LIFE WITH SLEEP APNEA
Every person wants to get a good night’s sleep – it’s not too much to ask for. Among all other creatures, the human race is the only one that can delay sleeping on purpose. All the other creatures sleep when their body tells them to. However, when you have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), most of the times lack of sleep is inevitable. Here are the realities of people living life with sleep apnea.
Avoid sleeping on your back. The position makes your throat and tongue muscles to relax and fall back into your airways and block any passage through.
Exercise and diet
If you are an OSA patient and overweight at the same time, you should try and lose weight. Losing weight will reduce the fatty tissue build up in your throat and help in the increase of air flow when sleeping. With diet and exercise, you will notice a drastic positive change in the quality of your sleep and reduction in daytime sleepiness. You also should avoid heavy meals three hours before going to bed.
Smoking, drugs, and alcohol
Reducing or completely reducing your alcohol and smoking consumption will help elevate some OSA issues. Smoke irritates the sensitive tissues in the throat and lungs causing inflammation thus increasing obstructions. Alcohol, on the other hand, relaxes the throat causing them to collapse into the airways leading to an obstruction. Avoid taking alcohol three-four hours before bedtime to reduce the likelihood of obstructions when you sleep.
THE CPAP MACHINE
After getting diagnosed with sleep apnea, a CPAP machine will help you sleep better at night. Getting comfortable sleeping with your CPAP mask will likely be the most challenging part of your treatment. It is appropriate to physically visit your clinic to try out the available masks and choose one that is most comfortable for you.
TRAVELLING WITH SLEEP APNEA
OSA should not stop you from travelling. There are travel specific therapy machines and versatile accessories that will allow you to travel with ease. However, you need to take precaution when travelling such as checking with the airlines about the on-board use and availability of electrical outlets. Pack your CPAP machine as a carry-on and bring your prescription with you.