is a major risk factor for sleep apnea. If you’re overweight, talk to your doctor about a reasonable weight loss goal and a safe weight loss program. As little as 10% weight loss can greatly reduce the number of sleep apnea episodes that occur each night.
and sedative medications are nervous system depressants. They affect the brain, causing it to function more slowly and less effectively. Using alcohol and/or sedatives will increase the frequency and number of sleep apnea episodes that occur each night. When you stop taking these products, your sleep apnea may improve.
Some people find that sleeping on one side, rather than sleeping on their backs or on their bellies, greatly reduces sleep apnea. You can use a variety of pillows to comfortably prop yourself on your side.
American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery website. Available at:
. Accessed June 3, 2013.
Last reviewed May 2014 by Marcin Chwistek, MD
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