Sleep apnea is a disorder that can leave you feeling exhausted during the day and could potentially put your life in danger if it isn’t managed properly. This won’t stop you from taking part in any Halloween festivities, but you do need to be careful about making decisions that won’t make your sleep problems worse. Below are 4 tips that sleep apnea sufferers should keep in mind on Halloween.
1. Enjoy Your Candy in Moderation
Even if you’re not a child, it’s easy to find yourself eating more candy than usual once Halloween rolls around. But if you have already been diagnosed with sleep apnea, you need to be careful not to indulge your sweet tooth too much. Otherwise, you may end up gaining weight, which could make your sleep apnea symptoms even worse. Try opting for sugar-free snacks whenever possible. A few sweets here and there should be fine as long as you’re mindful about keeping your sugar consumption under control.
2. Try Not to Stray from Your Routine Too Much
An important part of treating sleep apnea is sticking to a consistent sleep schedule. This means making an effort to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. However, many people end up breaking their sleep patterns around Halloween, whether it’s for trick-or-treating or to stay up late watching scary movies. As such, whatever you do on Halloween, take any steps you can to ensure that it doesn’t stop you from going to bed when you normally would.
3. Stay Away from Alcohol Before Bed
Do your Halloween celebrations often involve alcohol? This year, you may want to skip the drinks for the sake of your slumber. Alcohol is known to make sleep apnea worse. This is because it can relax the muscles in your mouth or throat, making it more likely that your airway will become blocked. It’s therefore recommended that you stop drinking at least a few hours before bedtime.
4. Stick to Your Sleep Apnea Treatment
Some people treat their sleep apnea with a CPAP machine. Others use a comfortable, custom-made oral appliance provided by their sleep dentist. Regardless of what form of sleep apnea treatment you utilize, you should make a point of using it every night – even on holidays like Halloween.
Don’t let your sleep apnea get in the way of having a fun-filled Halloween with your friends and family. Follow the tips above to keep your symptoms under control so that you can enjoy yourself during the holiday and still enjoy a good night’s slumber.
About the Author
Dr. Jay A. Nelson studied dentistry at the University of Pennsylvania. He is currently focused on treating sleep apnea and snoring as well as TMJ disorders. He is a diplomate of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine. His Wesley Chapel practice, Nelson Dental Sleep Medicine, offers fully personalized oral appliances as an alternative to CPAP therapy. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Nelson, visit his website or call (813) 733-4169.