What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a situation where people stop breathing for short intervals while they are asleep. People suffering from sleep apnea fail to inhale adequate oxygen, which makes them gasp in the middle of their sleep and wake up. However, many times, people don’t realize that they have stopped breathing.
Health complications due to sleep apnea
Sleep apnea can create several health complications which will make you feel exhausted in the morning. It is important to treat sleep apnea at the right time, or it can give rise to conditions like:
- mental health problems
- poor immune function
- cause memory loss
- increase the risk of heart problems, irregular heartbeats
- increase in blood pressure.
What triggers sleep apnea?
Different factors might give rise to sleep apnea. The biggest reason is excess weight gain and obesity. When throat and tongue muscles are carefree during sleep, this soft tissue can cause the airway to become blocked.
How do you treat sleep apnea naturally?
There are many treatments for sleep apnoea, like oral devices, surgery, and medicines. Nevertheless, there are a few remedies that you can try at home which will help you get rid of sleep apnea.
1. Keep a healthy weight
Maintaining your weight is often recommended by doctors to treat sleep apnea. Gaining excessive weight in the upper body can further heighten the airway complications and narrow nasal passages.
However, regaining weight can give rise to sleep apnea again. Some actions that you can take to lose weight are:
- curtailing the amount of processed and fast foods
- committing to regular physical exercise every day
- lowering the amount of high sugar beverages
2. Yoga and regular workout
Working out regularly can boost your stamina level. It will strengthen your heart and will help you to treat sleep apnea. Yoga can be an excellent way to recover your respiratory health and stimulate oxygen flow.
3. Change your sleep pattern
A small shift can cause a big difference. Changing and getting the right sleep position can decrease sleep apnea symptoms.
People who sleep on their backs develop more possibilities of having sleep apnea than others. Thus, you can sleep by keeping the head of the bed at an angle of about 60 degrees, which may reduce the number of apnea episodes.
You can also opt for a positioning pillow or another related device. This kind of device also stops a person from sleeping on their back.
However, there are studies that say that children who have sleep apnea do better when they sleep on their backs.
It is better to discuss with your doctor about your body positioning and your sleep apnea symptoms.
4. Use a humidifier with oil
Humidifiers are tools that remove dryness in the air. Dry air can disturb the human anatomy and the respiratory system. You can also consider using various essential oils in the humidifier to have a better experience.
Some of the oils that you can consider adding are peppermint, lavender,
and eucalyptus. Such essential oils provide anti-inflammatory and comforting feelings.
5. Avoid alcohol and smoking
A healthy lifestyle will lead to better health conditions. Consider avoiding alcohol and quit smoking. It will help you to overcome sleep apnea complications.
Alcohol will soothe your throat muscles which regulates breathing. Similarly, tobacco use can also cause soreness and swelling in your throat, worsening sleep apnea.
6. Go for oral devices
Oral devices can aid sleep apnea by positioning your jaw or tongue differently so that the airway remains open during sleep. There are two types of oral appliances. They are mandibular advancement devices and tongue stabilizing devices.
However, in many cases, to get an oral device, it is essential to have a prescription and a dental specialist who has expertise in sleep medicine.
Trying these home remedies and changing your lifestyle will indeed reduce sleep apnea symptoms. However, if your condition fails to improve, you should seek the doctor immediately for subsequent relief.