Can Exercise Improve your Sleep Apnea?

a woman exercising and sleeping

Did you know that exercise has numerous benefits for your overall sleep cycle? This is especially true if you suffer from sleep apnea.

Not only can proper exercise help you to fall asleep faster, but it can improve your quality of sleep overall. If you suffer from sleep apnea, many studies have made numerous connections between weight loss (which includes diet and exercise) and an improvement in sleep apnea symptoms. Most severe cases of sleep apnea will still require further medical treatment such as a CPAP machine and exercise is not a cure for sleep apnea, however, a healthy change in lifestyle can certainly lessen the severity of your symptoms.

If you find you are sitting more and more these days and want to pick up some healthy exercise habits, here are a few tips to get started:

  • Start small and low impact: all you need to do is get moving! Start with a short walk or maybe do a short exercise routine online, then you can build up the momentum afterwards to do something that challenges you a little more.
  • Stick to something you enjoy: it’s easy to fall off track if you are doing an exercise routine you are not enjoying. Maybe the treadmill is not your thing but if you enjoy another sport or activity that gets you moving then stick to that.
  • Ask for support: having support from a friend, family member or partner can be extremely beneficial in your journey and can motivate you to stick with it.
  • Avoid high intensity activity within 1-2 hours to bedtime: all those endorphins that get released during exercise are great, but not at the end of the day when you are trying to slow down and get into a sleeping routine.
  • Don’t skip out on healthy eating: diet, sleep and exercise are all important parts to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
  • Stick to your CPAP treatment: while exercise can improve your sleep apnea symptoms, it is not a cure, and not using your CPAP machine can only make your symptoms worse.

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