Sleep Apnea Causes, Symptoms, Tips for Treating Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea occurs when airflow to the lungs is wholly interrupted for at least 10 seconds. The most common cause of this pause in breathing during sleep is partial or complete blockage of the flow of breathable air due to relaxation of the muscles of the tongue and throat. This makes your sleep lighter, and you cannot sleep deeply, which is necessary for restoring the body.
In addition, it can cause several adverse effects such as low energy consumption, reduced productivity, and decreased mental perception during the day. Untreated sleep apnea can lead to daytime sleepiness and slow reflexes.
All of this can increase the risk of accidents, and it can also increase the risk of developing diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, and heart disease. The harmful effects of sleep apnea are not only limited to your physical health, but due to its repercussions on the quality and health of sleep, it also affects social relationships and productivity.
Causes of Sleep Apnea
The causes of sleep apnea are varied; some of them are:
- Airway Obstruction
- They have a shorter lower jaw than the upper jaw
- Narrowing of the nose, throat, or mouth
- Lack of communication between the brain and respiratory muscles
- Large tonsils or adenoids can block the airway
- Age: occurs most often in people over 60 years of age
- Male gender
- thick neck
- Heart disease
- Family history
- Increased predisposition in smokers
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Snoring is the most visible manifestation that alerts the patient to the possibility of sleep apnea. People with the disease often start snoring very loudly after falling asleep.
The snoring is interrupted during silence while the patient suffers from apnea. This period of silence is followed by snoring with gasping for breath as the patient tries to breathe again.
About 20% of adults have developed sleep apnea but do not recognize its symptoms and causes; if you have any of these symptoms, you may be suffering from this disease:
- Restless Sleep
- Chronic fatigue, respiratory and cardiovascular failure
- Memory loss, lack of concentration
- Gastroesophageal reflux
- enlarged tonsils
- Waking up often with a dry mouth and headache
- Increased anxiety and depression
Tips for Treating Sleep Apnea
If you think you may be suffering from sleep apnea and wake up feeling tired and irritable, we suggest some natural remedies to treat this problem.
1. Changes in Sleep Habits
Research shows us that snoring usually occurs when we sleep on our backs. Therefore, experts always recommend sleeping on your side, neither your back nor your stomach. To control this while we sleep, we can make a small ball of socks, the size of a fist, and put it on the bed on our back so that if we change position during the night, we feel uncomfortable and can return to the correct place. It can also be helpful to raise the foot of the bed to 10 cm.
2. Avoid Alcohol Consumption
Alcohol and cigarettes are principal reasons for the development of sleep apnea. Alcohol and some tranquillizing medications can attack the central nervous system, leading to relaxation of the diaphragm and jaw muscles, increasing the chance of snoring.
Therefore, the first thing we must do as a preventive measure is limit the consumption of these harmful products.
3. Lose Weight
Another major cause of sleep apnea is obesity or being overweight. When this condition occurs, it becomes more difficult to breathe since there is an excess of fat pressure in the airways, which causes the soft tissues to begin to move, and noise originates. To solve this problem, and many others that can affect our health, it is better to eat a diet and exercise to reach our ideal weight.
Regular exercise helps us lose weight and releases pent-up tension that will help us sleep every night without resorting to pills.
Sleep Apnea Home Treatment
1. Gargle with Herbs
You can use a combination of herbs like sage, mint and lavender to gargle with the infusion of these herbs, and then you should have a cup of the drink. Gargling has the benefit of helping treat snoring and thus indirectly helps prevent sleep apnea, while the glass itself enables you to relax and get deeper sleep.
Lavender is one of the best home remedies to help relieve symptoms caused by sleep apnea. This is due to its calming and soothing action and its relaxing properties, which facilitate air passage through the respiratory tract.
Add a few drops of lavender essential oil to a bowl of hot water and inhale the steam. Do it every night, thirty minutes before bed, for at least fifteen minutes.
Mint is an excellent plant that relieves airway obstructions thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, which improve breathing during sleep. Also, mint helps reduce snoring.
Put a few drops of peppermint oil in a glass of water and gargle with it. Repeat this treatment every day before sleeping. It is also advisable to drink a cup of this plant at night.
4. Turmeric and Milk
The combination of hot milk and turmeric is a perfect option to relieve sleep apnea symptoms. This is because cow’s milk is rich in amino acids like tryptophan, promoting sleep and relaxation and thus improving breathing.
On the other hand, turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties, which help reduce inflammation in the airways, resulting in an ideal combination for a good night’s sleep.
Add a teaspoon of turmeric powder to a glass of milk, bring it to the fire and let it heat for a few minutes over low heat. Remove from heat, add a teaspoon of honey and let it heat up. Drink every day, half an hour before bed.
Cinnamon has soothing properties that help you sleep better and thus relieve breathing problems associated with sleep apnea. To use:
- Add a tablespoon of cinnamon and a tablespoon of grated ginger to a glass of boiling water.
- Let it rest for a few minutes.
- Strain and add a tablespoon of honey.
- Drink a cup of this every day before going to bed.
These natural remedies for sleep apnea can help treat the problem, but they should never take the place of a medical appointment.
Your doctor may indicate other treatments and possible contraindications or incompatibilities for any mentioned remedies. This will allow you to sleep better and also enjoy the benefits of good rest and healthy sleep.