Natural Remedies for Sleep Apnea

by Tiffany Silverberg
Sleeping on your stomach can cause sleep apnea.

Sleeping on your stomach can cause sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea is a condition in which a patient stops breathing momentarily while sleeping. Once his brain notices the lack of oxygen, it wakes him up to grab some air. This cycle leads to restless sleep, a lack of oxygen and stress on the heart. Consult your doctor to see if intervention is necessary. Meanwhile, make some basic changes throughout your night and day to ensure more restful sleep.

Diet

While there is no magic cure food for sleep apnea, you might want to eliminate or limit certain foods in your diet. Keep a journal of foods that tend to cause excess mucus in your nose and throat. Such foods may include bananas. Remove these foods from your diet or limit them to the early morning. Drink tea and other warm liquids that will help you wash down any excess mucus.

Weight

Those who are overweight are more likely to suffer from sleep apnea. Change your diet to one of lean meats, lots of fruits and vegetables and while grains. Limit your fats to healthy ones, such as those found in olive oil and fish oils. Start yourself on an exercise routine. The exercise will help you shed any excess fat, as well as tire you out for the day and help you sleep more soundly.

Obstructions

Sleep apnea may occur for a variety of reasons, but obstructions in the back of the throat and nose are a common source. In addition to keeping your throat and nose clear of mucus, you can help the tissue back there stay small and out of the way. A salt water gargle helps eliminate any swelling in the tissue.

Positions

The way you sleep can play a role in your sleep apnea as well. Don't sleep on your back, as tissue can fall down and close your airway, nor on your stomach, as your neck will be strained. Roll over to your side where you will do the best breathing. Prop your bed up a few inches at the head to open the airways a bit. Use a supportive pillow, but not too many. The pillow should support your head without cutting off the airway.

Routine

Sometimes, changes in your sleep patterns can exacerbate sleep apnea, leading to further disruption. Maintain a regular sleeping pattern, including some relaxing activities before bed. Leave stressful projects and items at your bedroom door; make your bed a sanctuary of peace. Limit alcohol intake before bed, as that can disrupt sleep and worsen sleep apnea.

About the Author

Tiffany Silverberg has written grants and copy materials for over three years. She graduated from the University of California Berkeley with a degree in linguistics. Silverberg has conducted research regarding language development in deaf children and worked as the lead reporter at the Kingsville Record and Bishop News in Texas.

Photo Credits

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