Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder associated with abnormal breathing during sleep. People with sleep apnea might experience breathing pauses during sleep. This will interrupt your good quality sleep at night, leading to severe health consequences. It is more common in men, but it also affects children and women. It is one of the most threatening sleeping disorders in the United States. This blog covers all information regarding sleep apnea and the best ways to cure sleep apnea naturally.
How Do I Know If I Have Sleep Apnea?
If you snore too loudly and feel tired even after 8 to 9 hours of sleep, you might have sleep apnea. You might sometimes gasp for breath during sleep. Researchers investigating sleep cannot come up with an actual cause of sleep apnea, but if you have loud snoring reported by another person and you are way out of breath during sleep, it is time to see your doctor.
Researchers may use sleep level calculations, a technique often used in studies investigating sleep patterns. As per the research, there are four levels in which sleep is tested to look for defects.
Level 1- Records brain waves, heartbeats, sleeping patterns, eye movements during sleep, etc.
Level 2 – Limb movements and oxygen flow in the body during sleep.
Level 3 – Airflow, snoring, and other measurements as required.
Level 4 – Sleep apnea screening
Three Types of Sleep Apnea
There are three types of sleep apnea – Central, Obstructive, and Complex.
Central Sleep Apnea is a type of apnea that causes narrow breathing during sleep, but it occurs due to neurological problems. It does not cause upper airway obstruction.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea – It is the most common type of sleep apnea in which the tongue falls against the soft palate making the entire breathing process difficult. This leads to loud snoring and difficulty in breathing.
Complex Sleep Apnea – Complex sleep apnea is the type of sleep apnea combined with both OSA and central sleep apnea.
Is Anxiety A Symptom of Sleep Apnea?
Yes, lack of sleep might lead to depression and anxiety. In that case, sleep apnea leads to stress and worsens it. There are other symptoms of sleep apnea. They are discussed below:
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
- Loud Snoring.
- Fatigue and day sleeping.
- Frequent interruptions during sleep and restlessness.
- Sudden gasping or choking.
- Dry mouth or sore throat.
- Cognitive impairment
- Concentration troubles.
- Mood disturbances and anxiety
- Night sweats.
- Frequent urination during the night.
- Lack of libido or sexual dysfunction.
- Frequent headaches.
If you face the above symptoms, it is best to visit your doctor. Sleep Apnea, if untreated, might lead to an increase in blood pressure, eventually leading to severe health consequences and death.
Natural Ways To Help Sleep Apnea
You can follow specific natural remedies to reduce the impact of your sleep apnea from threatening your overall health.
- Reduce your weight – Obesity is one of the prime reasons for a narrow air passage. Working towards your obesity might be one of the best things you can do to cure sleep apnea naturally.
- Change your sleeping position – Sleeping position might be one of the reasons for getting sleep apnea. Try to alter your sleep position.
- Keep your physical activities in check – Exercise regularly at least 5 times a week. You can also try yoga. Physical activities and yoga can strengthen your heart and increase your energy level, thereby reducing the impacts of your sleep apnea.
- Humidifiers – Humidifiers add moisture to the air, making the airflow in your nasal passage smooth.
- Avoid smoking – Smoking and drinking habits may worsen your sleep apnea. So, it is best to keep yourself away from smoking and drinking to reduce the impact of sleep apnea.
Breathing Exercises For Sleep Apnea
Several facial and tongue exercises may help you cure sleep apnea and better sleep. But it is the breathing that is getting interrupted. It is more important to look over your breathing exercises to improve your health and cure sleep apnea.
Alternate Nostril Breathing – This is a breathing technique in which you close one nostril and take a long breath in and breath out slowly. Now close another one and do the same. Repeat for 10 minutes before sleep to get good results.
4-7-8 Breathing – This works well to reduce anxiety and stress. This is the method where you inhale at the count of four, hold your breath till the count of seven, and exhale at the count of eight.
Foods That Help Sleep Apnea
Check if you have the below-mentioned nutrients in your diet that may pave the way to curing your sleep apnea.
- Omega-3-rich foods – Salmon, chia seeds, tuna, shrimp.
- Melatonin-rich foods – Asparagus, cherries, Broccoli, Cucumber, Grapes.
- Protein-rich foods – chicken, eggs, red meat, nuts, beans, greens, etc.
What foods should you avoid?
- Fast foods
- High-fat dairy foods like cheese, butter, etc.
How To Fall Asleep Instantly?
This is a question that is widely asked not only by sleep apnea patients but also by common people. There is a straightforward solution. Keep your routine clean. Clean in the sense, keep it digital-free at least two to three hours before sleep. Keep your phone away and shut down your laptop two hours before bedtime. If you cannot hold it two hours before, you should try to keep out all digital sources one hour before your sleep.
Follow the below steps to sleep like a baby:
- Meditate or exercise before your sleep. This will make you feel tired, eventually leading to your sleep. Avoid HIIT exercises before your bedtime. Do warm-up exercises or simply meditate.
- Wash your face with cold water before your sleep. Studies indicate washing your face before your sleep helps you get to sleep sooner than usual.
- Avoid overthinking and schedule and manage your time accordingly. Allocate 8 hours for nothing but sleep.
- Never take sleeping pills without a prescription. It will eventually make you dependent and affect your internal organs, especially kidney health.
Sleep Relaxation Techniques
If you are relaxed, there will be no intervention to a good night’s sleep. So, you can focus on reducing your stress and anxiety and relaxing a bit to have a great sleep and cure sleep apnea. Here are some sleep relaxation techniques to fall asleep instantly.
- Breath Gently – Gentle breathing for 5 to 10 minutes will be the best way to relax your mind and body. Sit comfortably and breathe in and out gently for 5 minutes. Feel your breath.
- Progressive muscle relaxation – This is also a breathing technique but it involves tensing muscles too. Tense a particular area of muscles while you breathe in and relax them while you breathe out. Start with your head muscles, then slowly progress towards arms, legs, and hip muscles.
As a bonus tip, I prefer you to try the Military sleep technique for your sleep apnea.
What is a Military sleep technique? It is a sleep technique followed by the U.S Military and other military men to sleep instantly within, say, 2 minutes.
Do you have the question – How to fall asleep like the military?
Here are the steps:
- Keep your entire face relaxed. Close your eyes for a moment.
- Lower your shoulders and hands. Allow any tension to dissipate.
- Exhale and let your chest relax. Your shoulders, legs, and arms are relaxed.
- Now take a few moments to clear your head.
- For 10 seconds, repeat the phrase “Don’t think.”
- Practice it, and you will master the military sleep technique that will help you sleep immediately, irrespective of the ambiance.
Sleep apnea is, no doubt, a threatening sleep disorder, and you should take necessary action to cure it to lead a healthy life. Follow natural remedies, take a nutritious diet, talk to your doctor often and cure sleep apnea. Have an excellent sound-less sleep.