Other treatments include some basic common-sense items as well as interventions that may require physician or dietitian intervention.
Maintaining proper sleep hygiene is crucial to decrease excessive daytime sleepiness regardless if you go for any other therapeutic intervention (CPAP, surgery, oral appliance). Going to bed the same time every night, waking up the same time every day, avoiding alcohol or caffeine within five hours going to bed, and keeping the bedroom distraction free (no reading in bed, no texting in bed, no TV in bed, etc.).
There is a strong correlation that has been well documented and established between weight gain and increasing the likelihood of having or suffering from us obstructive sleep apnea as well as weight loss correlated with improvement with a decreased number of events and severity of obstructive sleep apnea. According to currently accepted literature, 75% of the patients who are obese (having a body mass index greater than 30) are likely to suffer from obstructive sleep apnea.
It has been well documented that most patients who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, upper airway resistance, or snoring have a higher index of events as well severity when sleeping on their back. Most patients will complain that they have to elbow their bed partner to roll from the back to the side so they no longer snore. There are many devices that you can buy (including at our facility) that will help you to not sleep on your back.
Nasal Decongestants and Breathe Right Strips
these are medications or devices intended to keep the nasal passages open. Nasal decongestants decrease the swelling or inflammation within the nasopharynx allowing air to pass more freely through the sinuses and into the oropharynx and down into the lungs. The breathe right strips will actually act as a physical stenting mechanism to keep the nostrils open as much as possible.
Medications and Sleeping Pills
Sleep apnea has been proven to get worse with medications (muscle relaxants, opioids) as well as sleeping pills (benzodiazepines). These types of medications relaxed muscle which makes the obstructive apnea and snoring more severe as well as sedating the central nervous system making it much more difficult for patients to arouse. When the obstructive apnea is a car, they occur for a longer period of time leading to a much lower oxygen level within the blood thus increasing the likelihood of other core morbidities and mortalities (increase risking stroke, heart attack, high blood pressure, etc.)