Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Effective Tips That Can Help Stop Snoring & Improve Sleep Quality
Leaving obstructive sleep apnea and other sleep conditions untreated can cause serious damage to one's health. Follow these tips for better sleep and health.
Obstructive sleep apnea can lead to snoring and poor sleep quality
If your upper airway is partially or completely blocked while you are sleeping, this can mean you have obstructive sleep apnea. To widen your airway and draw air into your lungs, you have to exert more effort with your diaphragm and chest muscles. You might even stop breathing for a brief moment if your breathing becomes too shallow.
A loud gasp, snort, or body jerk typically signals the beginning of your next breath. You might have trouble sleeping, but you won't likely be aware of it. Meaning, having undiagnosed obstructive sleep apnea can be catastrophic for your health.
Luckily, there are certain lifestyle choices and everyday practices you can follow to overcome OSA or snoring, which is a common symptom of OSA. Listed below are some of these tips and lifestyle changes you may make to overcome OSA.
Lifestyle changes to reduce snoring & improve sleep quality:
1. Change sleeping positions
Sleeping on your back can cause your tongue and soft palate to collapse to the back of your throat and narrowing your airway, which can cause snoring. Try sleeping on your side or stomach instead to reduce snoring.
2. Lose weight
carrying excess weight, especially around the neck and throat area, can put pressure on the airway and cause snoring. Losing weight can help reduce snoring and improve overall health.
3. Quit smoking
Smoking irritates the airway, causing inflammation and narrowing, which can lead to snoring. Quitting smoking can help reduce inflammation, improve breathing, and reduce snoring.
4. Avoid alcohol and sedatives
Alcohol, sedatives, and sleeping pills can relax the muscles in your throat, making snoring worse. Avoid these substances before bedtime to improve sleep quality.
5. Keep nasal passages clear
Nasal congestion can cause breathing difficulties while sleeping and increase the likelihood of snoring. Use nasal decongestants to keep nasal passages clear, reduce snoring and improve breathing.
6. Practice good sleep hygiene
Stick to a regular sleep schedule, establish a relaxing bedtime routine, and create a comfortable sleep environment. Good sleep hygiene can help reduce snoring and improve sleep quality.
7. Try throat exercises
Strengthening the muscles in your throat and tongue can reduce snoring. Try practicing singing, playing a wind instrument, or doing specific throat exercises like tongue slides and lip trills.
8. Change your pillows regularly
Dust mites that often accumulate on the pillows can be another reason behind snoring. Along with this, allowing pets on the bed can also lead to you breathing animal dander which is a common irritant. Make sure to put the pillows in air fluff cycle once or twice a week or change them twice annually.
9. Stay hydrated
Secretions found in the nose can become stickier due to dehydration. This can often increase snoring. Make sure you fulfil your daily need of water and stay hydrated through out the day. You can also incorporate water-rich foods to your diet to increase intake.
Consult your doctor if you struggle with snoring or irregular sleeping patterns, as this may be a sign of a more serious underlying condition like sleep apnea or a deviated septum.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.
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