Home remedies for Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a serious disorder causing excessive stress, fatigue and daytime sleepiness. It effects millions of Americans, most of the peoples remain undiagnosed. If left untreated it can lead to life threatening complications. Fortunately, with the help of proper treatments, lifestyle changes and home remedies most of the complications can be avoided. 

A study in University of Michigan shows that people suffering from sleep apnea look much alert, more attractive and younger when treated with at home remedies. Using these remedies along with CPAP can improve your symptoms. 

There are several home remedies for sleep apnea, most of which are basic lifestyle changes and self care steps as explained under:

Lifestyle changes

1) Get plenty of sleep:
Good sleep is important for everyone. It is even more important for individuals with sleep-related breathing disorders such as OSA. Sleep deprivation aggravates OSA, increasing apneic events and disrupting sleep. Maintaining a steady sleeping schedule will ensure that you are getting adequate sleep every night. This can help to reduce episodes of sleep apnea.

2) Avoid alcohol tranquilizing medicines:
Limit the use of alcohol and medicine. Alcohol can worsen obstructive sleep apnea and sleepiness and may lead to you gaining weight. Certain medications also can worsen your sleep. Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol or taking sleeping pills or sedatives, before sleep may make symptoms worse.

3) Throat Strengthening:
Generally sleep apnea is associated with weak throat muscles, some people found that strengthening their neck and throat muscles reduced their symptoms. This can be done simply by pushing your forehead against your hand or playing musical instruments like didgeridoo as well as doing exercise like cat and cow posture in yoga.

4) Quit smoking:
Tobacco contains nicotine which makes the throat muscle to relax and bloke the air way. If you don't smoke, those muscles are less likely to collapse at night and narrow the airways.

5) Promptly treat your allergies:
Allergies are also associated with sleep apnea, since they make it harder to breathe. If you have known allergies avoid potential allergens in the bedroom. Things like dust mites and pollen can be removed through washing bed linen weekly, using hypoallergenic pillows and mattress covers, and cleaning bedroom flooring and curtains thoroughly. 

Saline solution can be used to clear out the nasal passages and make breathing easier as well, but only sterile solution should be used to avoid the risk of parasitic infection.

6) Elevate your bed position:
Raise the head of your bed from 4 to 6 inches by putting bricks under the legs of the bed. Raising the head position can reduces sleep apnea. Using regular pillows to raise your head and upper body won't work.

7) Lose weight: 
If you're overweight or obese, even a slight loss of excess weight may help relieve constriction of your airway. Losing weight can also improve your health and quality of life, and may reduce your sleepiness during the day.

8) Exercise regularly:
Regular exercising, such as aerobic and strength training, can help to improve your condition. Workout for 4 or more days a week for at least 150-200 minutes. Yoga involves certain breathing exercises which are beneficial in opening up the air passages. With regular practice it is possible to control your breathing and ensure proper passage of air in and out of the body.

9) Sleep on your sides 
Sleeping on your back can cause your tongue and soft palate to rest against the back of your throat and block your airway. The home remedy is to sew a pocket big enough to hold two tennis balls onto the back of your pajama top, between the shoulder blades. Place the tennis balls in the pocket prior to going to bed. During the night, when you attempt to roll onto your back, the tennis balls make the position so uncomfortable that you roll to your side.

10) Watch your diet
You can ease breathing disorders by cutting down on foods that are high in cholesterol and saturated fat. Sleep apnea is closely related to obesity and hence a healthy low-fat diet is important. Also avoid heavy eating before bed time, Heavy intake of food makes us desperate at night in the bed and it leads to sleep apnea.

This will help to also lower the risk of health complications such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and strokes.

Natural herbal remedies

  1. Garlic helps in treating sleep apnea as it helps to relieve enlarged tonsils. It also helps to alleviate inflammation in the respiratory system. This makes it easier to breathe normally. You can chew on a garlic clove before bedtime. You can also make a paste of crushed garlic and warm water and consume before sleeping.
  2. Indian gooseberry also helps to regulate breathing during sleep. You can steep some pieces in hot water and then bring to a boil. Strain and drink after it cools down. You can also grind the leaves of Indian gooseberry into a powder and consume with some warm water.
  3. The herb, valerian has been used down the age as a natural sleep aid. It is known to enhance sleep quality and also helps you to fall asleep faster. Many people who suffer from sleep apnea experience insomnia due to breathing difficulty and disturbances in the sleep cycle. Valerian helps to ease such sleep disorders.
  4. Essential oils such as primrose, chamomile and lavender oil also aid in sleep. Primrose oil helps to alleviate inflammation due to allergies. These oils may be used in a diffuser or as compresses. Some oils such as lavender can also be applied directly to the temples for a mild sedative effect.
  5. Ease congestion in the nasal passage and chest with the help of eucalyptus oil. This will help you to breathe more easily, thereby preventing sleep apnea. Add the oil to boiling water and inhale the steam.
  6. Home remedies for sleep disorders also include walnuts which are known to enhance breathing. Walnuts may be added to the daily diet. You can also add the seeds to milk and consume before going to bed at night.

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