Sleep apnea is a common disorder that plagues more than 18 million Americans every year. This condition causes the back of the throat to collapse during sleep, which constricts the airflow that delivers life-giving oxygen to vital organs such as the heart and the brain. If the airflow is restricted often enough, the blood-oxygen levels in the body decrease to the point where the brain decides to wake the body up in order to jump-start the airflow again.
This can happen hundreds of times a night without you realizing it, so you may wake up feeling fatigued in the morning even when you think you’ve gotten a good night’s rest.
It may not seem like a big deal to lose a few nights’ worth of sleep every once in a while, but the complications that can arise from sleep apnea are more serious than you might think. Sleep apnea can lead to problems such as depression, memory loss, decreased sex drive, and lack of concentration. Some recent studies have shown that this disorder can even lead to bone problems and higher risks of contracting pneumonia.
It’s important to find out what you can do to deal with this potentially life-threatening condition before something serious happens. One of the best things you can do to help relieve your body of sleep apnea is improve your diet.
One of the major causes of sleep apnea is linked to the epidemic of obesity in America. As fat deposits around the neck area build up, the disorder is more likely to appear due to restricted airways and compromised breathing. Unfortunately, because of the problems that sleep apnea can cause, such as extreme fatigue during the day, people are less likely to exercise and change their lifestyle in order to correct the problem.
Another result of obesity-related sleep apnea is an increased desire to eat, according to some studies. This is because the patients who didn’t sleep as much during the night had to produce 30% more insulin in their bodies due to hormonal changes. This increase caused the patients to want to eat more during their waking hours.
Creating a Healthy Diet
If you are obese and suffering from sleep apnea, the first thing to do is to make lifestyle changes a priority in your life. The best way to relieve your body from the disorder is to lose weight, and you can get started on the road to better sleep by creating a healthy diet. In fact, a recent study published in the journal of Sleep Medicine showed that if obese patients lost just 5% of their body weight, their sleep apnea would be improved significantly.
Meet with your doctor in order to plan a healthy diet that works specifically for you. Your doctor knows your health better than anyone else and can tailor a diet that fits your body type and lifestyle. After it is set, follow the diet religiously in order to see a difference.
Foods that Promote Sleep
While it is true that many people who suffer from sleep apnea are obese, it isn’t necessarily true in all cases. There are many adults and children in America that suffer from the disorder who aren’t classified as obese. Even in those cases, though, a healthy diet goes a long way to improve your sleep habits, and there are also some specific foods that might be really effective.
Both sleep and a good diet are very important to your overall health, and they often compliment one another in the sense that when you focus on one, the other comes along for the ride. Try to improve your eating habits so you can sleep better every night and wake every morning feeling well rested.