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Best Home Treatments for Sleep Apnea
There are people who occasionally “forget” to breathe during sleep. Yes, you read that right – they briefly stop breathing throughout the night. This is due to a disorder called sleep apnea.
Approximately one billion people around the world suffer from sleep apnea. But what is sleep apnea really? The word apnea is a Greek word and it literally means “without breath” so it’s no wonder why this sleeping disorder is named this way. People who suffer from sleep apnea repeatedly stop and start breathing.
There are three main types of sleep apnea disorders: obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea, and complex sleep apnea syndrome.
As you already guessed, obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type of sleep apnea and it happens when throat muscles relax. Central sleep apnea happens because the brain doesn’t send signals to the muscles that control breathing. And finally, complex sleep apnea is the combination of both obstructive and central sleep apnea.
In case you think you suffer from sleep apnea, you must see a doctor because you don’t know how severe it is or how dangerous it might be.
For those of you who have mild sleep apnea, we compiled a list of best home treatments that might benefit you. Take a look to see if you can find something useful for treating your sleep apnea problem.
1. Change sleeping position
Sleeping on your back only worsens the symptoms of your sleep apnea. This is why changing your sleeping position may be a good idea.
Sleeping on your sides should be a good solution but if you find that you can’t control your sleeping positions – try using positioning devices such as pillows, cushions, pads, and so on. These devices are supposed to stop you from turning on your back during sleep.
If this doesn’t work out for you and it only worsens your snoring, try another home treatment.
2. Try using a humidifier
Dry air often irritates our respiratory tracts and it causes many different breathing problems. And, of course, dry air doesn’t help your sleeping apnea either.
So, to fight dry air use humidifiers. Humidifiers are devices that create moisture in the air and in that way help you breathe more clearly, open your airways, and so on.
You can go a step further and add some essential oils that have anti-inflammatory benefits such as eucalyptus, peppermint, and other oils.
3. Try oral devices
Mandibular advancement device also known as MAD is a mouth device for sleep apnea. This device works by repositioning your jaw to keep your airways open during your sleep. MAD looks like a sports mouthguard so it’s also called sleep apnea mouthguard. The sleep apnea mouthguard is supposed to help you facilitate breathing.
There is also another device that repositions your tongue for the exact same reason – to open your airways. This device is called a tongue stabilizer.
You can consult with your dentist on which device is better for you. You will also need a prescription for a device of this kind and a dental professional to fit it.
4. Lifestyle change
Smoking and drinking can cause sleep apnea complications. Smoking causes the inflammation and swelling of your airways which in turn can worsen your sleep apnea and snoring. Drinking too much alcohol relaxes throat muscles that are supposed to control your breathing and also causes inflammation, snoring, and so on.
Changing your lifestyle would be best for your health. And not just quitting smoking and drinking, but completely changing your diet. Changes that promote weight loss and that incorporate physical activity will help you reduce the symptoms of sleep apnea.
So, reduce the intake of processed foods, fast foods, foods, and drinks high in sugar and start incorporating physical activity into your everyday life (at least 30 minutes daily).
You will notice how changing your lifestyle can lower the number of sleep apnea episodes and decrease the symptoms related to it as well.
5. Do yoga
How can yoga help you with your sleep apnea, you may wonder? The importance of breathing in yoga is crucial as it can help you avoid injury and it can also help you transform your body and mind to allow you to experience your own true essence. Additionally, yoga can help you improve your sleep and is considered one of the best treatments for sleep apnea.
So, it’s no wonder that yoga improves breathing and encourages oxygen flow and thus improves oxygen levels in your body. When you practice yoga you will have fewer breathing interruptions due to sleep apnea.
There are so many unwanted consequences of sleep apnea that can cause problems in our everyday lives – from headaches to an increased risk of heart conditions and blood pressure. And if any of these home treatments can help you reduce the symptoms or lower the interruption periods during sleep then that’s already a step towards a better and healthier life and it’s worth giving them a try.
Jasmine Anderson is a lifestyle blogger based in Australia. She is an incurable daydreamer, who finds inspiration in little, everyday moments. Spending time at her cozy home office with her two cats, writing her blog, is her favorite thing in the world.
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