1. Eat or snack close to bedtime.
Going to bed on a full stomach may help you fall asleep faster, but once you’re asleep, you’re more likely to have reflux into the throat, leading to more frequent breathing obstructions and arousals, leading to inefficient sleep.
Most modern humans have dental crowding and smaller jaws. Since soft tissues such as the tongue and nasal septum grow to their genetically predetermined size, the airway gets crowded. This leads to more frequent obstructions when on your back (due to gravity) and especially when in deep sleep (due to muscle relaxation). The more juices you have in your stomach when you go to bed, the more likely it’ll come up when you stop breathing.
Your stomach juices include not only acid, but also bile, digestive enzymes, and even bacteria. These substances can cause even more inflammation and swelling in your throat, leading more more obstructions and arousals.
If you want to gain weight, continue eating late. Lack of sleep quantity or sleep quality has been shown to promote weight gain, which leads to more narrowing in your throat.
2. Drink a night cap before bedtime
Alcohol may help you to fall asleep better and faster, but it causes your throat muscles to relax and you’ll stop breathing much more often, preventing you from achieving continuous deep and REM sleep. Not sleeping deeply can increase stress levels, making it difficult to shut down your brain when you’re trying to fall asleep. Drinking alcohol before bedtime can help you to go to sleep, but you end up aggravating this vicious cycle. Alcohol also irritate the stomach, creating more acid production.
3. Sleep on your back
Modern humans, due to smaller than normal jaws, are unable to breathe well during sleep when supine due to the tongue falling back (due to gravity) and especially in deep sleep (muscles relax). The more crowded your mouth is (if you needed braces), the more likely you’re going to be a natural side or stomach sleeper. Anything that prevents you from your normal preferred position will increase the number of obstructions and arousals, leading to less efficient sleep. One way to make sure that you sleep on your back is to get injured or undergo surgery—this will definitely lower your sleep quality.
4. Undergo rhinoplasty
Whenever the surgeon narrows the tip, cartilage in your nostrils are weakened, and years later, are more likely to cave in whenever your inhale. If you have a deviated nasal septum, or allergies, the weakened nostrils are more likely to collapse inwards, leading to a vacuum effect in the throat, with more frequent tongue collapses (especially if you have small jaws, eat late or drink late). Look for a surgeon that doesn’t take the steps needed to prevent this from happening if you want to have more breathing problems later in life.
5. Bottle-feed as an Infant
Dentists have shown that the physical act of bottle-feeding changes your bite and dental structures, leading to a higher incidence of malocclusion. This leads to crowded teeth and narrow dental arches, which can increase your chances of developing obstructive sleep apnea later in life. If you want to make things worse, use pacifiers whenever possible and encourage thumb-sucking for as long as possible.
6. Undergo jaw surgery
Jaw operations are commonly performed to correct bite or occlusion problems, but one thing that surgeons frequently don’t address is the fact that any time the upper or lower jaw is pushed back, the airway can become more compromised. As a result, your smile and your bite can improve, but your ability to breathe properly at night will go downhill. Not sleeping efficiently can significantly increase your rate of aging.
7. Don’t treat your sleep apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea is a common condition that becomes more common as we all get older. People with sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly at night, without even realizing it. This causes a major physiologic stress response that wreaks havoc on your body. Even growth hormone levels are diminished. In fact, about 1/4 of men and 1/10 of women are thought to have unrelated obstructive sleep apnea. After age 60 to 70, some studies show that the vast majority have obstructive sleep apnea, especially if you have chronic medical conditions or are institutionalized.
Efficient sleep (quantity and quality) is essential for healing, regeneration, and rejuvenation. Ignoring your breathing problems while sleeping is a surefire way to age faster. If you really want to have more facial wrinkles, wait until you’re much older to address any underlying sleep-breathing issues you may have.