Snoring Sleep Apnoea
3 lifestyle remedies for sleep apnoea
July 14, 2021
Sleep apnoea is a common but serious condition characterised by pauses in breathing or shallow breaths during sleep. As such, people suffering from sleep apnoea often do not get enough oxygen, causing them to gasp and wake up repeatedly during the night.
A study conducted in Singapore estimated that approximately 30% of Singapore’s population is afflicted with snoring and obstructive sleep apnoea. Not only does this sleep fragmentation contribute to poor quality of sleep and lead to excessive daytime sleepiness, but it can also increase your risks of health complications like heart failure and diabetes.
Read more: Effects Sleep Apnoea Has On Your Health
Due to the effects sleep apnoea has on your health, it is advisable to book an appointment at a sleep clinic, or visit a Sleep Specialist in Singapore for treatment. For instance, if your snoring is caused by sleep apnoea, your Sleep Specialist in Singapore may prescribe you breathing devices like Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) as a treatment option. While there are other medical treatments such medications and surgery, there are also lifestyle changes you can take to improve your sleep quality.
Here we share three lifestyle changes people suffering from sleep apnoea can take to reduce the symptoms.
1. Weight Reduction
Sleep and ENT Specialists in Singapore will recommend sleep apnoea patients who are overweight or obese to lose weight. Obesity often increases the risk of airway obstruction and narrowing of nasal passages. These obstructions may cause you to stop breathing for short periods of time while asleep.
Maintaining a healthy weight through regular exercise and by watching your diet can help to keep your airways clear, and thus keep sleep apnoea under control. However, if there are other underlying factors or structural causes for your sleep apnoea such as a deviated nasal septum, turbinate hypertrophy or large tonsils, then weight loss alone may not be able to cure it.
Read more: Inferior Turbinate Hypertrophy
Find out more: Tonsillectomy
Hence, if you are suffering from sleep apnoea it is best to visit a Sleep Specialist in Singapore to assess your condition and determine the likely cause of the condition, before starting on an appropriate treatment.
Find out more: How Does Weight Loss Play a Role in Obstructive Sleep Apnea
2. Good Sleep Hygiene
A study conducted has shown that patients with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnoea experience symptom relief when they have better sleep hygiene.
Good sleep hygiene includes creating a sleep environment as well as daily routines that support consistent and uninterrupted sleep. Factors such as maintaining a consistent sleep schedule or following a relaxing pre-bed routine can contribute to better sleep quality. Other lifestyle changes that you can make include unplugging from electronics 30-60 minutes before bedtime and avoiding caffeine and excessive alcohol consumption in the evening.
3. Positional Therapy
Though considered a small change, did you know that altering your sleep position can help reduce the symptoms of sleep apnoea?
Research has shown that people who sleep on their backs, also known as the supine position, can worsen snoring and sleep apnoea. This happens because of gravity – the tongue falls back and blocks the airway. Instead, you should try sleeping on your side to lessen snoring and return your breathing to normal.
If you find yourself subconsciously shifting to your back during sleep, try taping a tennis ball to your back or wearing a specially designed bolster strapped to your back to ensure that you lie on your side during sleep.
Even though sleep apnoea is a serious condition, the good news is that when it’s treated, people can experience overall health benefits including a decrease in sleepiness as well as improvement in mood and concentration. After all, it is the quality of your sleep and not quantity that is most important.
Hence, if you have sleep apnoea and are struggling to get the most out of your sleep, try talking to a Sleep Specialist in Singapore, like Dr Gan, who can provide treatment options to help you sleep better.
Medically reviewed by Dr Gan