The COVID pandemic affected everyone. For some, their health suffered as their stress levels soared, and restful sleep was a thing of the past. Now that the pandemic restrictions are lifting and life seems to be getting back to normal, you may still be struggling to get a good night’s sleep. There are many factors that affect sleep, but one, in particular, is obstructive sleep apnea, a sleep-breathing disorder affecting millions of people in the U.S. Today on the blog, our Albertville sleep apnea dentists share ways to restore your sleep after the pandemic and what to look for if you think that you might have a sleep-breathing disorder.
Daily exercise of at least 30 minutes a day has many proven health benefits. From lowering your risks of heart disease, and other health issues, exercising also helps you sleep better. You don’t have to pay for an expensive gym membership to break a sweat. You could take walks or jog if you’re into running, do High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts at home, follow workout videos online or through free apps, or lift weights at home. Make it a goal to work out for at least 30 minutes a day to ensure optimal health.
Eat a balanced diet that is low in sugar, caffeine, and alcohol. Ideally, avoid consuming caffeine late in the day or before bedtime and limit alcohol consumption. Contrary to popular belief, alcohol does not promote restful sleep. In fact, it actually prevents the brain from entering the sleep cycle’s deepest stage – REM sleep. Additionally, it dehydrates the body and may cause you to wake frequently during the night to urinate.
Set a Routine
Decide when you should go to bed and wake up each day and stick to the routine, even on your days off and on holidays or the weekend. You can’t really recoup lost sleep, so don’t bank on “catching up” on your sleep another night. Instead, go to bed and wake up at the same time every day and stick to the same sleep and wake schedule. There are smartphone apps that you can download and set alarms to alert you when it’s time to go to bed and can be used for wake-up alarms as well.
Ideally, wind down about 1 hour before bedtime by avoiding any stimulating activities like watching TV or scrolling on your phone or electronic device. Find ways to relax like taking a long bath, using essential oils, or reading (book or magazine). Put off intense conversations for another time when you can be alert. The idea is to give your brain and your eyes a break to prepare for sleep.
Get a Sleep Apnea Screening
Getting restful sleep starts with living a healthy lifestyle. While many people assume that sleep apnea only occurs in overweight individuals, the truth is that young, healthy individuals may also suffer from it. If you still struggle with getting enough sleep, despite how many hours you spend in bed, it may be time for a sleep apnea screening.
Here are common ways to tell if you have sleep apnea
- Snoring or gasping for air while sleeping
- Daytime fatigue
- Always tired
- Feeling disconnected
- Struggling to wake up every day
- Frequent awakenings at night
- Mood swings
- Weight gain
- Dry throat or sore throat when waking up
While snoring or pauses in breathing are the most common symptoms of sleep apnea, there are many other signs that could indicate you have a sleep-breathing disorder. If you experience these symptoms, schedule an airway consultation in Albertville at Wall Street Dentistry. Our dentists offer sleep apnea assessments and may recommend an official sleep study to receive a diagnosis for sleep apnea. Additionally, our dentists offer oral appliance therapy, which helps open the airway while sleeping. This comfortable appliance is made to fit your mouth and is worn while sleeping to reduce snoring and allow more airflow through your airways. Studies have proven that oral appliance therapy is effective at treating mild to moderate cases of sleep apnea without the use of a CPAP machine.
Sleep Apnea Evaluation in Albertville
If you’d like to learn more about signs of sleep apnea or see if you have sleep apnea, contact Wall Street Dentistry today by calling (256) 878-0525. You no longer have to live life feeling tired and depressed. Live the life you’ve always wanted by sleeping and breathing better.