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Overseas Health insurance News: Diet 'can affect sleep apnoea'

Expatriates with international health insurance who suffer from sleep apnoea (SA) could benefit from managing their food intake.

This is according to British Snoring & Sleep Apnoea Association director Marianne J Davey, who suggested that people should abstain from food, tobacco and alcohol for at least four hours before they go to bed.

She said bedrooms ought to be used for "sleep and sex only", with no distractions such as television sets and radios inside them.

People who are kept awake due to noises outside the house should purchase ear plugs, the expert advised.

Bedrooms must be at a comfortable temperature – "warm but not hot" – and sleep should take place at the same time every night, she continued.

A study published in the European Respiratory Journal found consuming a typical Mediterranean diet can reduce some of the symptoms of SA when combined with exercise.

Ms Davey stated the research "looks promising".

She added this nutrition generally involves the consumption of less refined cereals and red meat, but more fresh fruit and vegetables.

Having this eating pattern would reduce a person's intake of fat and being overweight is "one of the main factors associated with SA", so when combined with exercise, this could have significant benefits, the expert asserted.

She noted that duvets and mattresses can also impact this condition and overall sleep quality, but "not as much as one would think".

If these furnishings provide comfort and are suitable for the user, they will promote proper rest, Ms Davey argued.

She claimed bedding choices can often have negative affects on sleep quality, as they can aggravate an individual's allergies.

This can result in snoring and a lack of relaxation, with feathers or house dust mites highlighted by the expert as particular problems.

Ms Davey recommended that people change their pillows after a few months of use, purchase anti-allergic bedding, vacuum their mattress properly and maintain "good sleep hygiene".

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