Recently updated on April 6th, 2022 at 03:41 am
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Sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep-related disorder that affects millions of people across the globe. If you or your loved one is suffering from the same problem there are several ways to treat this sleep disorder and minimize its effect on healthy sleeping habits. One of the quickest and simplest tricks that can help you ensure a good sleep cycle and prevent frequent awakenings at night is purchasing mattresses that can help you with your sleep apnea problem.
Below is a list of the best products for sleep apnea along with a detailed guide to help you combat such a problem.
Best Memory Foam Mattress for Sleep Apnea: Nectar Mattress
If you have a sleeping partner and want to keep motion transfer at bay then the
It also features a high-density memory foam transitional layer with a support core made of high-density polyfoam. The removable cover is a combination of cotton and TENCEL lyocell.
The dense foam layer of the
- Exerts minimal pressure for those with stiff muscles and achy joints.
- Carries a budget price tag affordable to most buyers.
- Suitable for all types of sleepers – stomach, side, back, and combo.
- Best product for buyers looking for a long trial period and warranty.
- Inappropriate for individuals who dislike memory foam.
- Light-weight sleepers under 130 lbs might find it too firm.
- The body-hugging sensation that the mattress provides might be uncomfortable for some users.
Best Natural Mattress for Sleep Apnea: Avocado
One of the best natural mattresses available in the market, Avocado mattress features an eco-friendly construction with 100% organic certified latex, organic cotton, and wool. The Avocado is a blend of the traditional innerspring with elevated comfort feature foam that assures a chemical-free, all-natural night’s sleep.
The bed comes with environmental certifications like OEKO-TEX and GREENGUARD which ensures safety from hazardous substances.
- The firmness paired with the thickness of this mattress makes it a perfect choice for sleepers with heavier body frames.
- Committed to handcrafted construction and all-natural material, the bed comes straight out of the collection with no noticeable off-gassing.
- People who prefer a responsive and durable latex mattress should go for this product.
- Those who tend to sleep hot should opt for the Avocado.
- Inappropriate for petite side sleepers.
- If you are on a tight budget you should look for other alternatives as this is made from premium and certified organic material.
Luxury: Brentwood Home Oceano
The high-quality Brentwood Home Oceano mattress is designed to provide a luxurious experience to the user at a budget-friendly rate.
This hybrid mattress uses both foam and coils with layers of gel memory foam and pocketed coils to offer both pressure relief and support to the user.
The material is CertiPUR-US certified which ensures that the foam on which you are sleeping has low VOC and is non-toxic. Brentwood uses natural hydrated silica sand as fire-retardant layer in its Oceano mattress.
Its cover is made from natural plant-based TENCEL fibers making it thick and soft to touch. The construction provides the bed with an innerspring feel, topped with plush and soft pillow top.
- It has earned positive reviews from sleepers who weigh 230 lbs or less.
- Both coil layers promote strong airflow while the top wool layer wicks away moisture.
- The mattress isolates motion better than most competing products.
- Perfect for eco-conscious shoppers.
- This mattress is inappropriate for those who prefer a classic memory foam feel.
- Buyers looking for the cheapest mattress might find it inappropriate.
Performance: Eight Sleep
For most online beds it is the convenience and value that sells, but for Eight it is all about the smart features more than anything else.
Although it is technically not smart, the mattress contains a 4-layer foam with great pressure relief and support and also a nice medium feel.
Its unique smart cover slips over the mattress and helps the user connect to his phone. The cover tracks the sleep of the user and ensures that each side of the bed is evenly warm.
- Eight follows the direct to consumer model to help buyers save a significant amount.
- The 2” Reactive foam offers consistent heating without getting excessively hot making it appropriate for sleepers who like to sleep cool.
- Eight has a good amount of bounce and body conformance for great pressure relief.
- This mattress is appropriate for all sleeping positions with a smart cover sleep tracker.
- If you prefer a spring mattress you should consider something with coils.
- Eight provides a medium feel you should look elsewhere if you prefer an extra-soft mattress.
- This mattress is inappropriate for sleepers weighing over 300 lbs.
The Allswell hybrid mattress constructed from premium memory foam and supportive pocketed coils makes it the best economy mattress for sleep apnea.
Allswell features three variants of its mattresses – The Allswell, The Luxe, and the Supreme. A comfort layer of copper with graphite-infused gel memory foam provides firmness to the mattress while keeping it soft and comfortable.
- The thicker coils along the perimeter ensure strong edge support with minimal sinkage.
- This mattress is suitable for all body types, including heavier sleepers.
- People on a tight budget should definitely opt for this mattress.
- It sleeps relatively cool as its spring system offers more breathability and doesn’t let the sleeper sink too much.
- It does not provide the same pressure-relieving sensation as a traditional memory foam mattress.
- It might feel a bit firm for lightweight side sleepers.
More about the Best Mattress for Sleep Apnea
If you are dealing with sleep apnea on a nightly basis you would probably be wondering if there is a perfect mattress to ease such symptoms. Fortunately, there are and you just need to know the essential factors that play a major role in your search process. The essential factors to consider include –
Construction and Build Material
The construction and build material of your mattress is likely to help with your sleep apnea problem
- Latex Mattress: Made from the sap of rubber trees these are light and airy material. Avoid buying synthetic latex when shopping for the best mattress for sleep apnea as it contains a petroleum base and chemical compounds that can affect breathing.
- Memory Foam Mattress: It offers superior pressure point relief by supporting the hips and lumbar area. Make sure you buy a high-quality product when purchasing a foam mattress. Innerspring mattresses and firm beds tend to lack pressure relief making them a less suitable choice for this purpose.
- Hybrid Mattress: Consists of an innerspring base with memory or latex foam as comfort layers. Check whether the hybrid mattress is compatible with an adjustable base.
Natural and Organic Material
If you have breathing problems the last thing you would want is a mattress that increases your breathing problems. Therefore, it is recommended to opt for natural and organic materials as opposed to synthetic ones. Synthetic mattresses are known to contain volatile organic compounds that trigger conditions of asthma, allergies, and respiratory problems. If an organic product is beyond your budget opt for a mattress that is hypoallergenic.
Sleepers with sleep apnea problems usually sleep on their sides, especially if they are using a CPAP machine. This would require a mattress that not only provides ample support but also enough contouring to relieve the pressure points at the shoulders and hips. Choose a mattress that would be firm enough to provide support while preventing you from sinking too deep to maintain the right alignment.
Best Mattress for Sleep Apnea FAQs
What Type of Mattress Is Best for Sleep Apnea?
If you are on a hunt for the best mattress for sleep apnea keep the different types of mattresses in mind before making a purchase. This includes –
- Memory Foam: The superior pressure point relief makes it a suitable choice for sleepers with sleep apnea problems.
- Latex: It is available either in natural or synthetic form. The natural latex is made from the sap of rubber trees that makes it a hypoallergenic component. Synthetic latex is made from a petroleum base and other chemical compounds that may worsen the sleep apnea problem.
- Hybrid: This combines innerspring base or core with a latex surface or memory foam. Choose a mattress that can adjust to your bed frame.
Can a Mattress Help Sleep Apnea?
An elevated bed will allow air to easily pass through the airways and into the vital organs. Although adjustable beds are not a solution to sleep apnea problems they can surely lessen the symptoms and bring more peaceful sleep to the user. A latex mattress can encourage a good sleeping posture, relax muscles and help with sleep apnea and insomnia problems.
Can a Bad Mattress Cause Sleep Apnea?
Sleeping on the wrong mattress can escalate the problems related to sleep apnea and insomnia. For severe cases of sleep apnea, the episodes can last the entire night with the sleeper waking up every thirty seconds.
Is It Better to Sleep on a Hard or Soft Mattress?
Sleepers who are experiencing troublesome back pain should opt for a firm mattress for a comfortable sleep. Firm mattresses are appropriate for sleepers who sleep on their back as they provide a more stable and even surface. Also, stomach sleepers find these mattresses more appropriate. Others may opt for a softer one.
Your hunt for the best mattress for sleep apnea comes to an end once you get to know the features that you should be considering while searching for one. Rest is just your personal preference and choice which may influence your decision of selecting one product over the others.
Recently updated on April 11th, 2019 at 06:07 am
Sleep disorders come in various forms. Even though a large section of the global population suffers from sleep disorders, they are not of the same kind. While some people have difficulty falling asleep, others have difficulty staying asleep. The reason behind sleep disorders like sleep apnea also varies from one person to another. However, regardless of the type of sleep disorder a person suffers from, it is of utmost importance that the real cause behind the disorder be diagnosed and treated because sleep disorders can wreak havoc on the person’s physical and mental well being. When someone goes without sufficient sleep for days and weeks, it affects the health, memory, concentration, productivity, and immunity.
One of the biggest health conditions that contribute to sleep difficulties is sleep apnea. A large number of people anywhere in the world snore while sleeping and aren’t even aware of it. Waking up with a dry mouth and throat in the middle of the night is also because of the same disorder. Even though an astounding number of people suffer from it worldwide, most of them do not get diagnosed or treated for the same.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is one of the most serious sleep disorders. It is characterized by breathing getting interrupted during sleep throughout the night. Those with this particular sleep disorder repeatedly have their breathing interrupted while they sleep; sometimes hundreds of times throughout the night. This results in snoring, dry mouth and throat, fragmented sleep, and excessive daytime sleepiness.
Although few people seem to know about it, apnea is one of the most common sleep disorders in the world. In the US alone, over 22 million people suffer from sleep apnea, but almost 80% of them go undiagnosed. It is most common in adults between 20 and 70 years of age. Research shows a person suffering from sleep apnea can wake up almost 30 times in an hour. As a result, sleep quality suffers, memory and concentration are affected, and productivity is hampered by excessive sleepiness during the day. When this goes on for days and weeks and months, it can also lead to other health disorders.
Types of Sleep Apnea
The basic definition of this sleep disorder is a respiratory problem where the person is unable to get sufficient oxygen because of restricted breathing. But there is not one, but two types of sleep apnea and the courses are also quite different from one another. The two types of disorders are:
Obstructive Sleep Apnea: This is the more common form apnea caused by the air passageway being blocked by the throat muscles, causing restricted breathing. If someone suffers from this type of disease, the greeting may get interrupted or even stop briefly several times why the person is asleep. People with obstructive sleep apnea usually sleep with their mouth open because of the air passageway being blocked by the relaxed throat muscles. When we sleep up all the muscles of our bodies relax. But when the throat muscles relax so much that they block the upper airway, it causes obstructive sleep apnea. The most common symptom of obstructive this particular sleeping disorder is snoring.
Central Sleep Apnea: The other form of this sleep disorder is called central sleep apnea. Unlike obstructive sleep apnea, here there is no problem with the respiratory organs. The airway is not obstructed, and there is nothing restricting normal breathing. The problem lies in the brain, which forgets to tell the muscles to breathe. Rather than respiratory disorder, this is a disorder of the part of the brain stem that controls breathing. Central sleep apnea is more common among adults older than 65 years of age and in infants. If not treated, central sleep apnea can also cause death because the breathing can remain stopped for several seconds to minutes.
Obstructive sleep apnea is more common than central sleep apnea but both course the same kind of distress to the sufferer. The worst part is that the person is unaware of the disorder. Even if the person wakes up several times at night, they may not realize what is causing them to wake up. Therefore, in order to diagnose this sneaky sleep disorder, the signs and symptoms and statements from room and bed partners should be taken into consideration.
Causes of Sleep Apnea
As with any sleep disorder, apnea also has a number of reasons behind it. Usually, there are several causes that can cause sleep apnea. Some of the most common reasons for sleep apnea are:
Obesity: One of the most common factors contributing to sleep apnea is excess weight. More than half of all people who suffer from sleep apnea are either overweight or obese. Anyone with a body mass index of above 25 is considered overweight, and someone over 29 is called obese. In overweight or obese people the tissues and muscles are thicker and when they relax they have a higher chance of blocking the airway. Neck circumference of more than 15 centimeters is also a potential cause for obstructive sleep apnea. Obesity has all chances of causing obstructive sleep apnea, but sometimes it also works the other way around. Going without sleep for a long time at a stretch causes hormonal imbalances that can lead to obesity.
Endocrine Disorders: Some disorders of the endocrine system are sometimes linked to obstructive sleep apnea. Hypothyroidism is one of the most important endocrine disorders that can cause obstructive sleep apnea. Postmenopausal women on hormone replacement therapy are also at risk of developing sleep apnea. But the endocrine disorder usually resolves the sleep apnea.
Genetics: One of the most common reasons behind sleep apnea is a genetic predisposition. If people in your immediate family suffered from sleep apnea or had traits like a thick neck, round head or a dental overbite, you are more likely to suffer from sleep apnea. That is the reason why people with a genetic predisposition for sleep apnea should maintain healthy body weight and take other necessary measures to lower the risk of obstructive sleep apnea.
Large Tonsils: Enlarged tonsils or adenoids are often the most common reasons for obstructive sleep apnea in infants and children. The large tonsils or adenoids block the airway and obstruct breathing. Medicines are the most common treatment options for tonsil or adenoid related sleep apnea. In case the tonsils are too big and cannot be remedied by medications, surgery could be done. Removing the blockage from the airway usually resolves sleep apnea in children.
Unhealthy lifestyle: People with unhealthy lifestyles are at a greater risk of developing obstructive sleep apnea. Smoking and drinking alcohol make the tongue, and the muscles of the throat relax further and cause obstruction of the air passage. When an unhealthy lifestyle leads to obesity, it worsens obstructive sleep apnea.
Age: it is well known that the prevalence of sleep apnea increases with age. Men over the age of 40 are more susceptible to obstructive sleep apnea. As a person ages, sleep difficulties such as insomnia, trouble staying asleep and shorter sleep duration become more common. Further, if the person is overweight, the risk for sleep apnea increases because of fatty deposits in the in head and neck region, lengthening of the soft palate, and change in the shape of the pharynx.
Neuromuscular Disorders: People with neuromuscular disorders like multiple sclerosis also likely to develop obstructive sleep apnea because the muscles do not function the way they should. Lung restrictions arising out of the disorder contribute significantly to obstructive sleep apnea and other sleep-related difficulties. When people with neuromuscular disorders developed obstructive sleep apnea, the only option is to provide invasive and noninvasive ventilation.
Heart or Kidney Disorders: Those with problems of the heart or the kidneys can also develop obstructive sleep apnea. If not treated in time the sleep apnea can worsen the heart and kidney health.
Signs and Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Even though there are many symptoms of sleep apnea, they are most noticeable only to people other than the sufferer. That is why when diagnosing sleep apnea the healthcare practitioner should take the input of the family member or bed partner of the patient.
Some of the most common signs and symptoms of sleep apnea are:
Snoring: Almost everyone snow once in a while when they are in a deep sleep. But if the person is a habitual loud snorer, then and there is some serious problem. Snoring is both a problem as well as an annoyance. But those who snore usually refuse to believe when they are told so by others. However, instead of refusing to believe, the person should seek the help of a doctor to rule out sleep apnea.
Shortness of Breath: Because sleep apnea involves interrupted breathing, it is not unusual for the person to wake up several times at night with shortness of breath. In fact, waking up in the middle of the night with a start, feeling like you are unable to breathe is one of the biggest signs of sleep apnea. The person who shares the bed with you will also be able to confirm if they have noticed your breathing stopping and starting again suddenly many times throughout the night.
Sleepiness and Fatigue: Insufficient sleep at night naturally leads to excessive daytime sleepiness, resulting in poor concentration and productivity and foggy memory. Chronic sleep deprivation can also lead to other health disorders such as improper appetite and weight gain.
Headaches and Dryness of Mouth: If you always wake up with a dry mouth and headache you could be suffering from sleep apnea. If there are no other reasons why you could have a dry mouth and throat or a headache every morning you wake up, it is most likely sleep apnea.
Low libido: Sleep apnea and chronic sleep deprivation rob the person of all energy, which leads to low libido. Although low libido also has other reasons sleep apnea is of the most important ones.
Treatment of Sleep Apnea
Usually, he is sleep apnea is being caused by any other underlying medical condition such as heart or kidney problems or endocrine disorders; then the underlying medical cause should be remedied first. If hypothyroidism is causing the sleep apnea, then the hypothyroidism needs to be treated first to cure the sleep disorder. If an unhealthy lifestyle is a cause, then lifestyle changes are required to take care of the problem.
If the root cause is respiratory, then depending upon the severity of the condition, a number of treatment options are available. These include:
Breathing Devices: Because sleep apnea is basically a breathing problem, there are breathing devices that are used to correct the condition. The most popular among them are Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) which involves wearing a pressurized mask over the mouth and nose while sleeping, to help keep the airway unblocked by forcing air through it.
Mouthpieces: Mouthguards or mouthpieces are dental devices fitted to the mouth for correcting the tongue, jaw, and soft palate position for clearing the airway. These devices move the jaw forward and prevent resistance in the upper airway. These devices are usually fitted by a dentist according to the shape and structure of the mouth.
Surgery: If non-invasive means aren’t successful, surgery needs to be done for curing sleep apnea. Sleep apnea surgery is called the process of uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, which is used to minimize the symptoms of the disorder. Although the surgery is successful at removing the tissue out of the airway, it also has side effects like pain and bleeding. Laser surgery is also available, which involves shortening the soft palate with a laser beam.
Myofunctional Therapy: This is a facial therapy for the muscles of the tongue, throat, and face to reduce snoring and minimize the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea. In more serious cases, this may not be too helpful.
The first step in treating sleep apnea is the right diagnosis. After that, a number of treatments options could be tried to find the best fit for the patient.
If you or someone you know needs the above information handy, feel free to save, share or email the infographic below.
Recently updated on July 16th, 2021 at 11:30 pm
Throughout the US about 70 million people suffer from unsound sleep. They don’t necessarily have to suffer from a sleep disorder; poor quality sleep or not getting the necessary hours of rest often has the same effects as a sleep disorder. Blame it on hectic work schedules or an unhealthy lifestyle, but poor sleep quality has been on the rise for the last many years. Some people suffer from chronic insomnia, some have fragmented sleep, while some people stay up because of ambient factors. Yes, believe it or not, but external factors are often responsible for causing unsound sleep. From noisy neighbors to the sound of traffic, to snoring (leading to the question how to stop snoring), various environmental factors are responsible for contributing to disturbed sleep.
Sometimes the source of distraction maybe right next to us. We are talking about snoring. At the same time, snoring is both a disorder and a distraction. However, snoring is also more normal than any other sleep issue. In fact, it isn’t considered an issue at all, not until it starts to disturb the people around the snorer. Snoring is a problem that only the people around the snorer are aware of. Once the person is asleep, they do not know if they snore. In some cases, they may refuse to believe that they snore when told by others. It is often embarrassing, and not many like to admit that their snoring keeps others awake at night.
Every person snores at some point. They may snore softly when in a deep sleep or when they have a cold. But it isn’t something regular or permanent. Such snoring is also quite tolerable to others around the sleeper. The problem arises when the snoring is loud enough to not only keep the people in the room awake but also disturb the others in the house even through closed doors. This is when snoring is considered a sleep disorder and needs treatment.
What Is Snoring?
Simply put snoring is the result of a blocked air passageway. It generally happens when there is an obstruction to breathing. When a person sleeps the muscles in the body relax. The problem is, in snorers, the throat muscles also relax and block the air passage. This creates obstructed air movement and does not let the person breathe freely. As a result, the strained breathing creates a noise.
It is easy to simply brush aside snoring and not consider it a problem at all. But the fact is the sound of snoring can sometimes exceed 100 decibels, which is louder than the sound of a road drill. Even if the person remains unaware of the fact that he or she snores, the loud noise can cause sleep disturbances to others around him forcing them to seek remedies to stop snoring. The loudness of snoring can lead to chronic insomnia and for sleep quality in others sharing the room with the snorer.
Snoring is not a problem when it is transient or because of a condition like a cold. It is also more common among men and those above middle age. Habitual snoring affects around 90 million people in the US alone. Children can also sometimes be habitual snorers, but the generally outgrow it as they get older.
What are the Most Common Causes of Snoring?
As already discussed, the primary cause of snoring is obstruction of the air passage. But the obstruction can stem from various causes. Snoring is more an annoyance than anything else. It is not readily seen as a sleep disorder or a health problem. Snoring can often remain undiagnosed, and even though it may not be dangerous for the person, it can lead to various other problems.
Most Common Causes of Snoring
Excess Weight: Overweight or obese people are more at risk for snoring. In fact, more than half of the total number of people who snore are overweight or obese. Any person with a body mass index of 29.9 or above is considered overweight, while a body mass index of 40 and above is considered obese. BMI is not always the sole yardstick for measuring excess weight. Men with a neck circumference of 17 inches or higher are also at risk for snoring. This is because overweight people have thick palates that narrow down the airway and obstruct breathing. This is not really a disorder but more of a lifestyle problem, affecting a vast number of people in the US.
Alcohol: Many people are fond of consuming an alcoholic drink after dinner or before bed because they find it relaxing. Indeed, alcohol does have a relaxing effect on the body. Alcohol is known to relax all the muscles of the body including the throat muscles. When throat muscles relax, they block the airway and obstruct breathing. That is the reason why any person with sleep disorders or respiratory troubles should avoid alcohol at least two hours before bedtime.
Nasal Problems: Respiratory or nasal problems can often be the reason behind loud snoring. Chronic nasal congestion and deviated nasal septum are one of the biggest physiological reasons behind snoring. Nasal congestion can have a variety of causes including allergies, common cold, sinusitis, environmental irritants, and nasal polyps. The septum is the wall between the nostrils. When it is crooked, it leads to a condition called deviated nasal septum. This causes airway obstruction and prevents normal breathing, leading to snoring. All types of nasal congestion require a medical diagnosis.
Sleep Deprivation: Snoring and sleep deprivation are connected in two ways: sleep-deprived people tend to snore more, and those who snore are also usually sleep deprived. When sleep deprived people finally get to rest, they are more likely to snore than others.
Sleep Position: The position in which a person sleeps is also a possible reason for snoring. Those who sleep on their back are more likely to snore than those who sleep on the sides or on the stomach. This is because when a person sleeps on the back, the air passage is narrowed down due to the relaxed throat muscles. Those who sleep on their backs and snore loudly may try changing the sleep position to see if there is any improvement.
What Habitual Snoring Can Lead To?
Snoring may not always be the problem itself. Throat muscles relax in every person when they sleep, but when it begins to obstruct the breathing, it becomes a problem. When snoring goes undiagnosed, it can lead to other issues. Some of them are:
Obstructive Sleep Apnea: In several cases, snoring is a sign of a more serious disorder called obstructive sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is of a number of types, but the most common is obstructive sleep apnea, in which the air passage is blocked by the relaxing throat muscles. This not only causes snoring but also makes the breathing stop and start abruptly throughout the night. As a result, the person fails to get proper rest, wakes up with a dry mouth and throat and feels tired throughout the day. Snoring is usually the first sign of obstructive sleep apnea.
Sleep Deprivation: When a person snores it means the breathing is obstructed. And when the breathing is obstructed sleep is hampered. When a person fails to breathe normally, it wakes them up several times at night, leading to chronic sleep deprivation in the long run.
Inability to Concentrate: Snoring causes sleep deprivation and excessive daytime sleepiness. As a result, concentration and productivity suffer and the risk of accidents at work and on the road also increases.
Health Problems: Failing to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night can lead to various health problems including heart disease and the risk of strokes in heart attacks. Insufficient sleep has also been linked to hormonal imbalances and an increase in appetite and weight gain.
Sleep Divorce: Relationships are often affected when one of the partners snores. In fact, it isn’t surprising to find couples who have broken up or divorced because one of them was a loud snorer. Although underestimated, snoring is a big enough reason behind the degrading of relationships.
7 Effective Remedies to Stop Snoring
Although snoring can lead to various problems, it isn’t the end of the world. Snoring can often be managed with a few easy remedies. Some of them are:
Changing Sleep Position
Since back sleepers are more likely to snore, the first remedy to try is changing the sleep position. If you are a back sleeper, try sleeping on your side for a change. If that seems difficult in the beginning use a body pillow for help. When you sleep on your side, your throat muscles do not relax into the air passage and do not obstruct the breathing. Many back sleepers who snore have reported a marked improvement when sleeping on the side.
Most snorers are overweight, and in that case, losing weight is the only option. Although not too easy, maintaining the ideal body weight is one of the most effective ways to stop snoring. Following a proper diet and exercise is the best place to begin. A healthy BMI is between 21 and 25. Anything lower is underweight, and anything higher is overweight. Besides fat-burning exercises, strength training is also helpful in shedding fat, building muscles, and boosting metabolism.
Avoiding Alcohol and Sedatives
Alcohol and sedatives work the same way. They relax the muscles of the body, including that of the throat. When a person consumes alcohol or sedatives before bedtime, they are more likely to snore because the throat muscles relax further under the influence of the sedatives. Habitual snorers who consume alcohol or sedatives before going to bed should avoid them. This can bring about a significant improvement in snoring.
Practicing Better Sleep Hygiene
Snoring can often be a result of sleep deprivation and a lack of sleep hygiene. Maintaining a proper bedtime routine can alleviate most of the problems. Having a fixed sleep schedule, avoiding coffee and nicotine, and taking short naps are some of the ways to bring about quality sleep and reduce snoring.
Mattresses, pillows, and sheets house millions of dust mites and allergens. No matter how many times you wash them, they keep trapping dust and allergens. When a habitual snorer sleeps on such pillows and sheets, it causes allergies and adds to respiratory distress, making snoring worse. That is why pillows and sheets should be regularly changed and kept clean all the time. Also, make sure that the pillows keep your head and neck properly supported. If possible, stack two or three pillows to keep your head elevated while you sleep.
Warmth helps clear blockages in the airway, removes congestion, and ease respiratory distress. Besides, a warm bath or shower will also help you sleep deeper. This could help lessen snoring that starts in the nose. You could also keep a bottle of saltwater rinse in the shower for rinsing your nose out with to open up the nasal passages. Besides taking a hot bath or shower, you may also consider buying a neti pot to clear the nasal passages with a saltwater solution.
When the body is dehydrated, it produces thicker fluids. When your nasal secretions become thick, it blocks the airway and causes snoring. Dehydration can be one of the biggest reasons behind snoring sometimes. There are snoring sprays that prevent the nasal passages from sticking together. Drinking enough water during the day often reduces snoring in dehydrated people. However, drinking too much water before bedtime isn’t recommended because it will only make you get up for the bathroom.
The causes and treatment for snoring aren’t easy to determine without a medical diagnosis. There are anti-snoring devices such as Tongue Stabilizing Devices (or TSDs) and mandibular advancement devices that open up the airway, to prevent obstruction. These mouthpieces should always be used under the supervision of a doctor because only a healthcare practitioner will be able to determine the reason behind the snoring and suggest the right treatment options. In the meanwhile, home remedies and sleep hygiene can be tried to alleviate the distress for the snorer and others around.
Snoring though may seem innocuous can be an indicator of a serious underlying health condition. It may even be affecting you in ways that might not be apparent – like affecting your sleep quality, diminishing your capabilities to concentrate on work, or even affecting your relationship with your partner.
We have also created an infographic on this subject, feel free to share it with your friends and on your social networks. Happy sleeping!
Recently updated on September 30th, 2017 at 08:43 am
Many people around the world suffer from sleep-related disorders. One of the most common sleep disorders is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (or simply sleep apnea) that affects at least one in fifteen people. While hundreds of people suffer from this condition, less than twenty percent get a proper diagnosis or treatment. When sleep apnea remains undiagnosed, it keeps getting worse and can also turn fatal sometimes.
Sleep is the body’s way of healing and rejuvenating from the day’s physical and mental activities, and lack of sleep because of disorders can affect the quality of everyday life. People who suffer from sleep disorders often feel lethargic and disoriented throughout the day and have trouble focusing on work or other activities. When this continues for an extended period, the person may be affected by high-stress levels and daytime sleepiness. Sleep apnea is a major reason behind all these conditions.
What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
There are several types of sleep apnea, but Obstructive Sleep Apnea is the most common. In this condition, breathing stops and starts periodically when the person sleeps. This happens when the throat muscles relax and block the passage of airway, making it difficult to breathe. The most important symptom of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is snoring. More often than not, all snorers suffer from OSA but are rarely ever diagnosed.
Causes and Symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea
The biggest cause of sleep apnea is the blockage of the airway by the relaxing throat muscles. When these muscles relax, the passage of air is narrowed, resulting in impaired breathing. When this lasts for more than ten seconds, the oxygen in the blood starts to lower, and carbon dioxide starts to increase. The brain has a way of correcting the breathing by waking the person up for a brief moment. The person usually doesn’t remember this episode.
When this cycle repeats itself for several times every hour throughout the night, it prevents the person from getting the desired amount of sleep and causes excessive daytime sleepiness. Lack of concentration, tiredness, and lower levels of energy are some of the repercussions of sleep apnea. The sufferer often doesn’t remember the impaired sleep nor realize the problem.
There are several symptoms that may hint at obstructive sleep apnea. Some of these are:
Loud snoring: Most often, snoring that is loud enough to wake others up is caused by some kind of sleep apnea. Loud snoring should always be diagnosed and treated by a doctor to get to the root of the problem.
Daytime sleepiness: While daytime sleepiness can be caused by a lot of other reasons, if it continues for an extended period it may be because of obstructive sleep apnea and lack of nighttime sleep.
Waking up abruptly with a dry throat is another sign of snoring caused by sleep apnea.
Nighttime sweating and lack of concentration during the day are also symptoms that may be associated with obstructive sleep apnea. Morning headaches may be present along with these symptoms.
Mood swings, depression, and irritability can result from lack of proper nighttime sleep caused by obstructive sleep apnea.
Who Is At Risk for Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea can affect anybody, but certain people are at a higher risk. They are:
Overweight or obese people: Most people who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea are overweight or obese. When fat deposits around the airway, it blocks breathing and impairs sleep. This does not mean being thin reduces the risk. Anyone with any kind of weight may be affected by this condition.
People with a narrow airway: Whether you have a naturally narrow airway or have enlarged adenoids or tonsils, this could be a serious factor contributing to the problem. Surgery is usually required to correct this condition.
People with hypertension: High blood pressure causes a rise in diastolic and systolic pressure, contributing to sleep apnea, snoring, and impaired breathing.
Smokers: Those who smoke are at a higher risk of obstructive sleep apnea because smoking causes fluid retention in the air passage and causes impaired breathing.
Treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Depending on the severity of the condition, treatments for obstructive sleep apnea include:
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP): This is known to be the most effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. CPAP requires wearing a pressurized mask over the mouth and nose while sleeping, to help keep the airway unblocked by forcing air through it. Although it takes a little effort to get used to the mask, it is a very useful treatment.
Oral Mouthpieces: There is dental equipment fitted to the mouth for correcting the tongue, jaw, and soft palate position for clearing the airway.
Surgery: The process of uvulopalatopharyngoplasty is used to minimize the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea. This surgery removes tissue out of the airway but has side effects like pain and bleeding.
Laser surgery: This is a simple process to shorten the soft palate with the aid of a laser beam.
Obstructive sleep apnea is a treatable condition if diagnosed properly. If you have any of the above symptoms, and suspect that you might be at risk, consult your doctor for proper treatment and diagnosis to get to the root of the problem.