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How to Get Through the Holidays with Sleep Apnea


The holidays are an incredible time to be with family and friends, but sleep apnea can make it difficult. Whether you're traveling for the holidays or staying home, these tips will help get you through the season without sleep deprivation.

You don't want to be unprepared when sleep apnea strikes. It's even more critical during the holidays because you'll probably have heightened stress levels and not sleep as well in general. Fortunately, there are a few ways to prepare for the holiday season so that you will be ready to take on anything while getting the quality sleep you deserve.

Pack Spare Parts and Equipment

You never know when sleep apnea will strike, so carry extra supplies. Bring a spare mask if you have one, and don't forget the charger for your CPAP machine! It's also helpful to bring an extension cord or power strip if there are not enough outlets at your hotel, rental, or extended family's home.

It would help if you also had extra batteries on hand. A CPAP is little use without power. The other thing you will want to have on hand is your prescription for sleep apnea.

If you need any medications, make sure to pack enough and bring a copy of your sleep doctor's instructions for dosing and usage. You should also remember the names of all sleep doctors involved in your care with whom you could contact if necessary. If it is an emergency, you will want to call 911.

If you typically sleep on your back, pack some knee cushions so that you sleep in a different sleep position when you're away from home.

Avoid Foods that Worsen Sleep Apnea

The holidays are a time when sleep apnea sufferers often sleep less and eat more.

If you suffer from sleep apnea, remember to avoid certain foods that can worsen your symptoms:

  • Alcohol: If you have sleep apnea, drink alcohol with caution because it can worsen your symptoms and cause memory loss during the night hours.
  • Coffee: Do not eat foods that contain caffeine or sugar before going to bed since they will disrupt sleep quality and result in less sleep time overall.
  • Red meat: Steak can create issues with sleep apnea sufferers because of its high protein and fat content.
  • Dairy: Milk is a sleep killer for sleep apnea sufferers since it contains the amino acid tyramine, which can cause interruptions during sleep.

Now that you know what foods to avoid, sleep apnea sufferers should also try to sleep in a quiet, dark room. In addition, try to sleep on your side to prevent the tongue from blocking airflow during sleep. If you cannot sleep comfortably while lying on one side, try putting soft pillows under your back and knees.

Despite dealing with sleep apnea, people can still enjoy the holidays! Sleep apnea sufferers should sleep on their side, avoid red meat and dairy products before bedtime, sleep in a quiet, dark room and use soft pillows to sleep more comfortably.



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