Sleep Apnea is the leading cause of daytime drowsiness among adults, according to data from the National Institute of Health USA.
It is a severe sleep disorder that affects millions of people across the world. Although not fatal, research shows it can lead to conditions like heart disease and increased risk of stroke. Today we’re sharing sleep apnea symptoms, remedies, and the main causes with you.
Sleep Apnea Symptoms
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A significant percentage of people that have Sleep Apnea, may not even be aware. Consequently, it takes them many years before they get treatment. Getting the right amount of rest and the best quality sleep should be our pursuit. It is the time that our bodies rejuvenate and heal.
It is also critical to our daily performance. Lack of good sleep results in irritability, and negativity which can lead to depression.
Understanding Sleep Apnea
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As you can see from the infographic above, there are 3 major types of sleep apnea. They all have their own symptoms with obstructive sleep apnea being the most common form.
In some of the most extreme cases, people have been known to die in their sleep. This occurs during severe sleep apnea episodes.
Signs that You Have Sleep Apnea
- Pauses that tend to take place when snoring
- Choking or gasping episodes that follow the pauses when asleep
- Very dry or sore throat after waking up
- Loud snoring
- Lack of energy or sleepiness all throughout the day
- Restless sleep
- Occasional wakefulness together with a choking or gasping sensation
- Decreased interest in sex
- Mood changes
- Learning problems/inability to concentrate
- Morning headaches
11 Sleep Apnea Side Effects
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Sleep apnea involves a temporary pause in breathing when sleeping. It can last for as little as two seconds to as much as 30 seconds.
Also, breathlessness can be anywhere from a couple of times to hundreds of times while you sleep. The good news is that there are some natural remedies that you can use to deal with the condition.
#1 Adjust Sleep Position
Changing your sleep position is for some, all that is required if you are suffering sleep apnea symptoms. Sleeping on your back (which happens to be most people’s favorite) causes the tongue to fall back and the throat muscles to close up.
This action, in turn, narrows the airways, and this is what triggers apnea. However, adjusting your position and sleeping on the side, or your stomach, reduces the likelihood of the airways blocking. As a result, the probability of apnea is greatly reduced.
#2 Shed off the Excess Weight
Studies show that there exists a link between being overweight and sleep apnea. In fact, a majority of people who have this disorder are overweight.
Weight gain leads to fat accumulation on the throat, and this will affect the movement of said muscles and your breathing capabilities.
Managing your weight and portion control can be very useful when dealing with this condition.
#3 Treat Any Underlying Cause
Once you know that you have apnea, the first thing should always be to figure out the root cause. Research shows that most people with this issue have some underlying problems. This usually involves congestion and acid reflux which interfere with their normal breathing.
Nasal obstructions come with breathing difficulties through the nose. They are aggravated when you sleep. Acid reflux also means that the acid is finding a way to the throat and causing swelling or irritations. Treating these underlying conditions is very useful for dealing with apnea.
#4 Herbal Remedies
Valerian Root Tea
Valerian root has been used as a sedative for treating insomnia and sleep apnea for centuries. You can take the capsules that come in 100mg and 50mg doses, but the tea is more refreshing.
Recipe: This recipe will only require dried valerian root and water, but you can also add some honey to improve the taste. It is a simple recipe as you will only need to put one teaspoon of dried valerian in an empty mug and pour a cup of boiling water over it. You should then steep for between five and ten minutes prior to drinking.
Ginger, Cinnamon and Honey Tea
Ginger and cinnamon also are known to have sedative properties. If you suspect you are suffering from sleep apnea try this excellent tea at bedtime.
Recipe: To make this tea you will need fresh ginger and cinnamon and a couple of teaspoons of honey. You will have to grate the fresh ginger and cinnamon and add them to a mug of hot water. Be sure that you let the mixture to steep for a few minutes. The last thing is sieving the tea into a cup and adding the honey.
Passionflower is a common herb that is famous for offering relief from pain and triggering a calming effect. For sleep apnea, it is useful because it has a relaxing effect on the nervous system and this can help to keep the airways open as you sleep.
Recipe: You will need about 8 ounces of water and a teaspoon of dry passionflower leaves (use a tablespoon for fresh ones). Boil the water and put the passionflower in a muslin bag and add it to the water. Leave it to steep for ten minutes, and it will be ready to drink.
It is also a good idea to mix it with lemon balm which also has some elements that can help with apnea. You will need to adjust the ingredients and use three-quarters of a spoon for passionflower with the lemon balm making the other quarter.
Chamomile is another herb that you can use as a remedy for sleep apnea. Chamomile has excellent sleepy properties and is also a relaxant. This herb increases calmness and alleviates nervousness which is a common issue associated with this disorder.
Recipe: You will need eight ounces of water if you are making tea for one person and two tablespoons of dried chamomile or four spoons if you prefer the fresh flowers. To make the tea you should boil the water and add in the flowers.
The next step is to stir the flowers and then cover the beverage before leaving it to steep. Five minutes is enough steeping time, but you can decrease or increase it depending on the tea strength that you want. Lastly, place a sieve on your cup and pour in the chamomile tea.
Sleep apnea comes with significant negative health implications, but you should never let it affect your way of life. If you know or suspect that you might have a problem, it is important to take some action immediately.
The bedtime herbal teas above are a good starting point and visit a health professional that is proficient with this condition.