If you have sleep apnea, you may unconsciously stop breathing during the night. This can rob you of the deep and restorative sleep that your body needs to function well in the daytime. The resulting fatigue and lack of concentration can increase your risk for accidents and problems at work. If you suspect that you might have sleep apnea, consult with a doctor to confirm it or rule it out.
Following are some simple steps you can take to help prevent sleep apnea and treat it if you have it:
Use a machine that fits snugly around your mouth and nose. The best machines for sleep apnea are called continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines. The best cpap machines work in many different ways. Some use heated or cooled air to keep the airway open during breathing, while others keep a continuous stream of air going down the airway, removing the need for deep breathing or sighing at night.
If you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, avoid any liquids two hours before bedtime, particularly coffee and tea. Alcohol can make sleep apnea worse, so avoid it at night as well. It may also help you to wind down before bed with a hot bath or warm shower.
If you wake up during the night and can’t fall back asleep within 20 minutes, get out of bed. Do some light stretching or read quietly but avoid bright lights or stressful reading material that could make it harder for you to get back to sleep. If you are able to return to sleep within 15 minutes, your sleep apnea is probably mild enough that these steps will be enough to help you treat it. Otherwise, consider working with a doctor on a more comprehensive plan for beating sleep apnea