Many options exist that can help to treat mild to severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), such as a C-PAP, mouthguards, and other oral appliances. In addition to these devices designed to treat sleep apnea in Idaho Falls, there are also natural solutions and sleep hygiene habits that can be utilized to reduce or even eliminate, in some cases, the symptoms of OSA. These simple, but effective methods for treating sleep apnea naturally in Idaho Falls can be used alone or in conjunction with a sleep apnea device, depending on the severity of your OSA as well as, what your sleep specialist at Comfort Sleep Solutions recommends. It’s important to note that like most natural remedies, the following treatment solutions take time, so you may still need to use your CPAP or oral appliance during your treatment. However, once you are able to implement these changes and start seeing positive results, you will exponentially decrease the chance of suffering from severe sleep apnea during your lifetime.
If you believe you are suffering from sleep apnea or would like more information about naturally treating sleep apnea in Idaho Falls, call Comfort Sleep Solutions to schedule a free consultation.
One of the first things and easiest things a person can do in order to naturally treat sleep apnea in Idaho Falls is to develop a solid sleep hygiene regimen. Sleep Hygiene is defined as the habits and practices that are conducive to sleeping well on a regular basis. Not only is creating positive sleeping habits essential for the reduction of sleep apnea, but with the average American only getting 6.8 hours of sleep a night, we could all benefit from implementing the following habits into our sleep routine.
Limit Screen Time
Avoid using electronics at least an hour before going to bed. This includes cell phones, TV, computers, tablets, etc. One of the reasons that looking at screens can be harmful to your sleep is the Blue Light that is emitted from these screens. Blue light is the brightest and strongest wavelength and our brains perceive this light as sunlight. According to this article, that means that melatonin (the hormone that is released at night and regulates your sleep-wake cycle) is not produced, thus The longer your brain delays melatonin release, the harder it is to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Create a Relaxing Routine
Everyone has different activities and habits that help to relax them. Within the hour before you go to bed try designing a relaxing routine that can help you get prepared to sleep. This routine should be done every night (even on weekends) and as close to the same time as possible. In this way, your body and brain will begin to recognize these habits and produce melatonin correctly at night. Some habits you can incorporate include:
- Light Stretching or Relaxing Yoga
- Taking a warm show or bath
- Drinking caffeine-free tea
Don’t Fight Sleep
By limiting screen time and establishing a regular routine, you’ll be well on your way to designing a sleep hygiene routine that can combat and treat sleep apnea naturally in Idaho Falls. Additionally, going to bed at the same time every night is essential to good sleep habits as well as curbing the habit of “fighting sleep”. Fighting sleep is when you go to bed and for whatever reason, you just can’t seem to fall asleep. If you can’t fall asleep within 20 minutes, get up and try to do something that will induce sleep. Usually cleaning, folding laundry or repeating the steps of your nighttime routine will do the trick.
Avoid Substances That Interfere With Sleep
In addition to forming good sleep hygiene habits, substances that interfere with sleep should be avoided. Both caffeine and alcohol have been shown to disrupt sleep patterns and interfere with OSA, especially alcohol or other types of muscles relaxers. Alcohol in part can make a person feel sleepy and may even be used by some to help induce sleep. However, alcohol can actually prevent you from getting essential amounts of REM and deep sleep, according to this article on sleep hygiene.
In comparison, the stimulant caffeine, if consumed 8 hours before sleeping can make it difficult for your body and brain to wind down for the night, making falling asleep that much more difficult.
Smoking cigarettes, which has detrimental effects on the body and brain as a whole, is also not ideal for reducing sleep apnea. If you do smoke cigarettes, speak with your doctor about different options that are available to you to help you quit smoking.
Maintain A Healthy Weight
One of the most common causes of obstructive sleep apnea in adults is obesity. Being overweight or obese can cause increased pressure on the throat if the neck is large. Obesity is also associated with the soft tissue of the mouth and throat. To find out if this may be an issue for you, take this sleep disorder sleep assessment from Comfort Sleep Solutions. Since weight can cause sleep apnea and sleep apnea can cause weight gain, in order to naturally treat sleep apnea in Idaho Falls you should work towards reaching and maintaining a healthy weight through diet and exercise. Experts recommend getting at least 10 minutes of aerobic exercise to improve your quality of sleep, while 150 minutes of aerobic exercise a week (roughly 22 minutes a day) or 75 minutes a week of intense aerobic activity can help people reach and maintain a healthy weight. Avoid intense exercise three hours before bed as this can have the opposite effect in allowing your body to prepare for sleep.
Eating a diet high in fiber, with enough healthy fats, protein and plenty of fruits and vegetables can also help to reduce weight and help you reach your ideal weight. It’s important that before starting any diet or exercise program that you consult with your regular physician to see what is the best course of action to help you reach the right weight through diet and exercise.
These sleep hygiene practices and lifestyle changes can be created in a way that’s specific to each person. Contact us today for more information about how you can naturally treat sleep apnea in Idaho Falls and get back to sleeping the whole night through.