According to The Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety and stress can either be the cause of sleeping disorders or can exacerbate existing sleeping problems. Stress and sleep disorders such as sleep apnea can be both the cause and effect of each other, leading to a vicious cycle of no sleep and rising stress levels. In this blog, we’ll be taking a look at a few ways you can reduce your stress levels to ease your sleep apnea symptoms. Exercise in the morning or afternoon Whether it’s cycling, jogging, walking or playing a sport, engaging in some form of physical activity during the day is a great way of releasing mental and physical tension. However, exercise will temporarily increase your body temperature, so it’s a good idea to exercise no less than 3 hours before you go to sleep so that your body temperature can return to normal. Try deep breathing Conscious, slow and deep breathing is a powerful and ancient method of clearing your body of any tension or stress and is a great way of relaxing to transition your body into sleep mode. Deep breathing can set off several physiological changes that can lead to relaxation, such as reducing your heart rate, lowering your blood pressure and reducing muscle tension. Your breathing practice doesn’t have to be complicated, however, you can simply take the time to take several slow breaths at certain points during the day or whenever you feel anxious. Guided imagery Guided imagery is a technique that connects the mind and body to reduce tension and promote sleep. Guided imagery exercises engage all of your senses during a focused period of imagination, which connects the unconscious mind with the conscious mind to create a positive physical and mental response. Taking a few minutes to imagine yourself in an idyllic situation, such as floating in the ocean or laying on the beach, is a great way of helping you mentally detach from everyday stresses and relax your body to prepare it for sleep. If you struggle with sleep apnea, get in touch with our experts at ApneaSeal today to create your custom 3D fitted CPAP mask.