4 Ways to Fix Sleep Apnea
If you have sleep apnea in Everett, WA, you’re not alone. According to the National Sleep Foundation, this potentially serious sleep disorder affects about 18 million American adults. Thankfully, you can find several ways to address this problem.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea refers to a condition in which air fails to pass through the respiratory system properly during sleep. When the muscles around the tongue are relaxed while the person is asleep, they tend to block the airflow to the lungs. As a result, their breathing is interrupted.
Sleep apnea sufferers usually snore loudly, feel short of breath, and experience pauses in breathing. Since they don’t get enough restful sleep at night, they typically wake up exhausted with a headache and a dry mouth. They also struggle with daytime sleepiness, irritability, and attention problems.
If left unaddressed, sleep apnea can lead to mental health issues, memory loss, poor immune function, and an increased risk of heart failure.
What Are the Remedies for Sleep Apnea?
1. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Excess weight in the upper body causes the air passages to become narrow. Narrow air passages increase the risk of airway obstruction.
Doctors typically advise obese patients with sleep apnea to lose weight. Keeping a healthy weight helps facilitate proper airflow by keeping the airways open.
2. Use Humidifiers
Dry air tends to irritate the respiratory system. Conversely, moist air facilitates breathing. Since a humidifier works to add moisture to the air, it helps decrease congestion, open the airways, and promote clearer breathing.
You can also choose to add essential oils to your humidifier for added benefits. Eucalyptus oil, lavender, and peppermint are known for their soothing and anti-inflammatory effects.
It’s important to note that humidifiers can harbor bacteria and molds over time. For this reason, it’s best to keep them clean.
3. Change Your Sleep Position
What you may think of as your go-to sleep position could be working against you. Changing your sleep position can dramatically improve your night’s rest and reduce the symptoms of sleep apnea. According to a 2006 study, more than half of obstructive sleep apnea cases are dependent on how a person arranges their body while they’re asleep.
While back sleeping may be ideal for spinal alignment, it can worsen sleep apnea symptoms. Since gravity pulls the soft tissues in the throat downward, it increases their chances of blocking the airway.
Alternatively, side sleeping and stomach sleeping are better sleep position alternatives for sleep apnea sufferers. Besides creating optimal blood flow, side sleeping on the left side also reduces the chances of airway obstructions. Likewise, stomach sleeping allows gravity to pull the tissues in the mouth and throat forward, thereby minimizing the risk of airway obstruction.
4. Use an Oral Appliance
Since an oral appliance holds the tongue in position or slides the jaw forward while opening up the airway, it essentially prevents the airway from collapsing.
Do You Need Treatment for Sleep Apnea in Everett, WA?
The team of dental experts at All Smiles Northwest can outfit you with a custom sleep apnea mouth guard to help you get the restful sleep that you and your loved ones deserve. The oral appliances we offer will enable you to fully open and close your mouth, whether you’re speaking, yawning, drinking, or taking oral medications.
Furthermore, you’d still be able to wear them comfortably even if you have missing teeth, bridgework, crowns, or a full upper denture.
If you want to know more about our sleep apnea mouth guards, contact our office today to schedule your appointment.