You probably have learned about Early Signs of Sleep Apnea, risks, and effects. The effects of chronic sleep apnea are much more serious than we thought as long-term symptoms can deeply damage brain function. If you were diagnosed having sleep apnea, you would take whatever you can take to heal and recover.
Natural treatments are the most safe and economical ways to heal general symptoms. Individuals having sleep apnea can take the first step to treat the symptoms naturally, additional to consulting doctors for medical treatments. In general, natural treatments for sleep apneas help reduce risks of obesity or excess weight which is the cause of increased fat in the body. Fatty tissue in neck muscle surrounding upper airways causes intermittent obstruction while sleeping. Neck muscles relax easily block respiratory lining tubes. Some treatment tactics help increase metabolism for fat burning and some help open breathing airways.
Any sleep experts will agree that national treatments may help alleviate sleep apnea symptoms. The good thing is these tactics are to stop snoring as well. Here are seven tips from Dr. Josh Axe.
1. Good diet and maintain a healthy weight.
It is important to avoid weight gain, inflammation, and support metabolism in order to lessen body fat. Individuals diagnosed with Obstruction Sleep Apnea (OSA) mostly are associated with obesity or overweight. The medical studies revealed that excess weight is the strongest risk factor with the development of OSA in adults. The increase of fatty tissues around the throat, tongue, upper airways causes intermittent obstruction.
Having fish, chicken, and turkey, which contain a good protein with low fat is recommended. Having good fibers from fruit and vegetable, which contain vitamins and mineral will support metabolism.
Turkey also helps you sleep. The properties of tryptophan amino acid in turkey, when ingested, converts serotonin into melatonin, which is a hormone that helps improve sleepiness.
Tryptophan can also be found in dairy products like milk, cheese and yogurt, seafood, nuts, legumes, grains, and certain types of fruits and vegetables, including apples, bananas and turnips.
Healthy fats like coconut oil have healthy saturate fat, provide a good source of quick energy, and raise good HDL cholesterol in your blood. Medium-chain triglycerides in coconut oil increase fat burning, reduce appetite, and help you lose weight.
Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats, contains vitamin E and K, which is powerful antioxidant and strong anti-inflammatory, lower blood pressure, and protects bad LDL cholesterol. Extra virgin olive oil is considered healthier than other refined olive oil. You will ensure that you choose the good olive oil that contains rich source from the olive.
2. Avoid excessive alcohol, caffeine, and smoking or overuse of sedative.
Limit alcohol consumption is a wise choice. Consuming a high amount of alcohol affects the circulatory system that causes high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, and heart disease, associated with the respiratory system.
Drinking green tea to substitute caffeine during the day is a good beverage choice. Green tea contains polyphenol antioxidants and amino acid and has less caffeine than coffee. All of which can improve brain function. Green tea also helps lose weight and decreases the risk of obesity. Some studies reported it can boost metabolism and increase fat burning. Many people feel much more productive by drinking green tea than coffee. Be mindful to choose high-quality brands of green tea. Lower quality brands are not good enough for health.
Smoking cigarette or cigar or pipe is harmful to your health. Smoking may lead to the development of OSA. Inhaling tobacco damages the respiratory system by irritating the tissues of upper airways leading to inflammation that reduces space for airflow and cause intermittent obstruction.
Smoking also causes destruction air sacs in your lungs and chronic bronchitis that affects the lining of the breathing tube. If you have asthma, tobacco smoke can trigger a heart attack or make an attack worse. Smoking has been reported linkage with poor sleep quality and the development of OSA, sleep deprivation, and frequent awakenings. All of which can lead to chronic OSA and greater levels of oxygen deprivation. (R)
In a clinical trial published by Sleeping and Breathing Research Institute, smoking is an independent risk factor for the development of Obstruction Sleep Apnea (OSA). Smokers are 2.5-times more likely to develop OSA.
3. Treat acid reflux, congestion, and cough
Nasal congestion and nosebleeds can worsen sleep apnea symptom leading to breathing obstruction and development of OSA. It is recommended to have smaller meals, organic meals, more vegetable, and fruit. Avoid food that triggers heartburn. Avoid lying down at least three hours after eating.
Apple cider vinegar. Having supplement with delight energy and probiotic like apple cider vinegar will reduce acid flux.
You probably know that apple cider vinegar assists in weight loss, regulate blood sugar, reduce bad LDL cholesterol, increase good HDL cholesterol, and lower blood pressure. Other benefits of apple cider are to relieve acid reflux symptoms also known as GERD. Heartburn, nausea, blenching, and regurgitation are symptoms of GERD or acid reflux. By consuming apple cider vinegar, you are adding back acidic acid to your stomach.
Natural organic essential oils like peppermint, eucalyptus, and fir needle can relieve nasal congestion. Cedarwood and anise star essential oil reduce cough.
Having humidifier or air purifier in a bedroom is usually used to relieve sinus congestion, dry throat, dry cough, nose irritation, and others such as dry skin and cracked lips.
Humidifier. During winter or dry season with closed window room, a humidifier is a handy useful device for pumping water into the air in order to increase moisture in the room and use recycled air.
With this device, water sprays to the air for about eight to twelve hours during sleep, it can help hydrate your nasal passages, slowly loosening mucus, alleviating pressure, and reducing the sinus headache. It can help smooth breathing system. You can choose types of humidifier based on your preferences and size of the area for adding moisture.
Air purifiers remove particles from the air such as pollen, mold, dust, and dander that cause congestion and allergies. When you place an air purifier in your bedroom, it will smooth your airway and improve your sleep. You will wake up feeling more refreshed.
It is recommended to sleep on your side. Lying on your back causes your tongue and soft palate to collapse back into your airways causing you to snore. You may use a pillow between knees and arms and slightly raise your head with a wedge pillow or a realignment pillow. These pillows help raise your head to align the spine and keep the airways from becoming blocked. A proper pillow keeps your airway straight, obstruction-free and provides comfort for your neck, shoulder and back, which should help you breathe more easily. According to Dr. Axe, sleep on the side may be the most effective way to overcome sleep apnea.
Sleep on the side may not be easy if you do not get used to it. One interesting tip is using “The Tennis Ball Trick”. You can tape or sew a tennis ball to the back of your pajama or secure it against your back. When you unconsciously roll onto your back, the ball will cause pressure making you roll back onto your side again.
Wedge pillows are commonly used for preventing acid reflux and GERD. The pillows slightly elevate the heads, shoulders, and torso to prevent acid leaks out of the stomach into the esophagus when sleeping on their back. Wedge pillows also raise your head and lessen the effect of weight on your airway.
Medical studies and researches (R) revealed that physically active people have less sleep apnea. Exercise helps not only losing weight but also improve sleep apnea condition. Proper exercise like running, cycling, and swimming will open airways and improve lung capacity and respiratory system.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, mouth exercises may help stop snoring associated with sleep apnea, especially when the snoring relates to breathing interruption.
Mouth exercise is something that you can do in addition to medical treatment. The mouth exercise involves chewing and swallowing motions and specific movements of the tongue will strengthen the muscles around the airways. The study found the improved condition of sleep apnea and snoring by the mouth exercise. The mouth exercise and move include,
- Repeat 20 times with pushing the tip of your tongue against the roof of your mouth and slide the tongue backward.
- Repeat 20 times with sucking your tongue upward so that the entire tongue lies against the roof of your mouth.
- Force the back of your tongue downward against the floor of your mouth while keeping the tip of your tongue in contact with your bottom front teeth.
7. Apply essential oils that relax the body and open up the airway
Lavender oils calm the nervous system by lowering blood pressure, heart rate, and skin temperature during the transition to sleep. Lavender essential oils alleviate minor insomnia and change your brain waves to a more relaxing state.
Peppermint oils have been claimed the best essential oils for snoring or obstruction sleep apnea. The anti-inflammatory peppermint essential oils serve as natural decongestants that can reduce inflammation inside the nostrils. Rub a drop on the bottom or inside part of your nose, or try a steam inhalation.
Eucalyptus oil is another anti-inflammatory oil helps open up airways. Gently rub a few drops essential eucalyptus oil on your chest before sleeping to help naturally open airways and soothe a stuffy nose or throat, and support body and breathing.
Olive oil. Drinking a few sips of olive oil can moisten and relax the muscle tissues below the palate, allowing air to flow freely and reducing snoring.
Thyme essential oil may be the best essential oils for central sleep apnea. Thyme is used to treat respiratory problems. Thyme essential oils can help keep the respiratory system strong and healthy. It is often used as a natural treatment for cold and antibacterial properties.
The Bottom Line
Natural treatments for sleep apneas are also good techniques to stop snoring. As we learn that sleep apneas are the most serious sleep disorder symptoms that damage brain function. It is necessary to have a diagnosis from doctors to determine what form of sleep apnea and what severity level of OSA you may have. Additional medical treatments may include CPAP machines, mouth guards, chin straps, and/or surgery. All of which treatments will help keep your airways open or prevent throat muscles from blocking airways, or reduce the chance of obstructed breathing during sleep.
If you have questions or would like to share personal experience, please feel free to leave comments below. I will be glad to hear from you.
All the best for your good sleep,
Priscilla, Founder of TreatmentOfSleepDisorders.com