Sleep Apnea? Here Are Helpful Tips!

added on: May 22, 2015

For those who don’t suffer with Sleep Apnea nor are heavy snorers (often a precursor to Sleep Apnea), it’s hard to imagine how fatigued and groggy one can be every day. Yet, the fatigue is a small part of the whole picture.

Research has linked Sleep Apnea to high blood pressure, heart attacks, stroke, diabetes, weight gain, impotency and has even shown a possible correlation to Alzheimer’s Disease. Behind the wheel, Sleep Apnea sufferers are said to be more dangerous than drunk drivers.

In our office, we’ve successfully treated a number of individuals with Sleep Apnea or who are heavy snorers. Rather than have radical surgery, most with mild to moderate Sleep Apnea can overcome these problems with an FDA approved device that’s worn in the mouth at night. These are small and custom-designed to fit the contours of your mouth so they don’t interfere with your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep.

We offer a free, no obligation Consultation appointment so you can have your questions answered thoroughly and determine how you wish to proceed. In the meantime, below are some helpful tips to aid you in achieving the best quality of sleep possible:

  1. Sleep on your side.
    This is the most important piece of advice on this page. It helps keep your airway open & reduces your heartburn and acid reflux.
  2. Elevate the head of your bed about 6-8 inches.
    Easiest way to achieve this is to place several pillows between the box spring and the mattress, positioned under the mattress at the head of the bed. Note that piling up more than 2 pillows to lay your head on does not work as well as it might lead to neck issues & you can easily roll off of them.
  3. Use Breathe RightR nasal strips.
    Be sure to get it in your size as they come in small or large. Also, get the clear ones for sensitive skin. Avoid generic brands and the advanced versions. There is a nice video at Breathe Right’s website showing you how it works and how to use it.
  4. Use nasal spray every night right before bed.
    Be sure to keep your nose clear by blowing your nose first. Inhaling steam can loosen congestion so a hot shower before bed would help. As far as nasal sprays, we get the best feedback about Flonase (available over the counter). Don’t use Afrin.
  5. Keep your bedroom dark.
    Make sure your room is perfectly dark while you’re sleeping. You can use a mask over your eyes. Be sure to dim lights for the hour or two leading up to sleep time. Do not use any electronics with a screen within two hours of bedtime; it messes your melatonin levels. Speaking of bedtime, you should avoid laying down within 30 minutes of food as that increases your risk of heartburn.
  6. Keep your bedroom cool.
    Studies show that the ideal temperature for sleep is 65 degrees. A programmable thermostat can be set to drop the temperature down to that level late into the night and back up to more comfortable levels in the morning.
  7. Keep the air clean and at the right humidity.
    An air cleaner helps if your furnace system is old. Otherwise, change the air filter on your furnace every month and use one that has a high filtration effect. Use a humidifier in the winter if your house is really dry. The humidity in your room should be between 30 & 50%.
  8. Use your oral sleep appliance EVERY NIGHT.
    It’s important that your airway gets used to that open path from the back of your throat down to your lungs. Regular nightly use makes sure it stays open.

Please feel free to call us at 1-866-9-Smiles with any questions. We are always adding to and improving this list so let us know your thoughts or feedback.

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Dr. Ban R. Barbat

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