Sleep apnea is a serious condition that should be treated per the recommendation of your Omaha sleep dentist, it doesn’t hurt to try out some home remedies in conjunction with your oral appliance or CPAP. These home remedies may reduce the severity of sleep apnea and can be complementary to oral appliance or an alternative to CPAP treatment. These easy home remedies can benefit your health for more than just sleep apnea.
1. Maintain a Healthy Weight
One of the top causes of sleep apnea is being overweight. If you are overweight, we recommend that you lose weight until you’re in a healthy range. When you are overweight, this can increase the possibility of narrow airway passages and airway obstruction which result in sleep apnea.
Studies have found that losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight can eliminate or reduce sleep apnea symptoms. Successful patients will no longer need a CPAP or oral appliance as long as they maintain their new healthy weight.
However, losing weight is often easier said than done if you have sleep apnea.
2. Practice Yoga and Regular Exercise
Not only can regular exercise strengthen your heart and elevate your energy level, but it can also help improve sleep apnea. Yoga more specifically can help improve your respiratory strength and even encourage better oxygen flow.
Decreased oxygen in the blood is associated with sleep apnea and yoga can help with that. Yoga can actually help improve your oxygen levels in your blood simply through breathing exercises. As a result, you will experience fewer sleep interruptions.
Again, sleep apnea can make this challenging. It can diminish your energy, and can reduce your body’s ability to take in and use oxygen, which makes it hard to establish and maintain a regular exercise schedule.
3. Sleep on Your Side
If you’ve been known to sleep on your back, simply turning over to your side can completely eliminate sleep apnea. In 2006, a study showed that more than half of those with obstructive sleep apnea are dependent on their sleeping position.
So what’s wrong with sleeping on your back? Sleeping on your back, also known as supine position, can block your airways which increases snoring. While sleeping on your back tends to worsen sleep apnea for adults, a study found that it actually helps children with sleep apnea better.
It’s best to discuss which sleeping position is ideal for you with our Omaha sleep dentist.
4. Humidify Your Home
There’s nothing worse for your sleep than dry air. Using a humidifier in your home will put moisture in the air which will decongest you, open your airways and even encourage clearer breathing. If you would like to add more benefits to your humidifier, add in peppermint, eucalyptus, or lavender oil to the humidifier for soothing and anti-inflammatory benefits.
5. Avoid Smoking and Alcohol
Making lifestyle changes can really make an impact on your health as well as your sleep apnea. By simply quitting smoking, you can reduce your symptoms of sleep apnea. Tobacco actually causes swelling and inflammation in the airways.
In addition to quitting smoking, you should also limit your intake of alcohol. Alcohol can relax the muscles in your throat that maintain your airway. When you drink, it can cause snoring and also interrupt your sleep cycle. Just like smoking, alcohol can also lead to inflammation in the airways that will block your airflow.
With that said, we encourage our patients to quit smoking and limit the amount of alcohol they consume. It’s also important to avoid consuming alcohol too close to bedtime. Not only will this help out their sleep apnea condition, but it will benefit their overall health.
Get Sleep Apnea Treatment
While these natural home remedies are a good solution, they shouldn’t be your only solution for treating your sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a potentially deadly condition, and postponing treatment while you try home remedies can lead to serious complications. It’s best to be tested for sleep apnea to determine the severity of your condition. Home remedies are ideal for simple snoring or mild sleep apnea. But for moderate or severe sleep apnea, professional treatment is necessary.
If you’re ready to stop snoring for good and wake up feeling rested, give our sleep dentist at the Advanced Dental Sleep Treatment Center in Omaha a call at (402) 493-4175 to schedule an appointment.