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Lifestyle changes can reduce the severity of obstructive Sleep Apnoea and in some cases of mild OSA, these changes may be all that is need to successfully treat the disorder.

Reducing or avoiding alcohol and drugs. These substances can supress the central nervous system in our brain which triggers the impulse to breathe. This causes a type of Sleep Apnoea called Central Apnoea. Alcohol is also a muscle relaxant resulting in the muscles in the back of the throat to relax and block the airway increasing symptoms of OSA. This also applies to sleeping tablets and tranquillisers. If you take these prescription medications discuss with your GP to see if any of them may be contributing to your OSA
Obesity – having excess weight is one of the biggest risk factors of OSA. Excess fat around the jaw and neck is also on the inside of the throat and on the tongue, causing narrowing to the airway and restricting the flow of air. In some cases by maintaining a healthy weight, Sleep Apnoea can be cured
Smoking can make Sleep Apnoea worse by causing harmful effects to your lungs making it more difficult to breathe. Smoking also damages your to blood vessels
Position – lying in a supine position on your back causes the tongue and soft palate to push against the back of your throat blocking your airway. Avoiding supine sleep can reduce OSA significantly. There are devices available that c strap around your waist to prevent you rolling onto your back
Persistent nasal congestion can increase snoring which in turn can narrow the airway by making it red and swollen. Treating nasal disease may help improve OSA. Discuss with your GP options to improve this

For more information on Lifestyle changes and better sleep click on the link below:

Sleep Health Foundation – Caffeine, Food, Alcohol, Smoking and Sleep PDF

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