Choosing to consciously change certain habits can help you manage your sleep apnea and rest more deeply at night. One way to improve your sleep is by working anti-inflammatory foods into your diet. Throughout the day, you can encounter foods, air quality, stress, and other factors that can increase inflammation in your throat and sinus tissue. Although this inflammation is not generally concerning, it can increase breathing problems, which matters if you suffer from sleep apnea. Adding anti-inflammatory foods to your diet can help you manage your symptoms and rest more deeply at night.
Reel in More Fish
For meat lovers who regularly consume steak and burgers, red meat can cause soft tissue inflammation that might interrupt your breathing at night. If you find yourself needing protein for dinner, whip up a nice dish of fish. You will satisfy your protein craving without increased breathing trouble. Fish also contains high levels of the fatty acid Omega-3, which can decrease soft tissue inflammation.
Boil Up a Pot of Legumes
You can also increase your legume intake to satisfy your protein craving. Whether you choose peas, lentils, baked beans, or other favorites, these little fruits can pave the way to better sleep. Many legumes also contain large amounts of magnesium, a mineral associated with improved nighttime rest.
Spice Up Dinner with Turmeric
Turmeric is more of a spice than an actual food, but it can make a difference in your nocturnal breathing. Part of the ginger family, this root has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can help open up your airways. Spicy foods can cause heartburn, which might exacerbate your sleep apnea. Instead of spicy curries, try a turmeric smoothie.
Sip on a Cup of Tea with Honey
Herbal teas can decrease the amount of phlegm in your throat. Although phlegm does not cause sleep apnea, it can contribute to increased snoring and difficulty breathing. Make sure that you drink only caffeine-free teas before bed so that you don’t disrupt your valuable rest. Sweetening the tea with a little bit of honey can also reduce soft tissue swelling to help you breath easier.
Non-Surgical Sleep Apnea Treatment
Many people don’t realize that they suffer from sleep apnea, assuming that daytime fatigue, headaches, snoring, and other common symptoms are normal. Unfortunately, untreated apnea can cause a number of other medical and emotional complications such as depression, heart disease, and diabetes, among others. If you experience any of the common symptoms, you might benefit from a sleep study. After diagnosis, you can make habit changes to help you manage your symptoms.
Although many habit changes can significantly reduce the number of apneas disrupting your slumber, some cases of sleep apnea require non-surgical intervention. After a comprehensive diagnostic to determine the source of your breathing problems, Dr. Kevin Berry can work with you to create a treatment plan to help manage your breathing at night.
If soft tissue in your mouth and throat obstruct your airway at night, you might benefit from a custom oral orthotic device, used to correct obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). For more advanced cases, such as central sleep apnea (CSA), you might be a candidate for a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine to provide you with a steady oxygen flow.
For more information about managing your symptoms, please call (303) 691-0267 for an appointment with a Denver sleep dentist at the TMJ Therapy & Sleep Center of Colorado.