>U Mom Knows Best: Could It Be Sleep Apnea And Helpful Tips

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Could It Be Sleep Apnea And Helpful Tips

 Do you wake up gasping for air or coughing? Perhaps you are told that you snore. Keep reading to learn more about sleep apnea and some helpful tips.

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 Many years ago when I was pregnant with my fourth child, I would start gasping for air in the middle of the night. It felt like someone was choking me and I could not breathe. This gasping-for-air sensation would make me immediately sit up and violently cough. It was a scary thing to not be able to breathe. After several minutes, that felt like forever, I was able to catch my breath. It was then that I learned about what sleep apnea is. 

What is sleep apnea? 

Sleep apnea is the most common sleep-related breathing disorder. It causes you to repeatedly stop and start breathing while you sleep.

 These episodes of gasping for air in my sleep happened several more times throughout my pregnancy. Once I delivered my baby, I did not experience any sleep apnea symptoms for a while. So I thought that being pregnant had some effect on my breathing. Then several years later, I started having these gasping-for-air episodes again when I was pregnant with my 5th child. This time the sleep apnea symptoms did not go away.

 I continued to have nights of waking up gasping to catch my breath several times a month. So I started looking into being tested for sleep apnea. I did my research about the signs of sleep apnea and realized that I had several symptoms of sleep apnea.

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Signs and symptoms of sleep apnea include:

+ Excessive daytime sleepiness

+ Loud snoring

+ Observed episodes of stopped breathing during sleep

+ Abrupt awakenings accompanied by gasping or choking

+ Awakening with a dry mouth or sore throat

+ Morning headache

+ Difficulty concentrating during the day

 Life got busy raising two little kids and I never got tested for sleep apnea but I discovered some sleep tips that helped with my sleep apnea. I discovered that switching my pillow to a neck-supported contour pillow and sleeping on my side helped me not experience any sleep apnea breathing episodes. When I tried sleeping on my back, I would start coughing so I always went to sleep facing sideways. Having the best pillow for all sleep positions allowed me to sleep comfortably on my side. Using a pillow that is made for sleep apnea helps me avoid having to use a CPAP machine.

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 Another symptom that made me question if I had sleep apnea was my difficulty concentrating during the day and being told that I snored. I also was tired during the day. I was in denial about the snoring as who wants to believe that they snore while sleeping. I also thought that my concentration problems and tiredness were due to raising 5 kids. My last two kids were 16 months apart and were not good sleepers. 

My youngest son started having sleep issues with coughing

 When my youngest son turned five, he started coughing in his sleep. This coughing would happen several times a night. When the nighttime coughing episodes lasted more than a month, I took my son to the doctor. The doctor looked at my son's tonsils and had me make an appointment to see an ENT doctor. My son had a sleep study and was diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea and had to have his tonsils removed. You can read more about my son's sleep apnea related to enlarged tonsils experience HERE

 My youngest son still has signs of sleep apnea like snoring and coughing in his sleep but having his tonsils removed has helped. Instead of having sleep apnea episodes on a nightly basis, they only happen a couple times a month. Things that help my son not have sleep apnea problems are taking his allergy medicine and using the best pillow for sleep apnea.

Things that help me manage my sleep apnea

+ Discovering my food allergies

+ Managing my asthma 

+ Sleeping on my side

+ Using a sleep apnea pillow

+ Using an air purifier

+ Allergy shot therapy

My son's experience with sleep apnea and being tested for sleep apnea helped me to better manage my sleep apnea now that I knew the signs of sleep apnea. Other things that helped me to reduce the amount of nighttime gasping for air-breathing episodes were first discovering that a dairy allergy was the cause of my severe asthma symptoms. It was through an at-home food allergy testing kit, that I discovered I was allergic to milk products. This allergy testing kit also revealed what plants I was allergic to.

 I am glad that I am able to manage my asthma symptoms naturally by avoiding things that trigger my asthma and clearing the mucus from my lungs. I have discovered several methods to best clear mucus from the lungs. If my asthma is under control so is my sleep apnea. I still have sleep apnea problems when my asthma is not in control. 

Best pillows for sleep apnea

 I think the one item that has helped most with my sleep apnea is using a quality memory foam pillow. Using a pillow that is made for sleep apnea keeps me sleeping on my side. A memory foam pillow also positions my head and neck in a way that keeps my airways open. Having my airways open helps improve my breathing. Breathing better alleviates my sleep apnea symptoms like snoring, coughing, and gasping for air. The right pillow means a more restful sleep for me. When my body is supported by a pillow that is made for sleep apnea, I get a more rested sleep. Check out my favorite memory foam pillow

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Tasheena said...

This post is really informative, thanks for sharing these helpful tips.

AiringMyLaundry said...

I will show this to my husband. He has sleep apnea and I always worry about him. He does have a CPAP at least.

melissa said...

I think this problem is more common than we all thought. Getting the right medical care is a good idea if you have any of those symptoms.

Kathy said...

I know a few people with sleep apnea. Both my father and my husbands father have it. They use the CPAP for it too.

Richelle Escat said...

Thanks for the information. A friend of mine is having issues like this, I'll share this to her. She might love that pillow too.

Cassie Tucker said...

My husband has sleep apnea and uses a bi-pap. I never thought of looking into pillows for him to help!

Terri Steffes said...

That has to be the scariest thing. I love that it can have a simple fix. Thank you!

Hollie said...

This to me is one of the scariest things out there and I had no idea there were such easy fixes.

Gervin Khan said...

I have a friend who have this and it is so scary. I'll sharing this with her. Thank you!

Edohpa said...

My husband has severe sleep apnea. Since getting his cpap he sleeps so much better and his health has improved. Its amazing!

Ivan Jose said...

Thanks for the helpful tips. I could use a good night's sleep.

Gust si Aroma said...

I am glad to find out more about sleep apnea and it's great that I don't have none of these symptoms.

LoriBosworth said...

I don't have sleep apnea but I always sleep with two pillows as I find it more comfortable.

Melanie Edjourian said...

This was an interesting read. Thankfully nothing I have experienced.

Marysa said...

Getting a good night of sleep in so important. This is useful information and could really be a game changer.

Sol said...

Ohh, I think I could have been suffering from sleep apnea too! I had the same hard breathing experience before but now it's gone.

Jona Shares said...

This is a good read and thank you for the information. I have a friend whose boyfriend was recently diagnosed with apnea.

Anonymous said...

These are such great helpful tip for those who are suffering from sleep apnea! I never experienced this, but will keep these tips in mind always :) The neck supported pillows sound good! Thanks for sharing!

Everything Enchanting ❤️

Anonymous said...

This is great information! I will have to look into one of the pillows.

Kathy said...

Both my father and father in law have sleep apnea. My husband just had a test done, but turns out he doesn't have it. You've got some really good info here.

Lady In Read said...

My husband has this happen every once in a while and it does scare but we now kind of know the triggers and that helps. great info in your post that i will keep in mind

LisaLisa said...

Great information here! My sister has sleep apnea and she had such a difficult time sleeping. After finding a solution she has had some comfort in being able to get some sleep, but it can be a pain at times for her.

Lavanda of Appetizers & Entrées said...

I appreciate the information you provided about sleep apnea and the tips you shared in managing its symptoms. It's great to hear that you have found ways to manage your asthma and sleep apnea naturally.

Christy G said...

I had a sleep study done but it was negative. I’d like to have another one done eventually bc I snore and wake up with a sore throat often.

Beautiful Touches said...

It's really good to be aware of the signs but also if you suspect that it's sleep apnea it would be really good to get diagnosed so that you're able to get the tools that you need to breathe better at night!

Anonymous said...

My SIL has sleep apnea and she uses a CPAP. Good to know you're managing yours. -LYNNDEE

Anonymous said...

That is so good to know about sleep apnea. My mom needs look into this!

Richelle Milar said...

This is really informative thanks for sharing such information, I’m gonna share this with my mom

Zab Zaria said...

I am glad to know about it! I really appreciate the tips you've shared and I found that so helpful!

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