Sleep apnea is a disorder that can cause people to stop breathing for 10 to 30 seconds during sleep. These short stops can happen up to 100 times at night. If you have sleep apnea, these periods can disrupt sleep quality, even when you don’t fully wake up.
CPAP, surgery and oral appliances are proven to help with sleep apnea. There are also effective home remedies to try for reduced risk and increased relief.
1. Watch Weight
People with sleep apnea who also carry excess body weight are recommended to stay healthy because extra fat around the neck can compromise breathing and aggravate sleep apnea attacks.
Keeping a healthy weight can clear your airways, reduce underlying symptoms, and eliminate the need for long-term CPAP therapy and surgery.
You can do this by becoming physically active for at least 30 minutes every day, controlling your intake of fast and processed foods, and minimizing sugary beverages.
2. Change Sleep Position
Consider a small change in your sleep position to reduce symptoms and have a better night’s rest. Sleeping on your back can worsen the symptoms. Try sleeping on your side to effectively reduce sleep apnea.
In addition, it can enhance blood flow while minimizing occurrences of airway obstructions, reducing the number of apnea attacks at night. Not only can side sleeping alleviate apnea, but it can also help with insomnia, gastroesophageal reflux and keeping the spine’s proper alignment.
3. Use an Air Humidifier
CPAP air humidifiers replace the nasal airway’s moisture and maintain adequate humidity and warmth. Also, using one with a CPAP machine can retain more air moisture, resulting in improved sleep apnea symptoms and more comfort.
You can add eucalyptus, lavender, or peppermint oil to the humidifier for more benefits, as these three oils have soothing and anti-inflammatory properties. Note that they can harbor bacteria and mold, so clean regularly.
Regular exercise can increase a person’s energy level, improve sleep apnea, and strengthen your core. Although it’s not a direct treatment, yoga breathing can help by strengthening, opening and toning the upper airway muscles.
5. Healthy Lifestyle
Aside from losing weight, there are other changes to reduce sleep apnea symptoms. These include refraining from drinking alcohol and smoking because drinking alcohol can lead to throat relaxation and increase snoring, while smoking can swell the upper airways.
Snoring is often a sign of sleep apnea, which can be dangerous if left untreated. Addressing and working to combat it can help reduce risks associated with it.
If you’re looking for a way to reduce the risks associated with sleep apnea, contact Dr. Samuel Cress, DDS to improve your quality of life with proper care and treatment today.