At times, a good night’s sleep might be covering up something that can prove quite fatal if you keep misreading the signs. For instance, people often consider snoring to be a sign of deep sleep or often blame their bladder for interrupted sleep. A sleep disorder that lurks under the guise of these seemingly harmless symptoms is sleep apnea which affects about 20 million people in the country. Sleep apnea is a condition that causes the individual to stop breathing for short periods when they are asleep. These sudden episodes can occur anywhere from a few times to hundreds of times and can result in interrupted sleep. If this condition is left untreated, it will trigger a series of other health problems which add to the individual’s health problems.
Sleep apnea might appear to be quite harmless, but it gives rise to several health complications. If sleep apnea is not treated, it can have several serious repercussions like mental health issues, poor immune function, memory loss, and increased risk of heart failure.
Though usually sleep apnea is treated with the help of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines, there are other ways of treating sleep apnea. They are as follows:
One of the effective ways to deal with sleep apnea is to practice yoga regularly. Yoga can increase your energy level, strengthen the heart, and is instrumental in improving sleep apnea. In fact, yoga plays a pivotal role in improving respiratory strength and encourages oxygen flow. As sleep apnea is characterized by decreased oxygen saturation in the blood, practicing yoga daily will improve the oxygen levels with the help of its breathing exercises. This way, yoga helps in reducing the number of sleep interruptions you may experience while sleeping.
Maintain a healthy weight
Obesity, especially of the upper body, is linked to sleep apnea. Excess of fatty tissue in the upper part of the body can increase the risk of airway obstruction and causes the nasal passages to narrow down. Such obstructions are the main cause of the cessations in breathing which occurs several times when the person sleeps. Which is why if you suffer from sleep apnea, the doctor will advise you to adhere to a balanced diet and exercise regime to maintain a healthy weight. Weight loss can help treat sleep apnea and can even eliminate it.
Change your sleeping position
The easiest way to deal with sleep apnea is to change your sleeping position. The supine position—sleeping on the back—is known to worsen sleep apnea as it increases your snoring and blocks the airways. So, to prevent sleep apnea, you can try sleeping on your side as it will regulate your breathing and return it to normal. Moreover, you can consult with your doctor and discuss body positioning and sleep apnea symptoms as it will help you evaluate your treatment options.
Use a humidifier
A humidifier can add moisture to the air and this proves quite effective in dealing with sleep apnea. Dry air can irritate the body and its respiratory system, which is why using a humidifier will reduce the pressure on the respiratory system. It will open the airways, decrease congestion, and will allow you to breathe easily. You can even add lavender, peppermint, or eucalyptus oil to the humidifier as these essential oils have anti-inflammatory and soothing benefits.