4 common sleep apnea mistakes to avoid

Sleep apnea is a severe, sleep-related disorder triggered by airway obstruction. This condition causes a person’s breathing to suddenly stop and start when asleep. Sometimes, a change in the brain’s function related to breathing and chest muscles can cause sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is chronic and not curable; however, it can be managed by using a CPAP machine and avoiding some common mistakes people tend to make.

Sleep apnea mistakes
Here are a few common sleep apnea mistakes to avoid:

1. Following an unhealthy lifestyle
When not managed well, sleep apnea is known to stress the heart by raising blood pressure and causing mood swings. It also affects one’s ability to think clearly. All of these get worse if one follows an unhealthy lifestyle. For instance, the symptoms of sleep apnea are aggravated if a person’s lifestyle is mostly sedentary. The lack of any physical activity causes oxygen and energy levels to go down, making it harder to sleep.

2. Not changing sleep position
A common mistake many people with sleep apnea make is not changing their sleep position. This is especially true for those who have a habit of sleeping on their back. Sleeping on one’s back increases the likelihood of obstruction in breathing during sleep. So, it is better to change sleeping positions and sleep on one’s side. Although this is not a permanent solution, it can help improve one’s sleep quality.

3. Not managing chronic health conditions
Certain medical conditions are known to worsen the symptoms of sleep apnea. Type 2 diabetes, congestive heart problems, high blood pressure, Parkinson’s disease, PCOS, and hormonal disorders can make it difficult to manage sleep apnea. Besides, a history of stroke and chronic lung diseases such as asthma can affect the brain’s response to the chest muscles, which invariably affects breathing during sleep. Letting these conditions get worse without managing them is only going to exacerbate the symptoms of sleep apnea.

4. Using a CPAP machine does not fit properly
It is easy to assume that using any CPAP machine is enough to manage sleep apnea. This is why many overlook the fact the fact that a machine is effective only when it fits well. The wrong size can cause a stuffy nose, a dry mouth, and irritated skin. The mask may come off on its own during sleep due to the wrong fit, defeating the purpose of buying a CPAP machine. So always get one in the right size, which makes it easier to wear and breathe.