Sleep apnoea can be a scary condition, as it causes the patient to stop breathing when they are asleep. This is worrying for both the sufferer and other members of the household, such as their partner, who may be scared that they won't wake up in time. There is no 'one-size fits all' solution to sleep apnoea so your sleep specialist may offer you a range of options to see which fits your lifestyle best.
Most people who have sleep apnoea have much-reduced symptoms when they sleep on their side or stomach, rather than their back. However, no matter what position you go to sleep in, it can be easy to roll over in the night and end up on your back. Sleep positioners help to keep you on your back, with pillows that stop you from turning in your sleep.
Oral devices such as sleep apnoea mouthguards help to keep the mouth open and throat unobstructed during sleep so that you cannot have any sleep apnoea episodes. It is important to have these devices correctly fitted as poorly fitting mouthguards can be uncomfortable to sleep in and may cause obstruction when sleeping. A sleep apnoea specialist can get you fit for a custom device that will be comfortable and safe for you to sleep in, as well as having the maximum effectiveness in stopping your sleep apnoea.
Continuous positive airflow pressure (CPAP) masks
CPAP releases a constant stream of fresh and healthy air into your airways, reducing the pressure on the sleeper to draw air in from around them. This helps them to have a better and uninterrupted sleep as even when they stop breathing, air continues to be pushed into the airway. Some people initially find the mask uncomfortable to sleep with, so you may need to try a range of mask designs before you find one that works for you. Once the patient has gone through the initial adjustment period, they usually find that they wake up feeling much more refreshed from their sleep when using the CPAP machine.
If you are diagnosed with sleep apnoea, you may need to try a few different options for managing it before you find one that suits you. You should talk to your sleep specialists about which items might be most suitable to your lifestyle so that you can start to sleep better as soon as possible.