Sleep Apnea & Exercise
Sleep apnea is a serious medical condition that hinders the breath of patients while they sleep. There are a variety of treatment options available, but recent studies have proven that exercise can decrease your sleep apnea symptoms by as much as 25%.
To put it in perspective, a 25% reduction is as effective as some surgeries. An exercise program composed of brisk walking and weight training can be used to reduce the severity of the sleep disorder.
Reducing Risks with Exercise
Sleep apnea has been linked to a variety of medical conditions including high blood pressure and diabetes. This sleep disorder has also been associated with a group of cardiovascular issues, including stroke, heart attack, heart failure, and arrhythmias (fluttering heartbeat).
These conditions can be lessened by incorporating an exercise program into your daily routine.
Common treatment options like continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines can be intolerable for some patients with sleep apnea. Hence, the reason exercise is used as a therapeutic alternative. Being active and following a workout program is simple and inexpensive compared to the alternative treatment options.
While exercise has shown to reduce the severity of sleep apnea symptoms, Dr. Katz recommends partnering a common treatment option (e.g. CPAP, oral appliance, or corrective upper airway surgery) with a daily exercise program. This is due to the fact that the consequences of untreated sleep apnea could be deadly. By combining treatments, you can significantly decrease the amount of sleep apnea episodes a person has each night.
It’s important to clarify that “exercise” refers to a program composed of brisk walking, jogging, running, and weight training—or a combination of two or more. Simply stretching each day will not help. In fact, solely stretching can worsen your breathing problems.
Advantages of Exercising with Sleep Apnea
It’s known throughout the sleep medicine community that being obese or overweight puts you at risk for developing sleep apnea. Exercise will help you lose weight, lightening the symptoms, but that isn’t the only upside. Other benefits include:
- A reduction in the severity of your symptoms
- A reduction in your daytime sleepiness
- An increase in your sleep efficiency
- An increase in your maximum oxygen consumption
Sleep Better Again
If you’re curious about sleep apnea solutions, or how you can incorporate exercise into your current treatment regiment, then we can help. Dr. Katz is a qualified sleep dentist and will help you get the diagnosis and treatment that you deserve. Contact our office at 336-346-8988 to schedule a consultation today. Additionally, you can fill out the submission form, and we’ll get back to you promptly.
Frequently Asked Questions
How important is it to my relationship to control my snoring?
Snoring is the third most common cause of divorce. While this won’t be the case for every couple with a partner that snores, it’s very common. Even if your snoring isn’t currently threatening your relationship, it could become so disruptive to your partner’s sleep and by extension, harmful to their wellbeing, that may decide to end the relationship.
If you or your partner notice that either of you are snoring at night, then you should seek a diagnosis and treatment from a trained professional like Dr. Katz.
Why do men snore more than women?
Because men have higher rates of sleep apnea, certain hormones, and different throat structures, they also tend to snore more. However, men and women can both snore for various reasons. Other causes of snoring include:
- Fluid retention
- Alcohol consumption
- Having a cold
Sometimes, women may have sleep apnea and snore so quietly that their partner doesn’t notice. Regardless of your gender or the gender of your partner, it’s important to have any symptoms diagnosed.