What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a condition in which air does not pass through your respiratory system properly when you’re asleep. As a result, you do not breathe well when you’re sleeping. Consequently, you may gasp for air in your sleep and wake up tired, or with a dry mouth.
How do I know if I have sleep apnea?
If you snore too loudly, wake up exhausted with a dry mouth, tend to be too sleepy during the day or experience interrupted sleep, chances are that you may have sleep apnea.
How bad is it?
Sleep apnea can trigger mental health issues, lead to poor immune function, contribute to memory loss, and even increase your risk of heart failure, as per an article published by Healthline.
What is the traditional treatment for it?
CPAP treatment, and in some instances, even surgeries are the most common traditional treatments for sleep apnea.
If you read about CPAP therapy, you would realize that maybe not everyone could possibly tolerate the treatment. This is why some may wish to have alternative solutions to sleep apnea. The following is a list of 5 alternative sleep apnea treatment options:
1. An oral appliance
An oral appliance is the best alternative therapy for sleep apnea for those patients who cannot tolerate CPAP therapy. It works by holding the tongue in position and opening up the airway in the process. “Oral sleep apnea treatment devices prevent the airway from collapsing by holding the tongue in position or by sliding the patient's jaw forward so patients can breathe while they sleep. A sleep technologist can titrate an oral appliance fitted by a dental professional trained in sleep medicine.”
2. Proper exercises
Proper exercises can help you breathe better. Practice some breathing exercises. Since sleep apnea involves lack of oxygen in the body when it’s asleep, increasing energy levels through proper exercise increase oxygen intake and reduce sleep apnea. It is highly recommended that you practice yoga. Yoga is associated with improved breathing, increased energy, and a healthier heart.
3. Change some of your daily habits
According to an article published on helpguide.org, sleep apnea can be reduced if you do not have any heavy meals or caffeine within a couple of hours before going to bed, and even by maintaining consistent sleep hours.
Also, consider reducing smoking and drinking. They are known to cause your airways to inflame and swell up.
4. Weight loss
Maintaining a healthy weight is highly effective in getting rid of sleep apnea. Being overweight means that you have narrow air passages. This, in turn, blocks the airflow and causes you to gasp for air or snore. Keeping a healthy weight keeps the airway properly open and facilitates airflow.
5. Using humidifiers
Healthline recommends you to use humidifiers to get rid of your sleep apnea to some extent. This is because moist air facilitates breathing. “Humidifiers are devices that add moisture to the air. Dry air can irritate the body and the respiratory system. Using a humidifier can open your airways, decrease congestion, and encourage clearer breathing. For added benefits, consider adding lavender, peppermint, or eucalyptus oil to a humidifier. These three essential oils have known anti-inflammatory and soothing benefits.”
Just because you snore does not mean that you have sleep apnea. Ask someone to check if you snore too loudly or gasp for air in your sleep to find out. In some instances, sleep apnea patients do not even snore. Thus, look for the other symptoms listed earlier in the article to suspect sleep apnea. It is a disorder that can take some serious turns. Hence, if you do have sleep apnea, start the 5 alternative treatments from today itself!