As common as sleep apnea might be, chances are that you may have it and yet not even realize it. Sleep apnea comes in different types, but they all share one main characteristic. And this is a temporary pause in breathing as you sleep that lasts for a few seconds and can occur anywhere from a couple of times to dozens of time throughout the night.
Natural Remedies for Sleep Apnea
Even if you do not realize that you have apnea, it will affect not only your sleep quality but also your overall health. And so it is always necessary to find remedies and treatments the soonest possible. Although in some rare cases medical intervention might be required in most instances you can get rid of the apnea with the following simple remedies.
#1 Maintain a Healthy Weight
A majority of people that have apnea also tend to be overweight. And so shedding a few kilos and maintaining a healthy weight is one of the most useful solutions for this problem. The link between being overweight and apnea originates from the fact that when you put on the extra pounds fat will also accumulate around your throat. When you are asleep everything relaxes, and the excess fat around the neck presses down on the airways and hence causing them to block which is what then triggers the apnea.
#2 Adjust/Change your Sleep Position
How you sleep is a contributing cause of sleep apnea, and in some instances, it is the primary trigger. Sleeping on the back encourages the tongue to fall back and the muscles to close up and hence leading to apnea. And so just changing your sleep position by shifting to the side can be a useful remedy.
For people that favor sleeping on the back, changing position can be laborious, and they will always find themselves shifting to their regular sleeping style. However, there are a few tricks that you can use to prevent this, and they include having several pillows on the bed to support you when sleeping on the side and to ensure you cannot roll to your back. Also, you can use the tennis ball trick that people use to prevent snoring, and it entails having a small ball in a pocket on the back
#3 Keep the Air Moist
Most people will report getting clearer breathing than before when they humidify their sleeping chamber, and this is just what you need to deal with apnea. Using a humidifier to keep the air in the room moist encourages more air to flow through your airways and can also help to drain the sinuses. Rubbing some eucalyptus oil on the chest before going to bed can also help in soothing and keeping the airways open to prevent apnea episodes.
#4 Try Herbal Remedies
Herbs offer one of the best solutions for various sleep problems and apnea is one of them. However, they will work better if you combine them with other remedies or treatments. There are several herbs that you can use, and there are also different ways of taking them.
Valerian is one of the most popular ones, and most people like it because it also helps in dealing with other sleep issues like insomnia. Taking valerian tea or capsules can assist in combating apnea symptoms. Passion flower is also another great herbal option, and it helps by initiating a relaxing effect on your nervous system and also by calming the body muscles. Other herbs like California poppy and lavender can also be beneficial.
#5 Avoid Excess Alcohol/Smoking/Sedatives
Alcohol before bed is never a good idea and if you have sleep apnea the more reason you need to avoid it. Taking alcohol before bed might trigger the apnea or make it worse because it relaxes the muscles that are in charge of regulating breathing. Sedatives and tranquilizers will also have a similar effect, and so it is vital also to avoid them.
Smoking and taking alcohol can also cause inflammation and the retention of fluid around the airways and hence interfering with your sleep. In fact, some researchers conclude the regular smokers are more than three times more likely to develop apnea.
Sleep Apnea Conclusion
Anything that interferes with your sleep is bad for your health. Whether it is insomnia or sleep apnea, it will come with some negative consequences for your overall health, and so you need to treat it. The five remedies above will work for most people with apnea, but there are still many others that you can try such as using snore guards. But, at some point, it might be necessary to talk to a physician to determine whether there are underlying conditions that require medical intervention.
Jane Collins is the founder of g9sleeptight. She enjoys studying and sharing health tips and remedies, especially about sleep.