Anxiety Due to Sleep Apnea: Tips to Promote Sleep
by Ryan Rivera
Constant sleeplessness lowers the body's defenses to fight off diseases and infections. It makes us more susceptible to illnesses both physical and psychological. This susceptibility is even more heightened if the sleeplessness is due to a condition called sleep apnea. Sleep apnea could trigger a barrage of other problems. One of which is anxiety.
To promote sleep for someone who has anxiety due to sleep apnea is a challenge. It would be difficult to get a good, uninterrupted sleep. But it can be done! There are several routines or rituals one can perform in order get a good night's sleep even with the condition. Consider the following tips.
1. Take a Warm Bath
After a hard day’s work, muscles tend to grow tense and rigid. This stiffness on the back, shoulders, and neck muscles often branch out and produce distressing headaches and migraine attacks. To soothe the mind and the body, soak in a warm tub of bubbly water. The feel and warmth of the water will start to uncoil tired muscles. In about half an hour, relaxation and healing will take effect.
2. Ask for a Massage
To further loosen up the muscles, a soothing massage will provide this. A mere 3-minute back rub has been proven to enhance comfort and relaxation. The long, slow and gliding strokes of a massage are also found to have a positive effect on the cardiovascular system. They help to reduce blood pressure and normalize heart rate and respiratory rate. Moreover, the slow strokes diffuse agitated behaviors in individuals with mental worries.
3. Drink Hot Cocoa Before Bedtime
Blending dark chocolate and skim milk into a delicious drink is known to relieve stress. It provides a different level of relaxation especially after a long and stressful day. Dark chocolate is believed to reduce levels of stress hormones while peptides in milk boost mood by increasing serotonin activity in nerve cells.
4. Take Herbal Tea
Caffeine-free herbal teas like chamomile, lavender and green teas help relieve irritability and muscle tension. They act as a mild sedative to ease any anxiety cause and induce sleep. A mug of this calming remedy is just the thing to wipe away the worries of the day, so nurse a dead beaten body with a mug of this tried and tested herbal brew.
5. Avoid Caffeine
Caffeine-containing beverages like coffee, sodas and colas must be absolutely avoided hours before sleep. The substance caffeine is known to increase blood pressure as well as turn the hypothalamus, pituitary and adrenal systems into overdrive. When these systems are actively running, they pump up adrenalin and other stress hormones; thus, interference in sleep is to be expected.
6. Say No to Alcohol
People who consume an excessive amount of alcohol will find themselves having difficulty getting sleep. Though it may hasten the onset of sleep, alcoholic beverages disrupt the REM phase of the sleep cycle. In addition, after some of the effects of alcohol have worn off, drinkers may experience nightmares.
7. Stop Smoking
Because nicotine found in cigarettes has a stimulating effect on the body, those who smoke have more difficulty falling asleep than those who do not. The effects of nicotine linger in the tissues and veins making smokers easily aroused by even the slightest noise. To promote a better sleeping experience, refrain from puffing a stick or several after the evening meal. More importantly, quitting smoking will improve sleeping patterns dramatically, as per reports of former smokers.
8. Create a Restful Environment
To sleep better, a restful environment away from loud noises must be created. The room’s temperature must also be regulated according to one’s comfort. Good ventilation and proper lighting should also be observed. While most people favor a darkened room, setting up a low light for those who cannot tolerate total darkness should also be considered.
9. Play Soft Music
A good way to get rid of the negative energy is to listen to relaxing music. Music playing softly in the background during sleep has a positive effect on the mind and body. It helps to lower blood pressure as well as reduce the levels of the hormone cortisol linked to stress. Recommended music includes classical and instrumental sounds.
10. Consider Comfort
Consider what you wear to sleep. Wear loose-fitting nightwear that provides enough warmth like flannel nightgowns or pajamas. Socks, sweater or extra sheets should also be available in case the weather calls for it.
These basic tips are given hoping that they would promote sleep to those who find it difficult to do so because of their anxiety due to sleep apnea. They are in no way promoted as means to manage sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a disorder that must be assessed with a sleep expert. If you think that you have this condition or someone you know, seek immediate consultation.
Ryan Rivera shares his battle with anxiety in his website, www.calmclinic.com. Visit the site and you'll find numerous articles on how to manage and survive anxiety just like he did.