Alternative Treatments to Reduce Sleep Apnea Symptoms
In this day and age, it is of the utmost importance that we get the best night’s sleep. Most of our days are filled with work, stress, and worry, so we need all the rest that we can get during the night. Sometimes, no matter how hard we try, we overthink and just can’t fall asleep. In this case, certain changes in the bedroom can help improve our sleep but it’s not always that easy.
Those who suffer from sleep apnea know how difficult it can be to get a good night’s rest. You might even have sleep apnea without knowing it because it’s hard to diagnose, especially if you sleep by yourself. You may be wondering why you feel tired in the morning. The reason why people with sleep apnea can’t rest properly is that it disrupts your sleep by interrupting your breathing multiple times during the night. You may be waking up choking and not remember anything in the morning.
Some of the symptoms are loud snoring, gasping, sore throat and dry mouth when you wake up, sleepiness, not being able to concentrate, etc. This condition can be controlled with CPAP machines but there are some home remedies for sleep apnea that you can try as well.
Essential Oils as a Natural Solution for Relieving Symptoms
Essential oils, which have been around for centuries, are known to relieve certain health conditions. They are most commonly used in aromatherapy, which is based on the fact that aromas affect us and can help in treating different health problems. For this reason, essential oils are used as an effective sleep apnea home treatment to reduce milder symptoms.
They’re an easy and safe solution to try if you struggle with sleep apnea. Bear in mind though that some people might be allergic to certain substances, so you always want to do a skin test before introducing new products. Take the essential oil of your choice, dilute it, and apply a small amount of it to your arm. Wait 24 hours to see if there will be any reaction. If not, you can proceed with their use.
Besides using a single essential oil, there are essential oil blends that contain several different plant oils that are helpful in improving sleep. Take a look at some of the most beneficial essential oils for sleep apnea.
- Lavender – This is probably the most commonly used oil for different sleep-related problems because it has calming properties that relax the body and mind;
- Marjoram – It’s used for its sedative properties that help ease sleep apnea and fall asleep faster;
- Peppermint – This essential oil is especially helpful for nasal congestion because it relieves inflammation and irritation;
- Eucalyptus – It clears up the airways by breaking up mucus in the nose and throat, which aids breathing;
- Thyme – It’s part of the essential oils for snoring because it’s effective in treating respiratory conditions and reducing snoring in some people.
Healthy Lifestyle and Weight Loss for Treating Sleep Apnea
Since weight is a risk factor and the reason for sleep apnea in some people, maintaining a healthy weight can relieve the symptoms. In some cases, it can be completely eliminated but may return with regaining weight.
We all know that exercising keeps us healthy and it’s necessary for losing weight. Even if weight isn’t the cause of your sleep apnea, exercising can help treat this condition. By simply doing yoga, the oxygen levels can be improved and you may experience fewer sleep interruptions.
You need to maintain a healthy lifestyle and avoid alcohol, smoking, and certain sedative medications. These can worsen the condition because they cause inflammation or swelling in the airways, which leads to increased sleep apnea episodes during the night.
Find the Right Sleeping Position for a Good Night’s Sleep
Many people prefer to sleep on their back but what they might not know is that this sleeping position should be avoided if you suffer from sleep apnea. Changing the position in which you sleep is another sleep apnea home treatment that you can try for alleviating the symptoms.
Sleeping on your sides or the belly keeps your tongue from blocking the airway. This means that you’ll be able to breathe easily and not snore or wake up choking. Since many people find it hard to sleep on the stomach, there are special pillows that are thinner and specifically made for this purpose. This can help better support your upper body and not wake up with a stiff neck. You may experience relief by sleeping on your back but in an elevated position. You can get an adjustable bed that will keep your upper body in a raised position or a pillow that will raise your head as much as possible. Experiment with different positions to find what works best for you.
Oral Appliances and Throat and Mouth Exercises
There are oral appliances that can serve as sleep apnea remedies. You should consult with your doctor to see if this is the best solution for you. The device needs to be made by a dentist who will also give you further instructions on how to use it.
This device can be a mandibular advancement device that’s similar to mouth guards. It attaches to your dental arches and advances the lower jaw forward. Another option is a tongue retaining device that keeps the tongue in place and prevents it to block the airway, which is the reason why you snore. Some people experience bite changes, pain, and excessive drooling when wearing an oral appliance but the dentist may be able to fix the problem. It’s worth trying if you can’t get used to a CPAP machine.
Since weak airway muscles, breathing through your mouth or poor tongue position can be the reasons for sleep apnea, strengthening these muscles can help relieve the condition. You will exercise those muscles so they can tone up, just like you do any other muscle in your body. It will take more time in order to see any results and it may not work for everyone, but it will save you a lot of trouble in the future if it does.