How can I help prevent sleep apnea?

There are a number of lifestyle choices that can help protect the quality of your sleep (and your health in general) and diminish your risk of developing OSA:
  • Keep your weight in a healthy range. Excess weight is a primary risk factor for sleep apnea, in both men and women. Keeping your weight in check is perhaps the single most important thing you can to protect yourself against developing sleep apnea as you age. And of course, maintaining a healthy weight confers a host of other protective health benefits as well. What’s one powerful tool in keeping your weight down -- or losing weight, if you need to? You guessed it -- a good night’s sleep.
  • Don’t smoke. This one should be beyond obvious. Smoking is a dangerous, potentially deadly habit. No one should smoke. Among its hazards, smoking increases the risk of OSA. There is also evidence that the combination of smoking and obstructive sleep apnea creates a particularly heightened risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Get regular exercise. Exercise will help you keep your weight in check and also enhances the overall quality of your sleep. Exercise early in the day if you can and outdoors when possible -- the exposure to sunlight helps strengthen circadian rhythms that govern our sleep/wake cycle. For people who are treating sleep apnea with a CPAP device, there’s evidence that the combination of CPAP and exercise are particularly effective together in alleviating sleep apnea.

Continue Learning about Sleep Apnea

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.