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Can Diet Changes Help You Sleep Better?

Sleep apnea disrupts your sleep, leading to daytime fatigue and decreased focus even after 8 hours of rest. Soft tissue in your throat and other complications cause this condition to develop. Untreated, sleep apnea can lead to other serious health concerns. Non-surgical treatment options can help you decrease nighttime disruptions, but you can also improve your symptoms by changing certain habits. One habit you can change is monitoring the foods that you eat at night. Some foods can make breathing at night more difficult.

Hands holding a partially eaten hamburgerChowing Down on Hamburgers

Hamburgers are one of America’s favorite foods, but these mountains of flavor can increase your sleep apnea symptoms. One reason is that hamburgers can cause acid reflux, which studies have found may increase sleep apnea. An abundance of hamburgers can cause weight gain as well, which puts more pressure on your throat tissues and causes more nighttime disturbances. Finally, hamburgers are red meat. Although delicious, red meat increases soft tissue inflammation, which interferes with your breathing. Consider fish as an alternative protein. Fish has the added benefit of Omega-3 fatty acids, which decrease soft tissue inflammation.

Warm Milk to Make You Tired

As a child, your parents probably made you warm milk and honey to put you to bed. Although this concoction has great mind-calming capabilities due to nostalgia, studies show that it has no chemical effect on slumber. Instead, it can increase phlegm production or swelling in your nasal passages, leading to more breathing problems. If you enjoy your glass of warm milk before bed, consider switching to soy milk instead. As part of the legume family, soybeans offer anti-inflammatory properties to decrease soft tissue inflammation in your throat.

Turning Up the Heat

Whether you enjoy hot wings or curry, eating spicy food before bed can cause an increase in your breathing problems. As with hamburgers, spicy foods can increase acid reflux. If you enjoy the flavor of curry, you could try using one of the key ingredients in curry as a smoothie. Turmeric, a common curry spice, offers anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits that can help with swelling in your throat and sinus tissue, which also decreases snoring.

Salting Every Meal

Ingesting too much salt can also increase your nocturnal breathing disruptions. A high salt diet creates an ionic imbalance in your body that prevents water from flowing out of your cells and down toward your kidneys. Instead, your tissue cells retain the water. When you sleep, the extra water weight can push down on your throat and obstruct your airways.

Manage Your Symptoms with Sleep Apnea Treatment

Changing certain habits like what foods you consume before bedtime can improve your symptoms. Some cases also require non-surgical treatment. Terrytown sleep apnea dentists Dr. Wanda Mejia and Dr. George Sepiashvili can work with you to improve your sleep quality and prevent other health complications. If you suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), caused when soft tissue in your mouth and throat obstruct your airways, an oral appliance can open your airway and improve your nighttime breathing. Sometimes, sleep apnea require the use of a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine to provide you with a steady flow of oxygen throughout the night.

To learn more about managing your symptoms, please contact Advanced Dentistry of Tarrytown today for an appointment with a Tarrytown sleep dentist.