Are you aware of your snoring and how it affects those around you?
Snoring is often considered normal, but it can be a sign of sleep apnea, a sleep disorder with potential health implications.
In this article, we will explore sleep apnea, its symptoms, how it impacts your sleep, and the treatments recommended by doctors.
Additionally, we will discuss natural approaches that can help you manage and potentially alleviate sleep apnea.
How to treat sleep apnea naturally? Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder characterized by pauses in breathing during sleep. Learn about its symptoms, types, and effective natural remedies to manage and alleviate sleep apnea for improved sleep quality.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder characterized by interrupted breathing during sleep.
These pauses in breathing can last from 10 seconds to over a minute and occur due to blockages in the airways or improper communication between the brain and respiratory muscles.
Recognizing sleep apnea symptoms
The most common symptom of sleep apnea is snoring.
We tend to think of snoring as normal, but it’s usually a sign of a problem with your airways or, more rarely, a brain problem.
The major signs of nocturnal apnea are:
– daytime sleepiness
– frequent awakenings during the night
– gasp in sleep
– shortness of breath when waking up
– dry mouth
– difficulty concentrating
– feeling of depression
– heart arrhythmia
– type 2 diabetes
– insufficient blood oxygen levels
Understanding the different types of sleep apnea
People think sleep apnea has only one cause but there are three different types:
– when the airway is involved, then it is called obstructive apnea
– when brain dysfunction is demonstrated, it is central apnea
– when both causes of obstructive sleep apnea and central apnea are found, a combination of brain and airway problems, it is complex sleep apnea.
Obstructive sleep apnea
It occurs when the tongue or muscles involved in respiratory function block the throat.
The risk of this apnea increases even more if you are over 50, smoke, or suffer from high blood pressure.
You also have a high risk of experiencing this apnea during your sleep if the circumference of your neck exceeds 40cm, and particularly if your body mass index (BMI) is very high.
Nasal congestion can also cause nocturnal apneas by blocking the airways just as a small jaw can retract the tongue towards the throat at night.
Note that sleeping on your back can cause obstructive sleep apnea or make it worse if you already have it.
Central sleep apnea
Central apnea reveals an inability of the brain to send the information necessary for the proper functioning of the muscles that control breathing.
Causes may be:
– some drugs
– heart failure
– a stroke
– excessive alcohol consumption
You should still know that it can be treated by a CPAP machine indicated to manage sleep apnea in charge of sending air to the lungs permanently.
Complex sleep apnea
Complex apnea may be related to heart failure or kidney failure.
It can also be induced by taking certain medications such as narcotic painkillers which prevent the brain from sending correct information and cause obstructive apnea in relaxing the tongue and palatine muscle.
Consequences of sleep apnea
Apnea can be potentially dangerous first because it causes daytime sleepiness, memory problems, and learning disabilities.
Severe sleep apnea syndrome can lead to diabetes, stroke, or heart problem.
These important consequences are mainly due to the lack of oxygen which triggers a phenomenon of chronic inflammation that can lead to cardiovascular diseases.
In addition, lack of sleep causes metabolic changes and affects the immune system.
Diagnosis of sleep apnea
The best test for detecting sleep apnea is a home or hospital test.
An in-depth study allows you to assess your apnea, and measure the pauses in your breathing, its rhythm while recording brain activity, and movements of the limbs over the course of a full night.
This sleep apnea test can also be performed at home and the data is then transmitted to the physician for interpretation.
Treatment options for sleep apnea
Sleep apnea can be dangerous, which is why it needs to be treated.
The CPAP Machine
CPAP or continuous positive airway pressure machine is the major treatment for nocturnal apnea.
Its role is to exert gentle pressure on the blocked airways to allow oxygen to reach the lungs and thus improve the quality of sleep.
Sleep apnea appliances
Similar to mouth guards, these devices hold the cheeks and tongue in place to prevent collapsing at night.
Often custom-made by dentists specializing in sleep disorders, these devices are however intended to treat obstructive sleep apnea.
As a last resort, if you can’t stand any device, there remains the surgical act which consists of plastic surgery of the soft palate, the uvula, and sometimes tonsils, the correction of a deviated nasal septum, or the reduction of the lower turbines which are the structures involved in the humidification of the nasal passages.
How to treat sleep apnea naturally
If you suffer from sleep apnea, if you snore, if you wake up frequently at night, there are some natural solutions that can help you.
Detect sleep apnea
Failing to take steps to perform a medical sleep examination, you can assess your nocturnal apnea problem through a connected sleep analyzer (#ad).
Just slide its sensor under your mattress to get a detailed analysis night after night.
It records your sleep cycles, your awakenings, your movements, and your heartbeat, and detects your snoring and possible breathing pauses.
So you have a real analysis as soon as you wake up and can even send your results to your doctor for better medical follow-up.
GERD and sleep apnea
This really is a priority.
Gastric reflux results in heartburn, bloating, sore throat, bad breath, dry mouth, nausea, and vomiting.
What is the link with sleep apnea?
You may not have thought of it, but acid reflux can trigger these nocturnal apneas by burning the throat, triggering an inflammatory phenomenon and swelling.
We then speak of laryngopharyngeal reflux, silent reflux.
It often causes hoarseness of the voice, permanent irritation, difficulty in swallowing, post-nasal secretions, and a dry cough.
But more often than not, it is not diagnosed and is even less related to your apnea problem.
So you first need to treat this silent reflux the same way you treat gastroesophageal reflux.
Don’t eat before bed.
When you get ready to sleep, gargle with salt water to reduce throat inflammation.
During the day, take large doses of vitamin C (prefer liposomal vitamin C like this (ad) for its bioavailability).
To relieve reflux, test this Gaia Herbs complement (ad), a totally natural product with aloe vera, mallow, marshmallow, and flavonoids from licorice and chamomile, providing highly effective antacid properties.
Take one tablet before bedtime and spread doses throughout the day if you experience a sore throat.
A too dry atmosphere in your bedroom can cause sleep apnea.
It is therefore very interesting to maintain an optimal humidity level so that the airways do not dry out during your night.
Get an air humidifier (ad) that will help you breathe better and reduce snoring and apnea.
Best snoring mouthpiece
It is often advised to use some kind of mouth guard to prevent snoring and prevent sleep apnea.
But this anti-snoring mouth guard (ad) is different because it is totally adjustable and allows you to mold your teeth yourself so that it is effective.
Well fitted, it creates a slight offset in the jawline which prevents obstruction of the airways.
Reviews of this product are rave reviews and buyers confirm a drastic reduction in snoring and at least a restful sleep.
Natural remedies to help sleep apnea
Aromatherapy can help you overcome your apnea problem.
Equip with an ultrasonic essential oil diffuser (#ad) and use oils to open the airways overnight.
They can bring you relaxation and an expectorant and thinning effect on the nasal passages.
Peppermint essential oil
Peppermint is great because it has anti-inflammatory properties that help with easy breathing.
It even prevents snoring, which is not insignificant.
Add one to three drops of essential oil to a glass of water and gargle before bed.
Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender has calming and sedative properties that help in the prevention of muscular obstruction of the throat.
To fully enjoy its benefits, do not hesitate to diffuse a few drops in your bedroom 30 minutes before bedtime.
Chamomile essential oil
Chamomile has relaxing properties for muscles and nerves.
It also has a very interesting natural sedative effect.
It also offers anti-inflammatory effects that can prevent airway obstruction and snoring.
A drop in a teaspoon of honey before bed can make you benefit from its virtues.
Positional therapy for sleep apnea
Many patients with nocturnal apnea fail to adjust to the treatment usually initiated by physicians.
Two scenarios arise:
- they refuse CPAP machines deemed uncomfortable for peaceful sleep
- they only want to use these machines as a last resort and want to prioritize other options first
- they snore, and have been assessed by a sleep apnea test but refuse any equipment despite the inconvenience
The possible option remains lateral positional therapy.
The goal is to force the person to sleep on their side.
To achieve this, there is a simple solution which consists of attaching a tennis ball to the back of a t-shirt, preferably near the neck.
A more elaborate solution is to bring two long bolsters, to place one in the back and another in front, enclosed by the legs.
Finally, the shirt magnetic ball (ad) specially designed for lateral positional therapy incorporates a kind of uncomfortable back ball so that the person does not instinctively fall back on their back.
By far the most reliable solution for learning to sleep on your side.
Slanted bed method
The slant bed method has many virtues for different ailments.
It is also very suitable to try to counter sleep apnea.
Thus a 45° tilt of your bed is excellent prevention.
You can use an adjustable incline cushion like this (ad) and use it as a pillow.
It may be wiser to slip it under your mattress, this will save your cervical spine.
How to treat sleep apnea naturally?
Sleep apnea should not be ignored due to its potential health risks.
Seek professional diagnosis and explore suitable treatment options.
Additionally, consider natural remedies and positional therapy to manage sleep apnea and improve the quality of your sleep.
Remember, finding the right approach may help you achieve a restful night’s sleep and alleviate the symptoms associated with sleep apnea.