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How Can Exercise Help You Fight Sleep Apnea?

December 16, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — drlisk @ 3:43 pm
Man and woman jogging on a sunny path

Sleep apnea makes it difficult to get a good night’s rest, leaving you feeling more tired than normal during the day while also putting your health at risk. So what can you do to keep the disorder under control and enjoy better quality slumber again? In many cases, it can help to change a few habits at home – and one such change that can make a bigger difference than you realize is exercising more often.

What Exactly is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder. People with this condition experience pauses in their breathing while they’re asleep. Oftentimes, these pauses are the result of the airway being blocked by soft tissues in the mouth or throat. Every time breathing stops, the brain causes the body to wake up, thus interrupting the sleep cycle.

The breathing pauses associated with sleep apnea lower the oxygen levels in the body, which can lead to heart disease, obesity, and other health issues that can ultimately be life-threatening. Additionally, people with sleep apnea often have problems with focus and memory.

So What Difference Can Exercise Make?

Research has found that people who exercise regularly tend to have less severe sleep apnea symptoms. This could partly be due to the fact that exercising more often can help with weight loss. Obesity is considered a major risk factor for sleep apnea, as fat deposits in the neck can easily end up obstructing the airway. Losing weight through exercise can thus go a long way toward addressing sleep-disordered breathing.

On top of that, exercise also helps you keep your blood pressure under control. This is significant since sleep apnea is often associated with increased blood pressure levels.

What Other Steps Can You Take to Manage Your Sleep Apnea?

Exercising to lose weight can often have a positive impact on your sleep apnea, but it’s far from the only step you should be taking. It’s important to also seek aid from a professional in order to have the disorder properly diagnosed and treated.

Oftentimes, your dentist can help with a custom-made oral appliance. This simple yet effective device can help guide your jaw to a new position to help your airway stay unobstructed while you’re asleep. Some oral appliances can also hold your tongue in place so that it doesn’t collapse and block the flow of air.

Sleep apnea should never be ignored for too long. Reach out to an expert today to discuss what treatment options are available. From exercise to wearing an oral appliance, there are plenty of steps you can take to enjoy more restful nights again.

About the Author

Dr. Philip A. Lisk has more than 20 years of dental experience and enjoys having the chance to help his patients in North Raleigh take advantage of high-quality dentistry. Not only does he provide a wide range of preventive and restorative dental services, but he also offers oral appliances for treating sleep apnea. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Lisk, visit his website or call (919) 870-6892.

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