November 6, 2018
If you have sleep apnea in Jupiter, maintaining certain habits are essential to consistently getting a full night’s rest. Using your treatment, going to bed and waking up around the same time, and turning off all electronics within an hour of wanting to sleep are all extremely important, but there is one other thing a lot of people don’t think about: what they eat. If you consume certain foods or beverages right before bedtime, they can really hamper your sleep and even make your apnea much worse. Below are 4 foods/beverages you should definitely avoid within a few hours of going to bed.
1. Anything with caffeine
On average, the human body takes about 6 hours to completely process caffeine, so if you consume some in the afternoon or evening, then it’s likely to keep you up that night. Coffee is an obvious source of it, but so are sodas, teas, and even chocolates. Getting a little boost in the morning is fine, but it’s best to avoid anything with caffeine past noon if you want to fall asleep easily.
2. Spicy foods
Some people really like to turn up the heat when they eat, but eating really spicy foods within a few hours of bedtime can easily lead to a restless night. Why? These kinds of foods often lead to heartburn, which is only made worse when a person lays down. The acid from your stomach can cause a really unpleasant burning sensation in your chest and even reach and damage your back teeth, which certainly isn’t going to help you sleep!
Milk is kind of a double-edged sword when it comes to sleep. Drinking a warm glass of milk before bed is a common sleep-aid because it contains a substance call tryptophan, which the body uses to make melatonin, the sleep hormone. While it might be alright for most people, those with sleep apnea should definitely avoid this strategy. Milk causes the mouth and throat to increase mucus production, which can make it much easier for the airway to become blocked during the night.
Plenty of people like to have a drink or two in the evening to wind down, but this can spell real trouble for those with sleep apnea. Alcohol is a sedative, so while it can help someone fall asleep faster, it also makes it much easier for the muscles in the mouth and throat to over relax and obstruct the airway. It can even make snoring worse whether or not a person has sleep apnea! It’s best to avoid any type of alcohol within 3 hours of going to bed so that it doesn’t affect sleep quality.
A key thing to remember here is that people with sleep apnea don’t have to abstain from these kinds of foods/beverages forever, they just need to consume them long before they plan to go to bed. That way, by the time they actually lay down, everything will basically be out of their system, so their body will allow them to easily fall and stay asleep so they can wake up feeling great.
About the Author
Dr. Kenneth Mogell is a sleep dentist, Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine, and a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine. For more than 3 decades, he has helped people overcome snoring and sleep apnea by providing custom-made oral appliances. He can also facilitate sleep testing in Jupiter for those who still need a diagnosis for their sleep issues. For questions about what you’ve just read or how to get help for a sleep problem, he can be contacted through his website.
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