Living with sleep apnoea

    • Brief

    • Sleep apnoea is a life-long condition. Getting a diagnosis allows you to take steps to manage or treat the condition and prevent serious complications.

      You can read about the condition here.

      There are several adjustments that you may need to make to live a rewarding life with sleep apnoea. This article helps you identify what adjustments to make.

    • When you get the diagnosis

    • After you are diagnosed with sleep apnoea, you may worry about the long-term effects that the condition may have on your health. There are some things that you can start to do immediately:

      • If you are overweight try to lose weight by modifying your diet and increasing your exercise.
      • Start sleeping on your sides instead of lying on your back. You can try putting a pillow behind your back to avoid rolling over onto your back while you sleep.
      • Stop using sleeping pills.
      • Moderate or stop drinking alcohol.
      • Stop smoking tobacco.

      You healthcare provider may recommend treatment. Do not delay the start of treatment, as the condition may cause serious complications.

    • Work and your health

    • Having sleep apnoea can affect your work, because due to poor sleep at night, you may feel tired at work. This will affect your productivity and your performance at work. Daytime sleepiness can also put you at risk of accidents, for instance if you drive or operate machines at work.

    • Diet and nutrition

    • There is no specific diet for sleep apnoea. However, it is important to eat a diet that helps you lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. Substitute carbohydrates like rice, amala, and garri with healthy alternatives like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

      Moderate or stop drinking alcohol. Reduce stimulants like coffee or energy drinks, as they can affect your ability to sleep well at night.

    • Physical activity

    • If you are overweight or obese, you will need to lose weight. You do not have to do intense exercises,  but ensure that you do exercise regularly. Try to do at least thirty minutes of moderate-intensity exercises every day.

    • Support from family and community

    • Your bed partner will most likely be the first to notice that you snore loudly or observe that your breathing stops during sleep. Listen to them and seek medical care for your condition. If you require special CPAP machine to help you breath at night, discussed it with your partner. The machine's bleeping or operating noise may irritate them and they may want to sleep in a different room (for a while). It is important that your partner supports you in the use of the machine, as it is important to improve your sleep and avoid serious complications of sleep apnoea.

    • Financial impact

    • A CPAP machine or surgery for sleep apnoea can be expensive, but the alternative is low productivity and poor health.

    • Kulawa cares

    • A diagnosis of sleep apnoea may cause your worries and concerns. The condition can be managed with proper self-care and treatment. Getting good nights' rest will improve your energy levels and your mood and will help avoid serious diseases.