Can Summer Affect Sleep Apnea?
Summer can be a fun season, but it can wreak havoc on your sleep – and by extension, your sleep apnea. You may not get as much sleep during the summer as you do during other times of year, and your quality of sleep can also suffer.
How can summer affect your sleep?
Summer can negatively affect your sleep in the following ways:
Reduced amount of sleep
With the extra hours of daylight, it’s natural to stay up later during the summer. You may feel more tired than usual, especially if your change in schedule gets you out of the habit of using your sleep apnea treatment, like CPAP or oral appliance therapy.
More time outdoors
If you have allergies that contribute to your sleep apnea, more outdoor time can make them worse. You may experience more nasal congestion and other allergy-related symptoms, which can worsen your sleep apnea.
Between the warm weather and the kids being out of school, summer is the perfect time to travel. You might forget to bring along your sleep apnea treatment or think that skipping a few nights won’t make any difference. But even one night without it can lead to more breathing interruptions during sleep and a worsening of symptoms the next day.
How can you sleep better?
The following tips can help you get a better night’s sleep:
- Sleep in a comfortable environment - A dark, cool room will help create a comfortable sleep environment. Using a fan can help reduce the temperature as well create a soothing noise. And if the sunlight comes shining into your window before you’re ready to wake up, consider buying some blackout curtains.
- Limit your nighttime exposure to sun – It can stay light well into the evening during summer, which delays your body’s production of melatonin, a hormone that controls your sleep and wake cycles. Limit your sun exposure on summer evenings, and you’ll probably find it easier to fall asleep.
- Take time to relax – Being active until shortly before bedtime can make it difficult to wind down and go to sleep. Limit activities to quiet ones that don’t involve screen time, such as reading.
What are some sleep apnea treatments?
If the quality of your sleep gets worse during the summer, talk to your doctor. He or she can make suggestions that can help improve your sleep. In addition, a sleep study may be scheduled to help diagnose sleep apnea or another sleeping disorder. If you've already been diagnosed, it can also be used to determine how well your sleep apnea treatment is working:
The following are some common types of sleep apnea treatment:
- CPAP mask – This treatment delivers a steady stream of air via a machine and small hose to a mask that you’ll wear at night. It helps keep your airway open.
- Oral appliance – A custom-made plastic mouthpiece that’s worn only at night, it coaxes the jaw and tongue forward to help your airway open.
- Minimally invasive procedure – If non-invasive treatments aren’t effective enough, a minimally invasive procedure such as balloon sinuplasty or a pillar procedure may be recommended.
- Outpatient surgery – Surgeries such as FESS (functional endoscopic sinus surgery) or septoplasty (deviated septum surgery) can be used to treat sleep apnea.
If you’re having trouble sleeping, make an appointment today with the sleep specialists at eos sleep. We can help diagnose or rule out the presence of a sleep disorder and help you get a good, restful night’s sleep.