Sleep apnea is a common disorder remaining in large part undiagnosed. For one, its side effects occur during sleep. Most of us cannot recall what we dreamed the previous night, let alone remember sudden awakenings lasting milliseconds or habitual snoring that many of us have learned to accommodate. Sleep apnea solutions seem out of reach for so many people because a large number are often not even aware of the problem. Oftentimes, lifestyle changes are enough to allay the symptoms of sleep apnea.
Though not many formal studies have been conducted, many medical professionals believe obesity and sleep apnea are closely linked. Having excess weight, especially around the neck area, can lead to a blocked airway and disrupt your breathing patterns during sleep. Pursuing a healthy diet and moderate exercise are oftentimes the best sleep apnea solutions. Doctors often suggest these changes before moving on to more intensive medical treatment.
Throat Toning Exercises
Performing daily vocal workouts can greatly reduce the occurrence of sleep apnea. Try reciting vowels quickly and repeatedly for thirty minutes a day. This helps strengthen your throat muscles and remind them to stay tight while you sleep, making for easier breathing.
Lie on Your Side
Sleep apnea patients often notice their symptoms worsen when sleeping on their backs. If sleeping on your side makes for a difficult transition, sew or pin a tennis ball-filled sock to the back of your shirt. This will keep you from lying on your back and result in a more open airway. This may strike you as one of the strangest sleep apnea solutions, but many swear by its effectiveness.
Get a Mouthpiece
If simple lifestyle changes are not providing relief from sleep apnea, your doctor may recommend other sleep apnea solutions, like a dental mouthpiece. This resembles a mouth guard worn in sports and when worn, keeps your jaw forward and the tongue from relaxing into the back of your throat while you sleep. These mouthpieces are custom-fitted by a sleep apnea dentist.
If your sleep apnea symptoms are getting the better of you, call to schedule a consultation with our sleep apnea specialist.