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Reducing Your Risk of Sleep Apnea

There are a few things you can do to lower your risk of sleep apnea. These include:

Obesity is the main risk factor for sleep apnea. If you are overweight, you may be able to prevent sleep apnea by talking to your doctor about a weight loss program. If you’re not overweight, try to maintain an appropriate weight through proper diet and exercise.

Drinking alcohol can increase the number of sleep apnea episodes you have each night. Therefore, limit your intake of alcohol.

Sedative medications can worsen sleep apnea. Try to avoid using these medications.

Heavy smokers are more likely to develop sleep apnea than nonsmokers. If you smoke, talk to your doctor about how to quit.

Revision Information

  • NINDS sleep apnea information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website. Available at: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/sleep%5Fapnea/sleep%5Fapnea.htm. Updated December 28, 2010. Accessed June 3, 2013.

  • Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115600/Obstructive-sleep-apnea-OSA. Updated September 19, 2016. Accessed October 5, 2016.