Sleep apnea makes it hard to get a good night's sleep. You may find yourself feeling lethargic, unmotivated, and even depressed when your sleep cycles are constantly interrupted. Luckily, your dentist can provide you with some serious relief by fitting you with an oral appliance to wear at bedtime. There are a few things you can do to optimize the effects of your oral appliance once you bring it home. Consider using one or more of the following tips and tricks.
Increase Your Vitamin D Intake
Being deficient in vitamin D can lead to many health issues such as kidney disease, asthma, and depression. There is even a correlation between vitamin D deficiency and the development of obstructive sleep apnea. While vitamin D shouldn't be used as a sole treatment for sleep apnea, it can help reduce symptoms and enhance the effectiveness of your oral appliance. Have your levels checked for this important vitamin and include fortified cereals in your diet to help you reach your daily intake goals.
Make Use of Natural Herbs
Using various herbs in your daily life is an excellent way to complement the performance of your oral appliance and enhance the relief you feel as time goes on. Many herbs can help relax you and improve the overall quality of your sleep each night. Consider incorporating the following herbal options into your daily regimen.
- Valerian – Widely used as a natural sleep aid to fall asleep faster and to rest easier while sleeping.
- San'o-shashin-to – Known to help reduce the number of gaps between breathing while asleep.
- Evening Primrose – Lessens inflammation, which is commonly associated with sleep apnea.
You can put the essential oils of these herbs on your skin, burn the oil in a diffuser by your bed, or make a cup of steaming tea with the actual herbs before it's time to go to sleep.
Put a Humidifier in Your Bedroom
When it gets cold outside, and the furnace is turned on, the air in your home can dry out your nasal passages and make it tough to breathe, especially when you're asleep. You can add moisture to your room and clear up your nasal passages by putting a humidifier in the space and running it during the night. There are a few effective options to choose from including:
- Evaporative Humidifiers – Uses a fan to blow air through a wick or filter.
- Steam Vaporizers – Blows cool steam into the air.
- Central Humidifiers – Built into the HVAC system for whole-house use.
To promote comfortable sleep, use a hygrometer to monitor the humidity in your room so you can maintain 30 to 50 percent humidity levels whenever possible.