Home Remedies for Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a disorder in which a person’s breathing is interrupted during their sleep. Because this stopped breathing can happen hundreds of times a night, the brain and body don’t get enough oxygen and sufferers often wake up tired and disoriented. Getting treatment for sleep apnea is simple, and with a few home remedies you can almost eliminate the symptoms entirely. Treatment is important since sleep apnea can encourage other health problems such as high blood pressure, stroke, heart failure, diabetes, and depression if it is left untreated.

How can I tell if I have sleep apnea?

  • Waking up with sore throat
  • Waking up with a dry throat
  • Loud snoring
  • Waking up with a choking or gasping sensation
  • Sleepiness during the day
  • Lack of energy
  • Sleepiness while driving
  • Morning headaches
  • Restless sleep
  • Forgetfulness, mood changes or a decreased interest in sex
  • Insomnia

What causes sleep apnea?

There are two types of sleep apnea:
Obstructive Sleep Apnea: This is the more common form of sleep apnea and is caused by a blockage of the airways. This blockage is most commonly caused by the collapse of soft tissue in the back of the throat.
Central Sleep Apnea: Central sleep apnea is caused by failure by the brain to tell the muscles to breathe. It is caused by instability in the respiratory control center.

Those most at risk of developing sleep apnea are:

  • Men
  • Those overweight
  • Those over 40
  • Those with a neck over 17 inches if male and 16 inches if female
  • Those with large tonsils, a large tongue or a small jaw
  • Those with a family history of sleep apnea
  • Those with GERD
  • Those with a deviated septum, allergies or sinus problems.

 

How can I treat sleep apnea?

  • Lose weight. Losing weight helps to reduce the number of times you stop breathing at night and increases airflow to your lungs.
  • Limit alcohol intake as alcohol can make symptoms worse.
  • Make sure you’re getting lots of good sleep. Sleep helps to reduce apnea episodes.
  • Stop smoking. Smoking relaxes the muscles that keep airways open making them more likely to collapse and close at night.
  • Treat any problems such as colds or a stuffy nose, as quickly as possible.
  • Sleeping on your side may eliminate symptoms.
  • Raising the head of your bed by 4 inches helps to eliminate symptoms.
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