If you suffer from sleep apnea or insomnia, those little power naps taken during the middle of the day may do more harm than good. The health benefits of napping don’t necessarily extend to those people who are pained by certain sleep disorders. In fact, napping can exacerbate your symptom and inadvertently put you in a vicious sleep cycle that worsens your condition. First let’s see why sleep apnea and naps can present problems:
Sleep Apnea versus Napping
As a sufferer of sleep apnea, any sleep without wearing your Mandibular Advancement Device is likely to result in a suspension of breathing. This includes napping. A mandibular advancement device (MADs) help treat and stop snoring. It is a retainer-like device that helps facilitate nighttime breathing without the discomfort of wearing a heavy mask or machine. If you have your MADs device handy, make sure you wear it during your nap. If you don’t, skip the nap altogether.
If you are a sleep apnea person who is new to the mandibular advancement equipment, missing out on your afternoon nap will make it easier to adjust to the new mouthpiece. It has to become second nature while sleeping and the more tired you are at bedtime, the easier it will be to fall asleep. This helps ease the adjustment period while getting used to your MADs device.
Napping and Insomnia
As tempting as naps are, especially when prone to insomnia, they unfortunately may permeate a cyclical pattern of daytime napping and nighttime insomnia. This will give you the impetus to crave a nap during the day and the cycle continues when you give in.
Establish a regular sleeping habit with the emphasis on nighttime sleeping. This means avoiding napping during the day, which can be difficult to follow, but helps create a sleeping debt that makes it easier to fall into a sound sleep every night. This is the goal of every insomniac.
Practices For Sleeping Soundly at Night
- Unplug from the digital world an hour before bedtime.
- Try to avoid vigorous exercise after 7 p.m.
- Don’t eat processed carbohydrates at least four hours before you sleep, and preferably eliminate processed carbohydrates altogether.
- Partake in meditation to calm your mind and body.
- Drink a cup of warm/hot chamomile tea.
- Read a book.
- Take an Epsom salt bath.
These practices will give your mind and body a calm sensation that perpetuates sleep. Dr. Aldrich will guide you towards a sound slumber. With a visit to Riverbend Sleep in Salem, OR, she and her trained staff have the oral appliance technology and the know-how to ensure your sleeping patterns are on the mend. You’re one phone call away from achieving your best sleep ever!