September 01, 2020 2 min read

What is sleep apnea?


Sleep apnea is the condition that causes you to stop breathing for short periods of time while you’re sleeping. People with sleep apnea don’t take in enough oxygen and this causes them to gasp and wake up.


Most of the time people are unaware that they’ve stopped breathing and believe that their sleep cycle is normal. In a simple term, sleep apnea sounds a lot like snoring…


Sleep apnea can cause a number of health complications like mental health issues, poor immune function, memory loss and an increase of risk of heart failure. Common treatments for sleep apnea can include breathing devices, medication, and surgery. 


However, there are some lifestyle changes that you can make to help with sleep apnea if you feel like you have it.


Maintain Healthy Weight


Some doctors recommend to lose weight before considering any surgery, at first. Obesity, specifically in the upper body, can reduce the airflow when you sleep and narrow nasal passages making it hard to breath when sleeping. 


Maintaining a healthy weight in the boss can help clear the airways and reduce sleep apnea symptoms. If you don’t maintain that weight, however, those symptoms can come back.


Try Yoga or Breathing Exercises


Regular exercise in general can help with blood flow, energy levels, heart strengthening and improve sleep apnea. Try improving your respiratory system by involving breathing exercises like yoga, or simply sitting up and taking deep breaths. Especially if you are not in a physical position to really go for runs or walks, this can help improve your sleeping experience.


Use a Humidifier


Oftentimes when we are breathing in our sleep our throat gets dry, causing irritation and can be the simple cause of sleep apnea. Try some CBD oil before you sleep, or anti-inflammatory medication that will help with swelling.


Try Different Sleep Positions


If you are catching yourself sleeping on your back or stomach, try sleeping on your side. Studies have shown that when you sleep on your back, especially if obese, can restrict airflow. 


If you are having a hard time finding where to start, consult with your doctor about this, they know best.


The Takeaway


Sleep apnea is real, and a lot of us carry symptoms that we might not even be aware of. Changing your lifestyle and having micro adjustments before and during sleep can help prevent sleep apnea. If you are still having a hard time sleeping or are waking up in the middle of the night from snoring, it’s time to consult with a doctor and get the best advice for your current situation.