6 Self-Care Tips For Obstructive Sleep Apnea

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Dec 24, 2015 11:03 PM EST

A recent study has revealed that a relationship between low levels of vitamin D and the severity of the disorder called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) does not exist.

One study from 2013 found in the Journal of Endocrinological Investigation concluded that when OSA becomes severe, the decrease in vitamin D levels becomes more pronounced. Now, this new study provided by the American Thoracic Society reveals that there is no link between two conditions.

"The link between obesity and vitamin D deficiency can be explained a number ways, one of which is that obese individuals are less likely to be physically active, thereby limiting their sun exposure," Ken Kunisaki, MD, MS, senior investigator, said in a statement, according to EurekAlert.

Kunisaki also concluded that taking vitamin D supplements will not make any difference in preventing or improving the condition.

Obstructive sleep apnea is just one of the most common types of apnea, which is a serious sleep disorder characterized by breathing problems during sleep, according to Mayo Clinic. A person who suffers from OSA is likely to snore more often than normal. The other two types of sleep apnea include central sleep apnea, which is the less common, involves the central nervous system involves the brains inability to signal muscles to control breathing. The last type is complex sleep apnea which is a combination of the obstructive and central sleep apnea.

Mayo Clinic also stated that anyone can suffer from the sleep disorder, but mostly the condition affects those who are in the middle-aged and elderly category and those who are overweight.

Prior to the latest findings, sleep disorders like OSA are linked to vitamin D deficiency. In general, studies find that sleep disorders are most likely associated with nutrient intake, as reported in Vitamin D Council.

For a long time, there have been insufficient studies showing the link between sleep disorders and vitamin D deficiency, until now.

While Kunisaki already highlighted that vitamin D supplements doesn't have any effect, Mayo Clinic advises the following to combat milder cases of OSA:

  •  Lose weight (if overweight or obese).
  •  Exercise regularly.
  •  Drink alcohol moderately, if at all, and don't drink several hours before bedtime.
  •  Quit smoking.
  •  Use a nasal decongestant.
  •  Don't sleep on your back.

Do you have sleep apnea? Let us know what strategies worked for you. Sound off in the comment section below!

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