Sleep apnea is a condition that causes you to stop breathing for short periods while you're sleeping. In many cases, people are unaware that they've stopped breathing and are suffering from some form of sleep apnea.
What Is Considered Mild Sleep Apnea?
According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, sleep that's interrupted…
- 5-15 times per hour is defined as mild sleep apnea.
- 15-30 times is considered moderate sleep apnea.
- More than 30 times per night is categorized as severe sleep apnea.
Common Symptoms of Sleep Apnea Patients
Below are some of the top signs that you may be suffering from some form of sleep apnea:
- Loud snoring
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Chronic sore throats, dry mouth, or headaches
- Grinding of your teeth
- Waking up gasping for air
- Difficulty concentrating during the day
- Increased irritability due to lack of quality sleep
Risks of Continued Sleep Apnea
If sleep apnea is not resolved, it can lead to severe medical conditions like Type 2 Diabetes, poor immune function, acid reflux, memory loss, mental health issues, and increased risk of heart failure or strokes.
Tips to Improve Mild Sleep Apnea
Luckily, you can alleviate minor sleep apnea through some moderate lifestyle changes:
- Manage stress levels
- Sustain a healthy weight, since obesity can cause airway obstruction.
- Try yoga for improved oxygen flow.
- Limit alcohol consumption, as it can relax throat muscles.
- Quit smoking to avoid swelling and inflammation.
- Try not to sleep on your back, as it can restrict proper airflow.
- Use a humidifier in your bedroom.
In addition to making the above lifestyle changes, you'll also want to follow the below guidelines:
- Reserve the bedroom exclusively for sleeping and sex.
- Keep a consistent daily sleep schedule.
- Avoid caffeine as much as possible.
- Avoid blue light from mobile screens at least one hour before you intend to go to bed.
- Don't eat 2–3 hours before bed.
- Keep your bedroom dark and between 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Exercise every day.
While the above lifestyle changes can reduce symptoms of mild sleep apnea, it is always best to consult with a professional. If you or your partner think you may be suffering from sleep apnea, give us a call today to schedule a dental sleep apnea evaluation. We're here to guide you on your road back to quality sleep!