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5 Sleep Habits to Test in 2017 If You Have Sleep Apnea

Gwyneth Paltrow snagged an Oscar for “Shakespeare in Love,” and won even more fame for publicly “conscious uncoupling.” But recently, she made news for something more relevant to all of us: clean sleep.

Ms. Paltrow wrote an article about the importance of clean sleep for body and mind, bringing to the spotlight something medical professionals have stated for years: while sleep is necessary, “clean sleep” is vital for your health. Clean sleep is a deeper dive into the regular sleep cycle and essentially translates into sleep that is free of interruption and distraction.

Woman sleeping_sleep apnea
As many sleep apnea sufferers know, clean sleep is important for numerous reasons, among them:

  • It’s critical to brain function
  • It supports growth and development
  • It allows the body to heal from injury and improves how you feel as a whole
  • It allows the immune system to fight infection

Clean sleep can help lower your risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and obesity that is caused due to lack of sleep over time.

Tired man yawning in his car

Because quality sleep is important for everyone -- particularly those suffering from sleep apnea -- we’ve assembled some clean sleep habits you should try in 2017, and of course, beyond. These can help reduce the impact of your sleep apnea and improve your quality of sleep in general.

  1. Use special pillows that help position CPAP masks and tubing. These pillows help to prevent red marks and pressure sores, improve therapy effectiveness, and prevent mask leakage. Sleep apnea pillow encourage you to sleep on your side, which helps you breathe easier and sleep more soundly.
  2. Avoid exercise close to bedtime: Although exercise is vital to your health, doing so near bedtime makes the body and mind work harder, which can make falling asleep more challenging. Schedule workouts earlier in the day.
  3. Turn off your phone: Using electronic devices with light-emitting screens before bedtime affects sleep in two ways. The light from the device can alter sleepiness and impact sleep quality. Additionally, email alerts and push notifications can interrupt you throughout the night.
  4. Avoid naps if they’re disruptive to your nighttime sleep cycle: Retirees and people of older age may feel the urge to nap, and experts say that it is okay, as long as those naps don’t cost you sleep at night.
  5. Stick to a bedtime regimen: Going to bed around the same time each night gets your body into a rhythm and helps you wake up refreshed.

Everyone sleeps differently, and you may have to try several methods before landing on something that works for you. Remember, if your doctor recommends a CPAP for sleep apnea, use it every time you sleep or rest.

And, of course, be sure you clean your CPAP regularly to avoid bacterial growth. Check out the SoClean, a CPAP cleaning aid, which makes this process easier and more efficient. By taking advantage of these clean sleeping tips, you will sleep better -- and more cleanly -- now and in the future.