Small changes in lifestyle can make a huge difference in the sleep quality experienced by Sleep Apneapatients. Believe it or not, there are many different, tasty foods that can help you fall asleep, and stay asleep at night. Not only does a healthy diet promote a healthy immune system, it helps prevent weight gain and Obesity. Sufferers of Sleep Apnea, and other respiratory disorders, know how big of a factor weight is to the severity of apnea cases. Maintaining a healthy diet can help prevent against weight gain, and combat the results of it. Even if you’re eating healthy, try to avoid eating for a few hours before bed. The body has to work much harder to digest meals late in the evening; the digestive system slows down during the night. When you eat a lot of fatty or protein-rich food before bed, the digestive system isn’t working fast enough to sort the good minerals from the bad. Get on a healthy eating schedule that you will be sure to follow. Keep a record of what you eat each day; this will help you identify foods that may be contributing to your Sleep Apnea.
Beneficial Foods for Sleep Apnea Patients
There is no specific diet plan for patients who suffer from the unfortunate signs and symptoms of Sleep Apnea. There are, however, general diet suggestions and regulations that are beneficial to patients with sleeping disorders like Sleep Apnea.
- Balanced Meals: Dieting isn’t about “not eating”, it’s about promoting your health by eating better. If you can, eat meals that are balanced during the day; balanced meals include healthy fat, calorie, protein, fiber, vitamin, and mineral portions. An effective diet plan for Sleep Apnea includes meals that are high in protein and low in calories.
- Water: The body cannot thrive without water, and staying adequately hydrated is essential to good health in normal patients. Many patients who suffer from Sleep Apnea experience excess mucus production in their nasal passages and upper throat. Mucus is one of the leading causes of nasal-related Sleep Apnea. Drinking ample amounts of water can help the body loosen and expel the thick mucus. Tryptophan is an amino acid that is famous for helping regulate serotonin levels and promote sleep.
- Serotonin Stimulates: Serotonin is a chemical used in the transference and transmission of nerve impulses; it is a neurotransmitter and is commonly linked to mood disorders. Eating foods that contain Serotonin stimulates can be an alternative to consuming [prescription medications like Prozac. Grapefruit, turkey, milk, tuna and bananas all contain high levels of Tryptophan and make good evening snacks.
- Protein and Carbohydrates: Sleep Apnea dieting relies on a delicate balance of protein and carbohydrate consumption. High-protein foods are perfect for concentration and alertness during the day, but eating them close to bedtime will disrupt your sleeping pattern. If you experience problems falling asleep at night, try eating something high in carbohydrates a couple of hours before bed. Making your final meal of the day a high-carb snack will help you wind down at nighttime and prepare for bed .
- Fat Busters and Low-Energy Diets: Although changing your diet may sound like a lot of miserable work, Sleep Apnea diets are quite reasonable. If you suffer from Sleep Apnea, or any other sleeping disorder, try integrating more “fat busters” into your diet. Fat busting foods are perfect for dieting. Not only do these foods promote weight-loss, they help the dieter from feeling hungry in between meals. Fat busters contain high levels of vitamins and minerals; these micronutrients help the body break down fatty tissues and expel waste from the body. Cabbage, carrots, cucumbers, garlic, beets, tomatoes, and various other foods can help patients lose weight.
- Supplements: Some sleeping disorders are associated with vitamin deficiencies in the body and can be managed by supplement consumption. Vitamin levels can cause sleeping problems, but in the right levels, they can also promote sleep.
- Magnesium deficiency has been linked to several different sleeping problems, but consuming supplemental Magnesium can counter the effect. Soy, grains, and dark vegetables like spinach are full of Magnesium.
- Thiamine supplements can be taken to balance B1 vitamin levels in thiamine-deficient patients. Vitamin B1 is known to promote alertness.
- Vitamin B12 supplement consumption can help regulate heart rate during sleep; it can also be used by patients who need help adjusting to a new sleep cycle. B12 can be found in man places: eggs, fish, meat, and even dairy.
- Sleep Apnea sufferers should eat foods containing Vitamin B3, Niacin. B3 helps promote quality sleep; it is a vital component of serotonin synthesis. Lettuce is the most commonly suggested B3 supplementary food recommended to Sleep Apnea patients; lettuce contains Hyoscyarnin, an anti-cramping agent.
- Fish oil supplements can be taken to help prevent moodiness and maintain healthy emotional levels. Fish oil supplements contain acids that are imperative for beneficial mood regulation, essential fatty acids.
What Not to Eat
The body’s biological clock, the biggest determinant of human sleeping patterns, is easily affected by daily food consumption. Below are a few food categories that Sleep Apnea patients should avoid, but the complete list of foods to avoid is much, much larger. High Sugar Eating foods with high sugar content before bed can cause sleeping troubles. The excess refined carbohydrates can cause sugar levels in the blood to increase and energy levels to suddenly rise.
- MSG: also known as Monosodium glutamate, and it is found in many oriental food seasonings. Apnea patients should avoid MSG; it is full of sodium and can act as a stimulant in apnea patients.
- Spicy/Acidic Foods: A large portion of Sleep Apnea patients also suffer from indigestion problems. Try and avoid foods that are spicy or acidic; if the food causes gas or heartburn, it’s not going to be beneficial for Sleep Apnea. Foods that are overtly spicy or contain high acid levels should be avoided. Try to stay away from peanuts, cucumbers, acidic fruits, beans, etc.
- Serotonin Blockers: Alcohol is the most commonly abused drug in America, and it has serious effects on Sleep Apnea patients. Alcohol consumption can cause apnea patients many problems. Alcohol can cause adrenaline to be released into the body. Because of the stimulating effects of adrenaline, consuming alcoholic beverages before bedtime can make falling asleep a nightmare. Alcohol also interrupts the movement of tryptophan in and out of the brain. The brain depends upon tryptophan; it is the body’s source of serotonin and sleep initiation. Alcohol stops the chemical from communicating effectively with the brain, so the body remains awake and active. Because meats are so high in protein, they can also interfere with the production and regulation of serotonin causing heightened energy and alertness.