Does your partner snore loud in the night or is fatigued during the day? If yes, then do not ignore it, as it might be a case of sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea can leave you fatigued in the daytime, spoil your mood, affect your relationship and cause other health problems. However, some cures help you sleep better at night and feel fresh and energised during the day. We have compiled here ten home remedies for sleep apnea that you can try including in your daily routine.
What Is Sleep Apnea? What Are Its Symptoms
Sleep apnea is a frequent but severe disorder in which breathing briefly stops for few seconds, recurrently.
As a sleep apnea patient you will probably not be aware of these short interruptions that occur several times when you sleep. However, all you know must have experienced the feeling of lethargy, mental fatigue or inefficiency at work during the day.
Types of Sleep Apnea
1. Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Being the most common type, it happens when the soft tissue in the back of your throat relaxes and blocks the air passage. That’s when you develop the habit of snoring.
2. Central Sleep Apnea
A lesser known type that involves the central nervous system. In this case, the brain misses signalling the muscles that regulate breathing. In central sleep apnea, people usually don’t snore.
3. Complex Sleep Apnea
A rare type of sleep apnea that is a blend of both central and obstructive sleep apneas.
How To Recognise It? Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
People who experience sleep apnea do not, in fact, cannot recognise its signs. As the most prominent symptoms occur during your sleep, it is better if your bed partner watches your sleep cycle and identifies the symptoms. You can also self-record your sleeping habit.
Don’t miss the warning sign and immediately consult your physician.
Warning Signs of Major Sleep Apnea
– Chocking and gasping for air after long pauses when your snore
– Loud and aggressive snoring every night
– Pauses in breathing
– Waking up breathless in the middle of the night
– Daytime fatigue and sleepiness no matter how long you slept the previous night
Other Symptoms Include
– Waking up with a dry mouth
– Restless sleep
– Difficulty in concentration
– Irritable mood or depression
– Frequent bathroom breaks during night
However, please note that not everyone who snores has sleep apnea and vice-versa. The best tell-tale is how you feel the next day. Since regular snoring doesn’t interrupt your sleep, you will not feel irritable and fatigued the next day.”
Causes of Sleep Apnea
– Lifestyle changes
– High blood pressure
– Aging (above 50)
– People with broad neck (circumference above 15.75 inches or 40 cm)
– Illness such as neurological, heart, stroke or spinal injury (causes for Central Sleep Apnea)
Home Remedies For Cure Sleep Apnea
Honey has anti-inflammatory properties that reduce swelling in the throat and lubricates throat muscles. It also promotes weight loss.
– Add one tsp of raw honey (with or without black pepper powder) in warm water and drink it before bedtime.
- Orofacial Exercises
Orofacial exercises or throat exercises have made tremendous development in the cure of sleep apnea. They are exercises that strengthen the muscles around your mouth throat, jaw and neck.
These exercises are easy to do and don’t take more than 20 minutes of your time.
The exercise involves working out your tongue, throat, jaw, soft palate, mouth and throat.
- Singing and Didgeridoo
Yes, you can cure sleep apnea with singing. Just like the orofacial exercises, singing also fortifies your throat muscles and vocal chords and prevents them from collapsing when you sleep.
Singing with a full open mouth for 20 minutes a day can dramatically reduce your snoring in the course of 3 months.
You can also play the didgeridoo (native Australian wind instrument), an alternative to singing that clear and strengthens your vocal chords and throat muscles.
- Avoid Alcohol and Smoking, Sedatives and Sleeping Pills
Chain smoking and alcohol consumption increases inflammation and retains water in the throat and upper airway.
Avoid alcohol 3 hours before sleeping time. They relax the muscles in your throat and obstruct your breathing process.
Garlic is an excellent anti-inflammatory that helps reduce inflammation in the respiratory system. It also helps mitigate enlarged tonsils and prevents snoring.
– Include garlic in your daily cooking and meal prep.
– Take garlic supplements
– Eat 2 – 3 garlic pods on an empty stomach with a glass of water every day till your symptoms reduce.
- Turmeric Milk
This combination is an effective treatment for sleep apnea. Milk contains amino acids that promote sleep and turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties.
– Add one tsp of turmeric in 1 cup of milk
– Boil for few minutes
– Drink ½ hour before bedtime.
- Adjust Your Sleeping Position
Elevate your head while sleeping and try not to sleep on your back to prevent the pressing of your tongue and soft palate against the back of your throat.
If possible sleep on your sides or on your stomach for effective results.
Almonds are high in magnesium and magnesium promotes healthy sleep and relaxed muscles. They also efficiently regulate our body’s internal clock.
– Dry roast almonds or soak them overnight.
– Eat a handful of them every day.
– Eat a bread toast smeared with almond butter, one hour before bedtime.
Cinnamon is considered a valid ayurvedic treatment for breathing problems related to sleep apnea.
– Mix 2 tsp of cinnamon powder in a cup of boiling water and drink once daily.
– Boil one tsp of grated ginger and 2-inch cinnamon stick in a bowl of water and drink the concoction.
Other Effective Remedies Include
- Treat acid reflux
- Inhale steam or humidify your room before sleeping to prevent congestion
- Avoid having caffeine and heavy meals two hours before bedtime
- Exercise and lose weight and keep yourself healthy
- Open your nasal passage by using nasal sprays, neti pots and other decongestants
- Use a snore guard for mild to moderate sleep apnea treatment
- Set a sleep schedule and follow it regularly