Getting quality sleep every night is as important as eating a nutrient-rich diet and staying hydrated throughout the day. If you’re consistently sleeping less than 7 hours a night, it won’t take long before it will start to take a toll on you and your body.
For most of us, drowsiness induced by sleepless nights can be conveniently remedied by sleeping more the following nights. Unfortunately for some individuals, that’s easier said than done. This is especially true if you are afflicted by a diagnosed (or undiagnosed) sleep condition known as sleep apnea.
If you have sleep apnea, the prospect of sleeping can feel like a nightmare. Your daytime sleepiness hampers your productivity and urges you to sleep, but when nighttime comes, you find yourself unable to rest soundly because of the condition.
But don’t let this reality discourage you. With the right treatment and lifestyle, sleep apnea is a manageable condition that you can overcome. You’ll just have to take consistent steps and be in the right frame of mind to get there.
With that said, here are ways you can thrive (and not just survive) with sleep apnea!
1. Aquire a CPAP Machine
If sleep apnea has you feeling like your life’s falling apart, the most direct and effective way to address it is by finding a cure for it. Fortunately, there’s one clinical remedy that doctors will often prescribe to patients with this condition—continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment.
Considered the gold standard of sleep apnea remedies, this therapy involves using a machine to keep your airways open while you’re sleeping. The main reason why sleep apnea is so obstructive is due to the tissue surrounding your throat collapsing and blocking incoming air.
With a CPAP machine, you can deliver pressurized air directly into your throat. This prevents the throat from collapsing and stops all the symptoms that come with sleep apnea, enabling you to sleep as soundly as a baby. Click here for more information on CPAP machines and how they can be used to treat sleep apnea.
2. Embrace Your Condition with Open Arms
Being diagnosed with sleep apnea can be difficult. After all, no one wants to have health issues, most especially physiological problems that have severe ramifications on your entire quality of life. But once you get past this initial shock, the best way to approach the condition is by embracing it with open arms, accepting it not as a problem, but rather as something that ia part of your life.
Sleep apnea, unfortunately, has no cure. But it can be treated and managed. One way to do this is by getting familiar with sleep apnea and its symptoms.
Educating yourself on the condition helps you understand it better and gives you more control over it, as opposed to feeling helpless and confused. You can even talk to other individuals who are in the same boat as you, providing and receiving camaraderie as a support group going through the same thing.
Getting lost in a spiral of negative thoughts isn’t a productive way out of this situation. While it may seem difficult to get out of the rut right now, don’t close off the prospect of coming to terms with the condition in time.
3. Change Your Lifestyle
Did you know that a sedentary lifestyle can increase your risk of developing mild to moderate sleep apnea? As tempting as it is to lay on your couch and binge-eat while watching TV after a hard day’s work, it’s no surprise to anyone that sustaining a sedentary lifestyle can be a burden to your body.
So if you want to survive and thrive with sleep apnea, it’s important to make some lifestyle changes. Here are some beneficial habits you can consider doing to minimise symptoms:
- Start healthy weight journey: Being obese can increase the risk of sleep apnea. If your BMI is high, you may want to consider a healthier diet and exercise regimen.
- Add physical activity to your daily routine: Doing aerobic exercises like jogging, walking and swimming can help reduce sleep apnea symptoms.
- Quit smoking: Smoking regularly increases the risk of people developing sleep apnea three-fold, especially in people with asthma, so consider quitting the habit completely.
- Minimise sugar in your diet: Lower the risk of developing insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes by removing sugar from your diet. These diseases and sleep apnea are heavily correlated. Instead, consider eating healthier meals.
By taking the initiative to keep a healthier lifestyle, you can greatly minimise your sleep apnea symptoms and improve your overall quality of life.
4. be More Mindful with Sleep Habits
Having a sleep apnea diagnosis means you’ll have to be more thoughtful when trying to approach that restful state. The tips below can benefit anyone suffering from sleeping problems, but they are especially useful for people with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
- Sleep at a consistent time each night (no more than 30 minutes apart every night), at both weekends and weekdays.
- Avoid falling asleep during the day.
- Refrain from using your tech and blue light gadgets 1 to 2 hours before bedtime.
- Don’t use your bed for anything else except for sleeping.
- Don’t drink coffee in the late afternoons and beyond.
Adjusting your sleep habits can help give your body the rest it needs, and adhering to a consistent routine will make sure you get the best possible quality of sleep, despite a sleep apnea diagnosis.
Building a positive mindset toward sleep apnea isn’t only about acknowledging the condition, but it’s also about taking the right steps to manage it properly. That said, if you practice these tips and still find yourself struggling to stay in control of your sleeping habits, don’t hesitate to seek professional help.
Good luck with getting better sleep!