Although obstructive sleep apnea has become better known in recent years, 2 to 4 percent of sufferers are not aware that they are afflicted by the disorder. As sleep apnea causes sufferers to stop breathing while they slumber, it’s obviously not a condition that can be left untreated. The best way to treat the illness is to consult with an experienced sleep specialist, but there are a few natural remedies that can also ease the symptoms of sleep apnea.
Natural Remedies for Dealing with Sleep Apnea
Alter Your Sleep Position
Altering the position in which you sleep can have a big impact on how you breathe while sleeping. If you sleep on your back and on top of several pillows, you increase your risk factor for having an apneic episode. When lying down, your tongue rolls to the back of the throat, which results in restricting your airways. Also, when propped up by pillows, your head is held at an unnatural angle that has the effect of further closing up your airway. Sleeping on your side with only a few pillows addresses all of those problems by not obstructing your airways.
Sleep apnea is a condition that is so prevalent among people who are obese, it is commonly listed as a symptom of being extremely overweight. One study found that around 20 percent individuals who developed sleep apnea after becoming obese were cured after undergoing an aggressive weight loss program. That’s not to say that weight loss can cure sleep apnea in all cases, but rather that losing weight can make symptoms of the illness less severe by putting less strain on your respiratory system.
Increase Your Vitamin Intake
Studies have found that increasing your consumption of vitamin C can reduce the physical aftereffects of sleep apnea. Vitamin D has been found to decrease, and even eliminate all symptoms of the illness in certain patients. In other cases, taking a magnesium supplement has had the effect of relaxing the body, including the muscles that regulate respiration. Before adding any vitamin and mineral supplements to your regular intake, it’s best to consult with your doctor to make sure doing so won’t have an adverse effect on your health.
Change Your Diet
Like getting more exercise, eating better can help you lose weight and consequently, breathe easier. Also, cutting tobacco and alcohol out of your diet can be helpful as both substances are known to make breathing more difficult. Smoking damages your lungs and drinking can degrade the tissue lining of your airways. You should avoid sodas, energy drinks or other caffeine-heavy beverages and foods two hours before dinner, as caffeine impairs proper restful sleep.
While all of these natural remedies may make the symptoms of sleep apnea less severe, they do constitute an effective course of treatment. The only way to properly treat the illness is to consult with a qualified and experienced sleep specialist. Over the course of his career, Dr. Shukla has helped scores of sleep apnea sufferers. Contact us today so Dr. Shukla can give you the help you need.