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Thursday, November 28, 2013

Sleep Apnea – Symptoms, Causes And Natural Remedies

Sleep Apnea
Many of us do not think much about our bed partner who snores. If the snoring is loud enough to disrupt our sleeping, one does not stop to think that it might be a sign of sleep apnea in our partner’s health. While sleep apnea is treated by the right precautions and treatments, it is often not recognized for which one could develop further health complications. Those who snore loudly are suspected to suffer from this disorder which leads to the breathing being disrupted several times during sleep.

Causes Of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea can develop in children, young or old people as well as male or female. There are many risk factors that are linked to the obstructive or central sleep apnea symptoms:

•    Excess body weight can lead to such a condition developing
•    Hereditary linkage to someone who suffered from sleep apnea raises the risk of someone developing the condition
•    People over the age of 65 have higher risk of developing such conditions
•    Males have a higher risk genetically of developing sleep apnea
•    Blacks or Hispanics have chances of developing such a condition among the different races
•    If someone has the habit of smoking, one could easily develop sleep apnea
•    Certain physical attributes increase the likelihood of having the ailment like receding chin, enlarged tonsils, thick neck, deviated septum an others
•    In such cases the airway is usually blocked out or narrowed

Symptoms Of Sleep Apnea

There are some symptoms of sleep apnea that indicate that one is suffering from such a condition for which they are having disturbed or fitful sleep:

•    Those who suffer from sleep apnea usually snore loudly and their snoring is chronic. It will occur all the time. it is a ritual that is repeated every night and most bed partners get used to the noise
•    One could snort, gasp as well a choke in their sleep. That is a dangerous thing for which treatment or intervention has to be taken up
•    Another common symptom of sleep apnea is the pause in breathing. That puts pressure on the heart which can lead to serious complications
•    No matter how much time one spends sleeping at night, one is bound to feel tired during the day and feel sleepy as well
•    Waking up with a sore throat
•    Fitful or restless sleep
•    Visiting the bathroom frequently at night
•    Feeling out of breath upon waking up
•    Depression, irritability and mood swings
[Also Read: Say Good Bye To Snoring]

Home Remedies for Sleep Apnea

While one may think that the symptoms and the signs of sleep apnea are scary, it is a condition that is treatable. There are many things that one can do in order to help themselves. Those who suffer from mild or moderate forms of the ailment can opt for certain home remedies. These mainly include making certain changes in the lifestyle in order to reduce the symptoms of sleep apnea.

1. Lose The Excess Fat

One needs to reduce the fat content in their body

• When fat content is reduced, the airways open up and the blockages are removed due to which sleep apnea symptoms go down
• It has been seen that excess body fat has a direct correlation to the sleep apnea symptoms

2. Reducing Weight

Taking up positive steps to reduce excess body weight will surely improve the condition. Reducing body weight can be achieved through:

• balanced approach of eating a healthy diet
• doing exercises and
• making certain lifestyle changes

3. Quitting The Habit Of Smoking

It is believed that sleep apnea is caused or aggravated when one is into smoking. Usually the air passageways are inflamed or blocked due to which the condition occurs.

• Smoking is known to increase the fluid retention in the throat as well as increases the inflammations in the air passageways
• If one gives up the habit of smoking, they will help to reduce the inflammation and reduce chances of fluid retention in the air passageways

4. Avoiding Alcohol

• Alcohol is known to relax the muscles in the throat along with other muscles of the body
• That is what interferes with the regular breathing in a person who is inflicted with the sleep apnea condition
• It is advised that alcohol be avoided before bedtime by such people. It would aggravate the sleep apnea condition

5. Avoiding Sedatives Or Sleeping Pills

• Sleeping pills or sedatives are known to have similar effect on the muscles of the body as alcohol does
• These lead to the throat muscles relaxing which can interfere with the opening up of the passageways
• That in turn will lead to sleep apnea condition getting aggravated.
• It is best to avoid taking pills or medication to sleep. If one has trouble sleeping, they should resort to natural relation techniques.

6. Caffeine To Be Avoided Before Bedtime

• Caffeine may have the opposite effect on the body as alcohol but it is harmful for those who suffer from sleep apnea condition
• If you are aware of someone who is suffering from sleep apnea symptoms, advise them to not drink coffee before sleeping

7. Heavy Meal To Be Avoided

• It is advisable that one does not consume large meals immediately before bedtime
• Meal timings should be kept at least two hours prior to going to sleep
• That would ensure that the digestive process does not interfere with the regular breathing and allows one to sleep peacefully

8. Maintaining Proper Sleeping Hours

• When one is suffering from sleep apnea, it is imperative that proper sleeping hours be maintained
• When one gets plenty of sleep the apnea symptoms go own
• If one sticks to a steady sleep schedule that will ensure that the body gets adequate rest
• Avoid caffeine and heavy meals within two hours of going to bed.
• Maintain regular sleep hours. Sticking to a steady sleep schedule will help you relax and sleep better.

Apnea episodes decrease when you get plenty of sleep.

9. Sleeping Position

• It is best that one sleeps on their side if they are prone to sleep apnea
• One needs to avoid sleeping on their back
• Gravity makes the tongue and the soft tissues to drop down and obstruct the air passages if one roles onto their back
Sleep Apnea1

10. Opting For The Tennis Ball Trick

• In order to avoid falling back or rolling back on one’s back while sleeping one can sew a tennis ball into a pocket which could then be attached to the back of one’s pajama top.
• That will keep one from rolling back to one’s back
• A pillow could be stuffed with tennis balls and wedged onto one’s back

11. Keeping The Head Up

• it is known that keeping the head up while sleeping allows the air to go in and out more easily
• For those who are prone to sleep apnea it is necessary to keep their head propped up.
• The head of the bed could also be kept elevated by four or six inches
• A special cervical pillow could also be used to prop up one’s head

12. Opening Up The Nasal Passages Before Sleeping

• It is a good idea to use a nasal dilator to open up the passages before sleeping at night
• One could even use a saline spray or a saline wash process
• A warm bath would also open up the air passages and help one to sleep better
• Prop your head up. Elevate the head of your bed by four to six inches or elevate your body from the waist up by using a foam wedge. You can also use a special cervical pillow.

13. Throat Exercises To Help Reduce Sleep Apnea Symptoms

Practicing different kinds of that exercises not only strengthens the lungs and the throat muscles, the air passages are kept open much more.

• As the muscles strengthen which surround the air passages they are likely to hold up and not collapse
• Pressing the tongue flat against the floor of the mouth and then brushing up and down with a toothbrush is an effective exercise.

14. Finger In The Cheek

• A simple exercise to help reduce sleep apnea is placing a finger into one side of the mouth.
• The finger is held against the cheek and the cheek muscles are pulled in at the same time.
• It needs to be repeated for ten times on alternate sides
• The same sequence should be repeated three times for each side

15. The Kissing Exercise

• One needs to purse their lips as if they are about to kiss.
• The lips need to be held tightly and then moved up and down and right and left.
• The sequence should be done ten times

16. The Balloon Exercise

• By placing the lips on a balloon one should try to inflate the balloon as much as possible and repeat it without removing the balloon from the mouth

17. Trying Out Relaxation Techniques

• Soft, soothing music will help one to relax and fall asleep
• It will help to regulate the sleeping pattern

18. Trying Deep Breathing Techniques

• Deep breathing and regulating one’s breathing through numerous exercises will help one to control their symptoms

Are you suffering from sleep apnea? Do you feel that you have no solution at hand? There are many effective remedies at home that can address this condition.