Sleep apnea is a far more serious condition than most people realize. If you have it your breathing will pause for a short while and the flow of oxygen will be disrupted – which can lead to poor immune function, mental health issues, memory loss, and a higher risk of heart failure.
Suffice to say sleep apnea should not be taken lightly, and you should definitely visit a doctor to get it diagnosed and treated. However in addition to that there are also several easy yet effective home remedies that you could try:
- Get a humidifier
A humidifier is essentially a device that will add moisture to the air so that it isn’t as dry. That can help your respiratory system by decreasing congestion and opening up your airways so that you can breathe more easily.
It should be noted that if you do use a humidifier you should follow its instructions carefully and keep it well-maintained. If you don’t it could become a source of mold and bacteria, which will make your sleep apnea worse and cause other issues too.
- Try to maintain a healthy weight
Dropping a few pounds and ensuring that your weight is healthy can have a big impact on sleep apnea. In some cases it may be all that it takes to eliminate it almost completely and make surgery and other treatment unnecessary.
Keep in mind that once you reach a healthy weight you need to maintain it. If you start to gain weight in the future it is possible that the sleep apnea will recur or get worse in the long term.
- Avoid tobacco and alcohol
If you’re willing to embrace a few lifestyle changes, you should be able to have much better sleeping habits. In particular the two that you should try out are avoiding tobacco and alcohol.
Both tobacco and alcohol can directly cause an inflammation in your airways that affects the airflow. That in turn will lead to both snoring and sleep apnea – which is why avoiding them is important if you are already prone to it.
- Adjust your sleeping position
Sometimes a small change in your sleeping position can make a big difference. That is especially true if you normally sleep on your back – which has been shown to block airways.
While there are lots of sleeping positions that you can try, as a start you may want to stick to something simple and sleep on your side. It may help to also prop your head up slightly when you sleep or elevate it from the waist up.
- Exercise regularly
In addition to helping you to lose weight (which should help your sleep apnea), exercising regularly can encourage oxygen flow and improve your respiratory system.
Aside from cardiovascular exercise such as brisk walks, cycling, or jogging – breathing exercises and yoga can help too. If you are able to exercise daily, it should improve your sleep by leaps and bounds.
It should be noted that these remedies should not take precedence over visiting a doctor and coming up with a medical treatment plan. In some cases your sleep apnea may be part of a larger issue, and for instance you may require low testosterone treatment and sleep apnea treatment as well.
Simply put medical treatment should be your first priority, but at the same time you should also try out the remedies listed above. Although they are perfectly safe it would be best if you ask your doctor before you try out any home remedies – just to make sure that it won’t interfere with their plans.
Also Read: How Sleep Apnea Can Cause Depression