There’s nothing quite like a heat wave hitting Wilmington, NC. The heat coupled with humidity can make going outside feel dreadful. Not only can the heat feel unbearable outside, but also inside. If you’re trying to save on electricity and don’t want to crank your AC at night, sleeping when it’s too hot out can impact your sleep, especially those with sleep apnea.
How Heat Aggravates Sleep Apnea
During times of extreme heat and humidity, it makes it much more difficult to breathe for those with lung conditions such as asthma, COPD, or sleep apnea. With sleep apnea, you stop breathing throughout the night repeatedly, usually without your own knowledge of doing it. Many studies suggest that the ideal room temperature for sleeping is around 65 degrees.
Although it might seem a bit cold to you, it’s for a reason. When you go to sleep, your body naturally decreases its body temperature. By making your room a bit colder, it helps your body reach that sleeping temperature much easier.
On the flip side, when it’s too hot outside, your body has a much more difficult time reaching that colder body temperature. When your body is too hot, you might awaken more frequently throughout the night. For those who suffer from sleep apnea, this means they will wake up even more than they already do throughout the night.
How to Manage Sleep Apnea During Heat Waves
Although you can’t control the weather, you can control other aspects of your sleeping arrangement. For starters, try to create a cool and dark room to sleep in. If possible, turn your air conditioner on. The better quality of sleep will be worth the extra money on your electric bill. You can also use a sheet instead of a comforter and position a fan to blow on your throughout the night.
Once you’ve achieved a dark and cool room, your next step is managing your sleep apnea. If you have yet to receive a diagnosis, that is your first step. Most people show signs of sleep apnea which helps them seek a diagnosis. If you snore at night, wake up coughing or choking, feel tired during the day and never feel like you get a good night of sleep, you might have sleep apnea. To get diagnosed, all you need to do is take a home sleep test. A physician will review your results and determine the severity of your sleep apnea.
Once you’re diagnosed, the key to sleeping well during a heat wave is treating your sleep apnea. At Kuzma Advanced Dentistry, we can provide patients with a comfortable to wear, custom oral appliance. Unlike CPAP, oral appliance therapy is easy and convenient to use, and completely comfortable. Whether you have CPAP and don’t like using it or you’re searching for an effective sleep apnea treatment, Kuzma Advanced Dentistry can help.