Getting a good night’s sleep is often taken for granted by those of us who have little trouble nodding off at night. And anyone who’s ever tossed and turned throughout the night knows just how intolerable this can be, not to mention the way it can affect your daily life.
As you’re likely aware, sleep apnea isn’t just about the difficulty of falling asleep. This is a serious condition that can be life-threatening if left untreated. As such, there have been a variety of treatments offered to sleep apnea patients over the years, one of which concerns beneficial lifestyle choices.
On this note, natural and holistic remedies are on the rise today. And it’s thought by many physicians and healthcare professionals that by altering your habits and your lifestyle, you may be able to combat the effects of sleep apnea without relying on costly medical devices.
Here, we’ll explore a variety of natural ways to cope with sleep apnea. But you should always consult your physician prior to attempting any health care regimen
Why Avoid Sleep Apnea Medical Devices?
As mentioned, if you have a serious sleep apnea condition where your breathing is obstructed during sleep, a medical device may be the safest way to cope with your illness. However, there are health concerns related to these devices, especially with certain brands of CPAP machines.
For example, CPAP devices manufactured by Philips Respironics have been recalled due to the possibility of degraded sound abatement foam being inhaled, swallowed or ingested. And this has been thought to cause the following conditions:
- Lung cancer
- Respiratory illness
- Inhalation of toxic gasses
- Stomach cancer
- Stomach ulcers
- Bladder cancer
- Testicular cancer
- Persistent morning headaches
- Skin irritation and inflammation
- Lung Inflammation
If you’ve noticed any of the above symptoms or conditions, you should seek medical attention immediately and consider filing a lawsuit to compensate for damages. As such, contacting the personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers will be a wise decision as these professionals are well-experienced in dealing with high-profile lawsuits.
Maintaining a Healthy Weight
It’s been observed by medical professionals who study sleep apnea patients that obesity can cause this condition to become worse. And this is because obesity can cause airway obstruction.
Excessive weight in the upper body, particularly around the throat muscles can cause sufferers of sleep apnea to experience worsening conditions. With narrower airways, along with the pressure of fatty tissue, you could have more nights of interrupted breathing during sleep, a common characteristic of sleep apnea.
Science has already proven the benefits of exercise when it comes to maintaining overall health. In fact, the benefits of walking frequently and getting at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise each day can greatly improve your overall health. And this may also help you cope with sleep apnea.
Every part of the body becomes stronger the more we exercise it. And this includes the lungs. And as sleep apnea is often associated with a depletion of oxygen in the blood, breathing exercises can help alter this state.
For example, yoga is a practice that focuses on subtle body movements along with proper breathing. As you learn to control your breath during movement in yoga, this practice can also improve blood oxygen levels through practicing these breathing exercises repeatedly.
Additionally, practices such as Tai Chi, like yoga, can also help to form better, natural breathing habits. And when you fall asleep at night, over time, you may find that you’ll develop a more natural breathing rhythm.
Rid Yourself of Bad Habits
It may be obvious, but your lifestyle does play a huge role in your sleeping habits. In fact, even those who don’t suffer from sleep apnea can suffer from serious sleeping disorders due to their lifestyle choices and habits.
Alcohol relaxes the body. And this will continue as you sleep. If you suffer from sleep apnea and you drink alcohol regularly, you could be exacerbating your illness by continuing to drink.
Tobacco and any type of smoke inhalation can inflame your airways. As a result, this can also present a danger if you suffer from sleep apnea. Additionally, smoking can also worsen your breathing and cause you to snore even louder, resulting in repeated interruption of sleep.
You should also note that many physicians have stated that alcohol consumption along with smoking presents a significant health risk to those who suffer from sleep apnea. As such, quitting these habits will not only greatly improve your health, you’ll likely begin to sleep better as a result.
Adjust Your Sleeping Position
It’s been noted by many physicians that those who sleep in the supine position have a greater risk of developing a worsening case of sleep apnea. The supine position (sleeping on your back) doesn’t allow for air to escape the airways as easily as with sleeping on your side.
Additionally, sleeping on your back also places you in a position where the weight of throat tissue can cause the airways to narrow. As such, if you normally sleep on your back, switching your sleeping position may have beneficial effects when it comes to staying asleep at night without interrupted breathing.
You should also note that when considering sleeping positions regarding sleep apnea, age also plays a factor. For example, physicians who study sleep apnea in children have noticed that children who sleep on their backs tend to sleep better and have fewer breathing interruptions during the night whereas this is the reverse for adults.
Developing a healthier lifestyle not only may help you to better cope with sleep apnea, but a healthy lifestyle is also beneficial in a variety of ways. In fact, you may begin to feel more energized and more full of life than you did before you began a health regimen. However, as mentioned in the beginning of this article, always consult your physician prior to engaging in any type of holistic therapy to treat your illness, and ensure that you are healthy enough for engaging in any type of exercise activity.
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