Many of us are surprised when our dentists ask about our sleeping patterns. But actually, the truth is, our oral cavity directly affects the cause of sleep apnea- a sleeping disorder in which breathing starts and stops. What we eat, how we eat, and how our mouths allow the passage of air are all very important factors to our sleep health.
If you have sleep apnea, you should know what to eat and what not to eat to better your condition.
Foods that will help
Fruits and vegetables
many fruits and vegetables contain melatonin, which is also known as a natural sleep enhancer. Asparagus, cherries, grapes, corn, broccoli, and cucumbers all contain this sleepy hormone. Along with that, they are rich in nutrients and fibers and low on calories. Just don’t forget to brush your teeth after eating these, especially before going to bed.
Foods rich with omega 3 fatty acids can help you to produce that sleepy hormone, melatonin. You may know that seafoods like- shrimp, tuna, salmon, etc., are great sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
They are richer in nutrients and fibres, which help you make feel full for a longer period. They function the same way as fruits and vegetables.
For overweight sleep apnea sufferers, plant-based oils can be really helpful. Unsaturated fats from plant-based oils can be used as a great substitute for saturated fats in butter or margarine
Foods that will hurt you
Fruits are good for your health, as we have learnt earlier, but not all of them. Unfortunately, bananas are not a good fruit for individuals suffering from sleep apnea. Bananas increase the mucus production in the mouth and throat which may increase breathing problems while you are asleep.
Eating a lot of sugar can trigger an inflammatory response, refined carbohydrates can easily lead to gaining weight and obesity in your body which can worsen sleep apnea.
Though consumption of alcohol helps you fall asleep faster, it doesn’t allow you to get the high-quality REM (Rapid Eye Movement) stage of sleep. This is because alcohol leads the muscles in your throat to overrelax. Studies have found that even those who breathe normally at night may experience episodes of sleep apnea if they consume huge amounts of alcohol.
Fatty meats like burgers, steak, pork, bacon lamb and sausage contain a lot of saturated fat which can increase inflammation throughout your body and worsen sleep apnea. You may find it advantageous to replace such meats with fatless alternatives, such as fish and chicken.
Many require a little caffeine to get their day started. While it may seem like a big help for someone with sleep apnea, but the fact is that caffeine can make it worse. Every bit of quality sleep is precious when you have sleep apnea. So it’s always best to avoid caffeine at least six hours before bedtime.
Having the right type of food before bedtime can help elevate high-quality sleep and reduce sleep apnea symptoms.
If you are having trouble with your sleep disorder, talk to us or visit DENTAL WORLD, about sleep apnea treatment and get your good night’s sleep back.