Sleep apnea and men often go hand in hand, but this common sleep disorder can be more problematic than you might think!
Knowing how to spot sleep apnea and what to do about it is crucial to maintaining exceptional health in your 40s and beyond.
The first step in dealing with sleep apnea and men is recognizing that you have the condition.
Know the warning signs and symptoms of sleep apnea and see your doctor at the first sign of a problem.
If you need medical treatment, they can help you find a solution that's best for you.
You may need more than one type of sleep apnea treatment to achieve the high-quality sleep that you deserve.
Make healthy lifestyle changes that further improve your ability to sleep soundly.
Understand that getting at least 7 hours of sleep each night is essential. Make sleep one of your top priorities.
Overcoming sleep apnea and men is simple with the right plan in place.
Here's what you need to know!
Learn some sleep and weight loss facts, including how you can leverage sleep to improve your health.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a common type of sleep disorder in which your breathing starts and stops repeatedly.
It often obstructs your airflow and reduces sleep quality.
Your partner's sleep could be affected, too, as sleep apnea is a common cause of loud snoring.
Sleep apnea can lead to more than simply a poor night's rest.
It may negatively affect your physical and mental health, as well.
See your doctor at the first sign of a problem or make lifestyle changes that help you breathe easier and sleep soundly.
If you have sleep apnea, you could develop some of the following symptoms:
- Episodes of stopped breathing during sleep
- Daytime fatigue
- Loud snoring at night
- Gasping for air during sleep
- Problems falling or staying asleep
- Waking up with a dry mouth
- Morning headaches
- Problems paying attention
- Mood swings
- Erectile dysfunction (ED)
Complications linked with untreated sleep apnea sometimes include high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression, liver problems, or other medical conditions.
Sleep Apnea and Men
Sleep apnea and men are often linked, but certain factors increase your chance of developing a sleeping disorder. Examples include:
- Thicker neck
- Excess body weight
- Being male
- Narrow airway
- Family history of sleep apnea
- Older age
- Nasal congestion
- Sedative use
- Drinking alcohol
- Certain medical conditions
Medical problems that may increase your risk of or worsen sleep apnea include high blood pressure, Parkinson's disease, type 2 diabetes, heart failure, prior stroke, hormone disorders, asthma, and other lung diseases.
Adult men and women need at least 7 hours of uninterrupted, high-quality sleep each night.
You might need more than 7 hours, depending on your health, genetics, and how active you are.
Make sleep one of your top priorities, get treated for sleep apnea if you have this condition, and adopt good sleep hygiene habits.
What Are Common Sleep Apnea Treatments?
If you have trouble sleeping or your doctor has diagnosed you with sleep apnea after a physical exam and sleep study, consider some of the following treatments to help you get a better night's rest.
When you struggle with sleep apnea, getting regular exercise is an excellent way to improve your sleep quality.
Aim to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity daily but avoid working out late at night before bed.
Get a good balance of cardiovascular exercise (jogging, running, cycling, rowing, swimming, etc.) and strength-training exercises like weightlifting, training with exercise bands, or using your own body weight as resistance.
If you need some ideas for exceptional workouts for men, especially men over 40, consider signing up for the Fit Father Project.
You receive custom muscle-building and fat-burning workouts that improve your physique and minimize sleep apnea and men!
Sometimes, simply adopting an ideal bedtime routine is all that's needed to overcome sleep apnea and get a better night's rest.
Sleep in a cool dark room, use a white noise machine if you need to, and keep stress levels low.
Avoid screen time before bed, establish a regular bedtime, and try guided sleep meditation!
Avoid drinking alcohol before bed, smoking, and taking sleeping pills.
Ask your doctor if any of your medications cause side effects that negatively affect your breathing or sleep quality.
Try sleeping on your stomach or your side, rather than on your back, to improve airflow and reduce bothersome sleep apnea symptoms.
Ongoing stress and anxiety can contribute to poor sleep, which is why stress-reduction strategies are excellent ways to counteract the adverse effects of stress on sleep.
Take a mental day off from work when needed, get outdoors when you can, and exercise daily.
Making simple dietary changes can maximize the quality of your sleep.
Eat nutritious meals and snacks that include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, protein foods, heart-healthy fats, and dairy foods or plant-based alternatives.
Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and very large meals right before you go to bed.
However, don't go to bed hungry either, as doing so can interfere with your sleep quality.
Consider a light snack before bed, such as a protein shake, cottage cheese with nuts or fruit, whole-grain cereal with milk, Greek yogurt, or veggies and hummus.
Healthy Weight Management
Being overweight is a risk factor for developing sleep apnea, so consider weight loss if you weigh more than you'd like to.
If you need help moving toward a healthier weight, consider joining the Fit Father Project 30X (FF30X) weight loss plan designed for busy dads over 40.
When you sign up for the program, you receive custom meal plans, fat-burning workouts, health coaching support from medical experts, nutritious recipes, weekly newsletters, and social support from other fit dads.
Sometimes, simply increasing activities of daily living is all you need to slowly lose weight.
Sit down less often throughout the day and take active breaks from sitting every chance you get!
If you struggle with sleep apnea, wearing a customized mouthguard helps you sleep better by repositioning your jaw, opening up your airway, and improving airflow.
It's a simple treatment that offers highly effective results.
Ask your doctor or dentist to fit you for an oral appliance that's specifically designed to treat sleep apnea.
Simply place the device in your mouth before you head to bed and remove it when you wake up!
Airway Pressure Devices
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) devices and other airway pressure devices also improve airflow and breathing while you sleep.
You wear a mask over your nose that delivers air pressure through a specialized machine.
CPAP machines help you breathe better, snore less, and wake up feeling well-rested.
However, you must be willing to wear a mask on your face while you sleep.
To find out if wearing a CPAP machine is the proper sleep apnea treatment for you, see your doctor.
You'll need a prescription from them before buying one.
If noninvasive options haven't worked to treat sleep apnea, ask your doctor about surgeries that remove or shrink tissues, reposition your jaw, or stimulate targeted nerves.
Many times, however, conservative sleep apnea treatments are all that's needed to breathe easier and sleep better!
What Are the Benefits of Sleep Apnea Treatment?
If you suffer from sleep apnea, you can reap numerous physical and mental health benefits by undergoing lifestyle changes or medical treatments for your condition. Examples include:
Improved Mental Alertness
Sleep apnea is often associated with daytime fatigue, which is why treating sleep apnea and men can improve your mental alertness.
You may find that you're able to stay awake and concentrate better at work, have fewer workplace errors, and focus better overall after getting treated for sleep apnea or making healthy lifestyle changes.
Easier Weight Management
Getting good quality sleep aids in weight management for numerous reasons.
Lack of or poor-quality sleep can affect your hunger hormones, increasing your appetite and the risk of unplanned weight gain.
Low energy levels linked to sleep apnea might make it challenging to complete intense workouts or have the energy to work out at all.
Boosting your energy levels to stay active, and maintaining hormone balance to curb your appetite, are excellent reasons to get treated for sleep apnea.
Reduced Disease Risks
Because untreated sleep apnea puts you at risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, liver problems, depression, and other medical conditions, getting treated for sleep apnea improves your overall health and wellness.
Avoiding common chronic diseases may improve your quality of life by saving you time, money, anxiety, and heartache.
Better Overall Quality of Life
Most of the time, getting good-quality sleep makes you feel better overall.
Being mentally alert, maintaining ideal body weight, and having more energy are the keys to living a happy, healthy, well-balanced life.
You'll be amazed at how good you feel after getting a good night's sleep on a regular basis and waking up energized.
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*Please know that weight loss results and health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual; you may not achieve similar results. Always consult with your doctor before making health decisions. This is not medical advice – simply very well-researched info on sleep apnea and men.