Health Tips for Sleep Apnea

If you have obstructive sleep apnea, also known as OSA, you might be wondering if there are any health tips [1] that can help you feel better during the day. There are many things you can do to lessen the ill effects of sleep apnea, and they involve taking care of your overall health. We'll go over the basic health tips for sleep apnea patients, and how they will help.

Lose Weight

Losing weight is listed separately from eating right and exercising because not everyone who has sleep apnea is overweight. Sleep experts agree that being overweight can make sleep apnea worse. Even though not everyone who has sleep apnea is overweight, it is known to be a direct cause of it.

Keep Breathing Problems Under Control

If you have asthma or allergies, keeping them under control is even more critical if you have sleep apnea. See a doctor if you find yourself wheezing, short of breath, or suffering from seasonal allergies. He or she will be able to prescribe you medicines that will keep them in check.

Get More Sleep

Getting more sleep is much easier said than done. However, going to bed a little earlier or sleeping a little later it can help immensely. The more sleep you can in a night, the better.

Limit Alcohol Consumption

Drinking before bed can make your daytime symptoms of sleep apnea even worse. This is the same effect that comes along with taking sleep aides before bed. You'll still wake up feeling groggy, or worse than you would have felt if you hadn't taken them. Alcohol is a depressant, which will cause the muscles in the throat to relax even more. Limit alcohol to just one or two drinks a day, and several hours before bed.

Quit Smoking

Smoking can cause the upper airways of the throat and the soft pallet to swell slightly, making sleep apnea worse. Of course, this isn't just a health tip for sleep apnea – quitting smoking is helpful for staying healthy and living longer.


You don't have to be overweight to reap the benefits of exercise to treat your sleep apnea. Even a light exercise like brisk walking, yoga or tai chi a few times a week for 30 minutes at a time will help. You'll find after a few weeks that you have more energy during the day.

Eat Right

Eating fresh, healthy foods while cutting out trans fats and processed foods will give you more energy, as well. Eating lean protein and whole grains, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables is ideal. Ask your doctor if you have any food allergies or intolerance, for healthy alternatives. There are also foods you can eat that can naturally help you get a better night's sleep. For example, sweet potatoes have potassium and complex carbohydrates which have been attributed to a better nights sleep.

Information on this page is for reference and educational purposes only. For more information about sleep apnea, talk to your doctor or primary care provider.

Page last updated: October 2, 2018

[1]Web MD. Sleep Apnea Treatments. Last reviewed: March 10, 2018.

About Scott Ridl: Scott joined American Medical Sales and Rentals in 2008 as a Web Manager and Content Writer. He is a writer and designer. He is extensively trained on oxygen therapy products from leading manufacturers such as Inogen, Respironics, Chart, Invacare, ResMed and more. Scott works closely with respiratory therapists and oxygen specialists to educate the community about oxygen therapy products, COPD, asthma and lung diseases. He writes weekly columns and is passionate about educating the community on oxygen therapy and respiratory issues.

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