Oxygen saturation refers to the amount or percentage of oxygen that is found in your blood. The National Institutes of Health states that normal levels of oxygen saturation in healthy people living at sea level range between 94 and 100 per cent. People who have lung disease, sleep apnoea or live in high altitudes often measure less than 94 per cent on oxygen saturation tests. Losing weight, preventing conditions such as anaemia and being treated for sleep apnoea can be natural ways to improve oxygen saturation readings.
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Lose weight if you are overweight and suffer from oxygen desaturation stemming from obstructive sleep apnoea. A July 2009 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine reported that a person's body mass index can have a negative effect on oxygen saturation during disrupted sleep. The Mayo Clinic explains that losing weight can help minimise sleep apnoea symptoms. Create a healthy weight loss plan under your doctor's supervision.
Refrain from drinking alcohol or using muscle relaxant drugs right before going to bed. Using these substances lowers your muscle tone and can create an obstruction to breathing with your throat tissues. If you stop breathing, however briefly, while you sleep, your oxygen levels will drop.
Improve oxygen saturation naturally by making sure you are well-nourished with all the essential vitamins and minerals you should be getting. The Mayo Clinic states that hypoxaemia, another term for a low level of oxygen in your blood, can be caused by anaemia. Eating foods rich in iron, folic acid and Vitamin C can help prevent anaemia. If you have anaemia and experience oxygen desaturation (levels lower than 94 per cent), try to eat more meats, citrus fruits, whole grains and dairy products. Take a vitamin supplement if your diet does not give you the nutrients you need.
Ask your dentist about using an oral appliance to open up your airways while you sleep. This can help prevent sleep apnoea and will improve lower-than-normal oxygen saturation rates if you are able to develop uninterrupted sleep patterns.
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