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These Things Can Make Sleep Apnea Worse

By Sara Butler

Obstructive sleep apnea is a serious condition. It occurs when your breathing stops several times in the night while you're asleep and can cause some very serious health problems.  If you think you have sleep apnea, then you must be checked out by a medical professional for a diagnosis and treatment plan.

In the meantime, it's a good idea to understand how your lifestyle may be making your sleep apnea worse. Here are a few of the health habits that you may need to think about working to change if you have sleep apnea.

Alcohol Use

When you drink alcohol, it relaxes your muscles. This can cause problems if you suffer from sleep apnea because it can cause you to relax too much -- namely your airway to relax too much. This can make it even easier for your breathing to become obstructed at night. So, if you have sleep apnea, you may want to consider cutting out alcohol.

How You Sleep

Your favorite sleep position may be making your apnea worse, especially if you prefer to sleep on your back. If you have apnea, try to sleep on your side to help. Otherwise, your tongue can fall back into your throat and cause an obstruction, which makes the condition worse.

Medical Conditions

There are a few other health conditions that cause have an impact on sleep apnea. High blood pressure and diabetes are two of the most common that can make the apnea worse, so manage your blood pressure and blood sugar for your overall health and your quality of sleep!

Getting Older

You can't do anything about getting older, but it's important to be aware that sleep apnea can pop up as you get older even if you're otherwise healthy. That's because the loss of muscle tone in your airway can lead to obstructions that cause you to stop breathing when you're asleep.

This is why it's important to focus on being as healthy as you can as you grow older because you can't control the clock, but you can control your habits. Work to stay healthy and avoid other chronic health conditions that can make sleep apnea worse as you age.

Increased Body Weight

If you're carrying around some extra body weight, then it can impact your breathing at night too. Extra weight around your airway can make it more difficult to breathe, so work to reach and maintain a healthy weight so you can sleep better at night.

If you're concerned about possibly having sleep apnea, talk to a medical professional as soon as possible.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Woodland Hills, Calif.

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