Sleep apnea is a condition in which a person’s breathing is involuntarily interrupted or stopped while breathing. Sleep apnea can affect anyone. However, it is more prevalent in males and in females.
Sleep apnea affects 18 million Americans according to the National Sleep Foundation. It even affects children. However, sleep apnea is more prevalent in males, especially African-American and Hispanic males, than females.
Sleep apnea could be caused when your airways to your mouth, nose or throat are narrowed or blocked. It could also occur when the brain temporarily fails to send signals to your breathing muscles.
Factors that could increase your likelihood of being affected with sleep apnea include; aging, obesity, narrow throat, thick neck circumference, family history, habitual consumption of alcohol, cardiovascular diseases, nasal congestion, smoking, and use of sedatives.
Common signs and symptoms of sleep apnea include; breathing cessation while sleeping, snoring, poor sleep quality, feeling drowsy during the day, feeling of headaches when you wake up, insomnia, dry mouth, waking up and gasping for breath, and difficulty in paying attention.
It is important to note that sleep apnea, if left untreated, could lead to several health problems such as; diabetes, strokes, heart diseases, high blood pressure, and depression.
Here are some tips and good practices, to consider, if you are dealing with sleep apnea;
- Avoid eating heavy meals or consuming caffeine within 3 hours of going to bed.
- Strive to maintain regular sleep hours to help you sleep better.
- Avoid taking sedatives or consuming alcohol as they could alter the proper functioning of your brain.
- You could use a steam vaporizer or humidifier to help keep your nostrils moist while you sleep.
- Lose any excess body weight as this would reduce your throat constrictions and help you breath better.
- Drop the bad habit of smoking as this could exacerbate sleep apnea symptoms.
- You could try acupuncture along with standard treatment to help relieve you of sleep apnea symptoms.
Below are 22 natural remedies and treatments for sleep apnea;
Holy Basil is rich in antioxidants which help eliminate free radicals caused by stress. Thus, inhibiting stress induced sleep apnea. Wash and chew holy basil.
Cinnamon is a sedative that can improve sleep quality. Its antioxidant properties make it beneficial in treating respiratory issues. Add cinnamon to hot water and drink at bedtime.
Drop Bad Habits
There is an increased likelihood of having sleep apnea if you drink and smoke. Thus, drop them to increase your likelihood of relief from sleep apnea.
Gooseberry is rich in magnesium which can improve sleep quality. Gooseberry is also a decongestant that is capable of decongesting the throat. Consume gooseberry at night.
Tongue and Throat Exercises
Doing tongue and throat exercises can help by opening your airways or strengthening your throat muscles. Thus, preventing them from getting narrow. You could chew gum before bed or place your tongue between your teeth and swallow repeatedly.
Cardamom has sedative properties as well as being able to decongest the nasal cavities. Add cardamom to warm water and drink at night.
Chamomile can be taken as a tea or you can inhale its oil vapors. Chamomile improves sleep quality and provides relief from sleep apnea.
Garlic is an antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory properties that assist in opening the airways. Garlic is beneficial in reducing inflamed respiratory tissues. Add garlic to regular cooking.
Valerian root is effective in relieving stress and treating insomnia. Boil and simmer valerian root in water for 15 minutes. Strain and drink the water.
The phospholipids in banana help in keeping the throat airways open. This makes banana a good home remedy for sleep apnea.
Tryptophan, an active amino acid in almonds, increase serotonin levels in the brain. Thus, improving your sleep quality. Almond is also rich in magnesium which is beneficial for many sleep disorders.
Passionflower is a natural sleep aid. Its active constituents regulate neurotransmitters which help in sleep apnea relief.
Taking a relaxing bath in Epsom salt helps improve sleep quality. The magnesium in Epsom salt helps in the production of serotonin which helps to have a quality sleep.
Deficiency of folic acid has been linked to lack of sleep. Onion, being rich in folic acid, should be taken to improve sleep quality.
Honey has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce inflammation around the throat. thus, helping to prevent sleep apnea. Lick honey or add to tea.
Linalyl acetate, in lavender, has both sedative and anti-inflammatory properties. Thus, lavender is good for improving sleep quality and reducing swellings and inflammations in the nasal airways. Put little quantity of lavender oil on a clean handkerchief or tissue paper and inhale. You could also add a few drops of lavender oil to boiling water and inhale.
Black pepper has high expectorant qualities that make it suitable in relieving you of sleep apnea. Expectorants are basically substances that help clear secretions from the bronchi produced by diseases. Add black pepper to water and drink, preferably, before bedtime.
Ginger helps in decongesting the nasal airways making it a home remedy for relieving you of sleep apnea. Add ginger to hot water. Leave to steep for 30 minutes. Strain and drink water while its warm. You can also add ginger as a spice to your meals.
Myristicin, in nutmeg, helps promote sleep by slowing the release of stress causing enzymes. Nutmeg is also rich in magnesium which helps to improve the quality of your sleep. Add a small quantity of nutmeg to water or milk and drink at night.
Walnuts increase your melatonin levels. Melatonin is a natural sleep aid. Consume walnut at night time.
Peppermint is useful in sleep apnea relief as it is capable of nasal decongestion. Inhale peppermint oil before bedtime.
Milk and Turmeric
Tryptophan, an amino acid in milk, helps to improve sleep quality. Furthermore, amino acids in turmeric help relieve you of sleep apnea. Boil a mixture of turmeric spice and milk. Drink while it is warm.
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