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6 Things That Worsen Sleep Apnea

Dr Martin Abelar - December 14, 2021 - 0 comments

If you have sleep apnea, you probably already consider it “bad enough” without outside influences making it worse. But believe it or not, there are things that can make it worse. Unfortunately, many people don’t know what those triggers are, and thus could be doing them without realizing they’re causing a problem.

Here are just a few activities and behaviors that could be worsening your sleep apnea symptoms.


While you may not have control over whether or not you get COVID-19, remember to take as many steps as possible to prevent the spread of this dangerous illness, as it can hamper breathing and make sleep apnea symptoms worse. If you do get COVID, remember to wear your sleep device each night to help assist you in breathing as you sleep.


Some medications such as sleeping pills and muscle relaxers can relax the muscles of the tongue and throat a little too much, causing your sleep apnea symptoms to worsen. While many people need these medications to sleep if you fit into this category make sure you remember to use your sleep device to help your nighttime breathing.

Obesity or Overweight

If you are obese or overweight you’ve likely already experienced problems during the day, such as being out of breath and possibly even higher cholesterol and blood pressure. But your weight also affects sleep apnea, especially if you have weight-related illnesses such as diabetes.

Drinking Alcohol Before Bed

While many of us enjoy the relaxing feeling we get from alcohol, especially before bed, drinking before you hit the hay can be a little too relaxing on your throat and tongue muscles, making your sleep apnea worse. If you do choose to enjoy an evening beverage, make sure you let a few hours pass before heading off to bed.

Sleep Positioning

Do you sleep on your back? You could be making your sleep apnea worse. That’s why experts recommend you sleep on your side. Side sleeping puts less pressure on the airway, making it easier to breathe

Not Wearing Your Sleep Orthotic

It goes without saying that if you have sleep apnea, you should be wearing your sleep device each night. Many people avoid their CPAP device because its high maintenance and uncomfortable. Thankfully, options like custom sleep orthotics available from Dr. Abelar are an excellent solution. To learn more about sleep orthotics and how they can help your sleep apnea, contact Dr. Abelar’s office  in San Deigo today.

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