Have you been told that you snore very loudly? Do you wake up with a terrible headache in the morning? Does it feel like you are not refreshed even after enjoying a long sleep? Are you having a hard time concentrating? Do you have mood swings and depression?
If you answered “yes” to several of the questions above, you may be suffering from sleep apnea — a common disorder that affects the functioning of your respiratory system during sleep. It’s something that can keep you from having deep sleep which is vital for the utmost restoration of your body. If left untreated, sleep apnea can have all sorts of negative effect on your health, such as increased risk of having obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
What happens at night when you are suffering from sleep apnea is this: your airway collapses while you are sleeping, causing you to have one or more shallow breaths or pauses in breathing, which can last from 15 to 20 seconds, sometimes longer. Because of this, you tend to wake up several times during sleep — oftentimes without your awareness. This is the reason why someone with sleep apnea may fail to have a refreshing sleep.
There are different treatments available for sleep apnea these days. For instance, there are machines such as continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) and variable positive airway pressure (VPAP) that prevent your airway from collapsing while you are sleeping. Then there are also numerous types of oral appliances available for sleep apnea sufferers.
Aside from the use of machines and oral appliances mentioned above, you may also opt for some home and lifestyle remedies for sleep apnea. Here are some of the things that you may try:
Eliminate Excess Pounds
It is said that even a slight reduction in weight is good enough to relieve the constriction of your throat during sleep. Just make sure that you keep those lost pounds from coming back because your sleep apnea may easily strike again.
Have Your Regular Dose of Exercise
Exercising helps you lose unwanted weight. But did you know that it’s something that can ease sleep apnea even with the absence of weight loss? That’s because exercising regularly helps in strengthening your respiratory system.
Quit Cigarette Smoking
Smoking is a habit that sleep apnea sufferers should abandon. Cigarette smoke irritates the airway and this causes the production of excessive amounts of mucus.
Ditch Alcohol and Sleeping Pills
If you think that alcohol and sleeping pills is good for your sleep disorder, think again. Taking them before you go to sleep causes the muscles in the back of your throat to relax, making your sleep apnea worse.
Sleep on Your Side
Refrain from sleeping on your back because this position can cause your soft palate and tongue to block the airway. What you should do instead is sleep on your side or even on your stomach.
Drink Warm Water with Honey
Many swear by the effectiveness of taking a glass of warm water with 1 tablespoon of raw honey before bedtime. Honey has anti-inflammatory properties that help keep the airway open. Also, it promotes a good night’s sleep.
Swallow 2 to 3 Cloves of Garlic
Just like honey, garlic has superb anti-inflammatory properties. All you have to do is swallow 2 to 3 cloves of the herb during the day, followed with a glass of water. You may also add lots of garlic to your diet.
Have Chamomile Tea
Chamomile tea is beneficial for someone with sleep apnea for a couple of reasons. First, the healthy beverage helps promote sleep. Second, it has anti-inflammatory properties so it helps keep the airway open.
Inhale Steam Before Sleeping
Fill a small basin with hot water. Place your face a few inches over it, drape a towel over your head and inhale the steam. Adding a few drops of lavender essential oil to the hot water is also a wonderful idea.