Living with Sleep Apnea: 5 ways to sleep easy
Do you snore a lot?
Does your lady complain about the noise every night? How about the couple on the next door apartment banging on your wall to wake you up? Have you ever had cops showing up to your front door in the middle of the night because of the sound of a dying man gasping for air? Maybe not that bad, but still. You’ve probably heard people complain about your little midnight frog orchestra that you haven’t had the pleasure of hearing for yourself.
Did you know that snoring is the #1 medical reason for divorce? (source: http://www.match.com/cp.aspx?cpp=/cppp/magazine/article0.html&articleid=11970)
All those sleepless nights. You can’t help but feel for the woman who has to put up with the noise that sounds like a dying piece of livestock. The sad thing about it is that – none of this is ever the man’s fault.
Yes. Sleep apnea is not your fault. According to studies, men are more likely to snore than women – about twice as likely. Why?
Here’s a bit of scientific fact for you: (maybe we can put this in a text box?)
Humans have a little empty space in our throats called the oropharynx, where the tongue rests while we sleep. The oropharynx in men is wider than those in women. That’s why women are more likely to wake up or shift positions during sleep if the tongue completely blocks the oropharynx, while men (thanks to the wider space) can continue sleeping comfortably. But just like how sound is made from a trombone, the flesh in your throat vibrates due to the compression of air, making you snore.
Call it a cruel joke of nature, but snoring is a real problem for us men – and more of a problem for our ladies! Not only that, snoring is a sign of sleep apnea, a condition which basically means that you stop breathing at certain points in your sleep. This could lead to serious health problems like hypertension, stroke, heart attacks, and worst of all, a decrease in your libido.
It’s a good thing that sleep apnea and snoring can be cured one way or the other, with surgery being the last resort. You don’t need to think that far ahead.
Here are 5 tips to sleep easy by knocking out sleep apnea:
- Lose weight
Overweight men are more likely to experience sleep apnea than others. That’s largely due to the fatty tissues that compress your airways. Get into an exercise program or eat right to shed off some pounds.
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- Get regular rest
Out of all the complaints you’ve heard from your snoring, you have probably heard that you snore louder when you’re dead tired. That’s because your body needs the relaxation, thus a deeper sleep which relaxes the muscles in your throat. This partially obstructs the airways, which prompts your body to exert more effort in breathing, which makes your snoring louder. Get regular intervals of rest, and a regular sleep pattern, if possible.
- Avoid alcohol, sedatives before sleeping
Alcohol and sedatives affect your snoring much like how fatigue and sleepiness does. The more you enter a deeper state of relaxation, the more likely you are to snore.
- Stop smoking
If none of the dangers of smoking has swayed you to stop smoking, maybe this will. Snoring irritates your throat muscles to the point of swelling. Habitual smokers always have smaller airways, which increases the vibration in your throat; leading to louder, more obnoxious snoring.
- Ear plugs
Didn’t see that coming, didn’t you? It’s going to take a while for you to lose weight, quit smoking, or to have a lifestyle which lets you have a regular rest. While you’re waiting for these to take effect, get your lady some ear plugs and give her the opportunity of a good night’s sleep.
Of course, it’s best to consult a physician for the best solution for your snoring problem. Some doctors may recommend the use of medical apparatus like CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) and specialized dental splints to help you with breathing while you sleep. The millions of people that snore tell us that living with snoring is possible, but that doesn’t mean that you have to put up with it.