Some patients with sleep apnea do remarkably well, despite all the hurdles and obstacles that arise. Then there are others that procrastinate, or refuse to take any action at all. I've noticed 7 commonalities amongst the ones that do succeed in the end:

1. They take responsibility for their own health, and not rely on doctors alone. They surround themselves with a team of medical professionals, constantly reading and learning, asking questions, and staying up to date on the latest in new sleep apnea treatments and research. They are willing to make major changes their lives, daily habits and diets to achieve set goals.

There are some people who are unwilling to make any changes, such as with eating late or going out 2-3 times per week and drinking alcohol. These are the same type of people who say they don't have time to read an important book to help them along. These are the people who want only a quick fix. They are unwilling to commit to a life change.

2. They are willing to pay extra. Unfortunately, insurance will typically cover only the bare essentials for sleep apnea treatment. Most durable medical goods vendors will give a basic model, and typically won't cover any additional add-ons or extras or a more full-featured CPAP machine. Depending solely on insurance to cover for everything will lessen your chances for achieving success. Sometimes, you have to pay for a new mask, or a dental device. Yes, you should maximize your insurance benefits, but you should also not hesitate to go outside of medical insurance to invest in your health.

Successful people also are willing to invest in gym memberships, yoga classes, books and information products that complement standard sleep apnea treatments.

3. They take action. The people that succeed typically have tried multiple different options and have failed more often than once. But because they are persistent and take massive action, eventually, they find something that works for them.

There are many patients research everything but can't make up their mind. This is called paralysis by analysis.

4. They do everything possible to breathe well through the nose. Being able to breathe well through the nose, although not a cure for sleep apnea, helps every other form of treatment option. Whether it's with CPAP, dental devices or surgery, not being able to breathe well through your nose will ultimately diminish the quality of your results. Through trial and error or by working with your doctor, you can usually figure out what's causing your stuffy nose, and take care of it in one way or another.

Many successful CPAP patients get into the habit of irrigating their noses with nasal saline. There are various ways of getting saline into your nose, so you'll have to try different options to see which one you like.

5. They set aside time for regular exercise or relaxation. Paradoxically, exercise is a great form of relaxation. When you take the time to exercise, you have to focus on your exercise activities, which forces you not to stress about work, life and other distracting things. Not to mention the cardiovascular benefits. The more advanced people discover that active forms of relaxation or meditation helps to calm the overstimulated stress part of the nervous system, or the sympathetic nervous system. They routinely practice yoga, meditation, tai chi, which are all disciplines where proper breathing techniques are stressed.

6. They join a community of other sleep apnea patients. There's a saying in business, "Teamwork makes the dream work." Surrounding yourself with other successful people's perspectives will help you to grow, learn. There are live groups such as AWAKE, or various internet forums and support groups.

7. They accept sleep apnea rather than fight it. At a certain point, all these habits will be a regular part of your life. If you're constantly resisting it and fighting it, always looking for a "cure," you're in for a long and frustrating battle. Unless you undergo a tracheotomy, you'll never be cured. Your ultimate goal should be to reach a point where you're able to function normally, gain satisfaction from the work that you do, and ultimately, to be able to enjoy life.

Author's Bio: 

Similar to a cancer diagnosis, think of sleep apnea as a kind of wake up call. It forces you to re-prioritize your life and and have higher life-goals. Besides CPAP and oral appliances, surgery is the least understood treatment option. For your free report on "The Truth About Obstructive Sleep Apnea Surgery," go to

Dr. Steven Y. Park is an otolaryngologist and author of the book, Sleep, Interrupted: A physician reveals the #1 reason why so many of us are sick and tired. It was endorsed by New York Times best-selling authors Christiane Northrup, M.D., Dean Ornish, M.D., Mark Liponis, M.D., Mary Shomon, and many others.