.
Don’t hesitate to contact us today for more information about sleep apnea, or for help selecting your own custom sleep apnea mask.