Around one billion people worldwide have sleep apnea nowadays. It affects a lot of our lives and creates too much uncomfortable feeling for the patients.
Normally, you will need CPAP for treatment, but there are also useful natural remedies for sleep apnea that you can apply at home.
This article is gonna mention those natural cures as well as other basic knowledge about sleep apnea so that you can deal with it by yourself without having to see the doctors.
What Is The Main Cause of Sleep Apnea?
First of all, you must understand the root cause of this symptom. In the adult, excess weight and obesity is usually the most common factor resulting in obstructive sleep apnea.
During sleep, when the throat and tongue muscles are more relaxed, the soft tissue of the mouth and throat can cause the airway to become blocked.
However, in children, the problem usually comes from enlarged tonsils or adenoids and dental conditions such as a large overbite.
Sometimes, the causes may also include a tumor or growth in the airway and birth defects such as Down syndrome and Pierre-Robin syndrome.
Down Syndrome results in enlargement of the tongue, adenoids and tonsils and there is decreased muscle tone in the upper airway, while Pierre-Robin syndrome actually leads to a small lower jaw and the tongue tends to ball up and fall to the back of the throat.
Sleep apnea is extremely harmful to your health since it directly affects your everyday sleep. A number of people will choose to try CPAP to support their breath, but you can also treat it by yourself without any machine.
How To Cure Sleep Apnea Naturally At Home Without CPAP?
Let’s go over 10 recommendations below:
#1: Throat exercises:
As sleep apnea is caused by a blocked airway in your throat, the best treatment would be getting exercise regularly for this part of your body.
According to the American Sleep Apnea Organization (ASAO), practicing blowing up a balloon can be considered a good method.
Just try to use deep breaths and don’t take the balloon out of your mouth between breaths. Repeat at least 5 times per day to get the best result.
Raw honey is also one of the natural cures for sleep apnea. It contains anti-inflammatory properties, which may reduce swelling around the throat area.
You only need to add a tablespoon of honey to a glass of warm water and drink it before going to bed. You will have a night of better sleep and reduce snoring as well.
#3: Weight loss:
As mentioned above, obstructive sleep apnea is mostly relevant to obesity in adults. That’s why reaching a healthy weight is effective to kill it.
Even losing just 10 percent of your weight can make a difference. So try your best to have a healthy life!
There are many ways to use lavender as a sleep apnea natural treatment.
You can put a few drops of lavender oil on a towel and place it under your pillow while you sleep, or try adding it to boiling water and inhale the steam.
Lavender works as a sedative with anti-inflammatory properties, so it will definitely help you relax.
Small tip: other essential oils are also effective like jasmine or citrus.
#5: Epsom salt bath:
Soaking your body in a warm bath with Epsom salt for 20 minutes is one of the most relaxing natural cures for sleep apnea.
The magnesium in Epsom salt can relax your muscles and lead to a more comfortable and satisfying night’s sleep. This is effective for everyone, no matter which age you are at.
#6: Raise the head of your bed:
You can easily improve the quality of sleep by sleeping on a special neck pillow or on a bed that was angled to have the head higher.
It helps to significantly reduce sleep apnea symptoms as well as facilitate oxygen saturation.
#7: Stop sleeping on your back:
Some people may think sleeping on your back is good, but actually, it can make sleep apnea become more serious.
On the other hand, side sleeping position not only helps to eliminate the symptoms but also reduces snoring and brings a better feeling for you as well as your bed-mate.
#8: Herbal tea:
Drinking a warm glass of caffeine-free herbal tea before bed would be a good natural remedy for sleep apnea.
It has soothing, calming effects, reduces stress and anxiety, as well as eliminates insomnia. You can try teas extracted from chamomile, valerian, lemon balm, or passionflower.
Note: Be sure to ask your doctor before using any herbal supplements, as they may interact with certain medications.
#9: Food promoting sleep:
Some snacks containing good sleep-aid components like tryptophan, GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric acid), calcium, potassium and melatonin can be applied to cure sleep disorder.
For example, barley grass powder, tart cherry juice, kiwi and romaine lettuce or walnuts are the things you should eat more.
#10: Relax your mind:
Sometimes it would be better to slow down and take time for mindfulness, deep breathing and relaxation.
Remember, adding mindfulness meditation to your routine can improve sleep quality.
What Should I Avoid If I Have Sleep Apnea?
Now that you already read through how to cure sleep apnea naturally at home without CPAP, you should also look at what to avoid when you have the symptoms so that your effort won’t be useless.
- Smoking: Since smoking increases inflammation and fluid retention in your throat and upper airway, you had better quit this bad habit as soon as possible.
- Alcohol, sleeping pills, and sedatives: these will relax the muscles in your throat and interfere with breathing, so they shouldn’t be used, especially before going to bed.
- Caffeine and heavy meals should also be avoided within 2 hours before going to bed
Can It Make A Person Die During His/Her Sleep?
Sleep apnea is extremely disgusting, but is it really dangerous? Many people still have the question: Can it make a person die during his/her sleep?
The answer is: YES.
Sleep apnea can lead to life-threatening conditions such as high blood pressure, stroke, sudden cardiac (heart) death, asthma, COPD, or diabetes. These diseases would become much more serious if you cannot find a treatment.
So, why is it that risky?
Since sleep apnea results in a low oxygen level in the body, your body becomes stressed and reacts with a fight-or-flight response, which causes your heart to beat faster and your arteries to narrow, increasing the risk of cardiovascular problems.
The patients then will more likely to have a heart attack or sudden stroke, especially if they are in the following groups of patients:
- People over 60 years old
- People having 20 or more apnea episodes per hour of sleep
- People having a blood oxygen level of less than 78 percent during sleep
What Foods Help With Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea can put you at a high risk of cardiac death. But don’t worry too much!
You can make it less serious by following a daily healthy diet. Below are the foods you should try:
- Milk: containing several nutrients with sleep-promoting properties. In terms of temperature, warm milk may have psychological significance
- Food with a higher amount of Tryptophan (e.g. salmon, eggs, nuts, seeds, and cheese): helps the body produce serotonin and melatonin, bringing about feelings of calmness and drowsiness, and better sleep.
- Food containing group B vitamins (whole grains, meats, green leafy vegetables, and legumes): required in the synthesis of serotonin and may help improve your quality of sleep.
Does Sleep Apnea Get Worse With Age?
In general, sleep apnea will be dangerous without treatment, but does it get worse with age?
Actually, obstructive sleep apnea can develop in any person at any age. However, there are certain age groups that are at higher risk.
According to research, only about 2-3% of children, of all ages, have sleep apnea, while more than 50% of adults above 65 suffer from sleep disorders.
A study published by the American Thoracic Society (ATS) showed the prevalence of sleep apnea in adult men at different ages:
- 2% prevalence in men 20-44 years old
- 3% prevalence in men 45-64 years old
- 1% prevalence in men 61-100 years old
The reason for this increment in risk by age might be increased fatty deposits in the parapharyngeal area (areas in the head and neck), lengthening of the soft palate, and changes in body structures surrounding the pharynx.
This problem happens not only to men but also to post-menopausal women since they tend to get weight gain and unclear hormonal changes.
Therefore, if you are in the post-menopausal period, you had better have hormone replacement therapy.
Although it seems to be riskier to older people, you still need to have treatment for sleep disorder no matter which age you are at.
And remember, don’t be panic if you are living with this symptom! Just have a go with all the above sleep apnea natural treatment and believe you’ll get better day by day!