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Easing sleep apnea symptoms with the food you eat - March 9th, 2019

What we eat has a fundamental role in energising our daily functions, but for those with sleep apnea, daily functions can be difficult to carry out. However, in conjunction with medical help from a CPAP mask or machine, measuring what you eat can help boost those energy levels and ease other sleep apnea symptoms. Taking note of these tips can help you take all possible steps to ease sleep apnea symptoms and optimise the chance of getting a solid night’s sleep.

Foods to eat

Food that contains natural sources of melatonin may help promote better sleep. Fruit and vegetables such as cherries, asparagus, tomatoes, grapes, and broccoli all have considerable amounts of melatonin, as do some nuts and seeds. Not only do they contain melatonin but they can help you feel satiated for longer, reducing snacking and potential weight gain as a result. To sufficiently increase your melatonin levels, why not start drinking tart cherry juice. According to University Health News, it significantly reduces insomnia severity.

Eating fish can also help break down the melatonin in foods. Well known for alleviating mental health and anxiety symptoms, eating fish such as salmon is an easy way to counter symptoms that are often exacerbated by sleep apnea. If you’re not a fan of seafood, try a supplement of omega-3 fatty acids or eat sweet potato, oatmeal or nuts. They contain complex carbohydrates which can help you feel sleepy in time for bedtime!

Foods to avoid

If you’re struggling with sleep apnea, a number one food to avoid is bananas. Though bananas are certainly yummy and full of nutrients, they contribute to an increased production of mucus which can exacerbate your symptoms. This is also the case for milk, cream, and fatty meats. Changing your diet to limit the consumption of these foods and other fatty foods can increase your sleep quality. Try to replace them in favour of low-fat substitutes and meats such as chicken and turkey to get the right amount of fat without impeding your chance of achieving a good night’s rest.

Changing what you eat alongside using a CPAP mask or machine may well increase your ability to sleep through the night and feel the benefits throughout the day. For other lifestyle changes you can make, see our other blog posts.

Photo: cherries by timlewisnm licensed under Creative commons 5
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