Do you believe the only way to live with sleep apnea is to use a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine?
If you said “yes”, you’re in for a treat.
Because there’s definitely a sleep apnea treatment that you haven’t heard of that can CURE your sleep apnea (so you can throw away your CPAP for good!)
And in this article we cover ALL of those treatments – all 46 of them!
No matter what the severity or cause of your sleep apnea, you’ll find a treatment in this article that meets your needs.
Let's jump in!
1. HOME REMEDIES FOR SLEEP APNEA
No one likes being dependent on equipment that must be used every night, and that can be noisy, confining, uncomfortable, and (close your ears) a downer on your sex life!
This section shows you the natural treatments for sleep apnea that don't involve any equipment like CPAP or an oral appliance.
• Mouth and Throat Exercises
Mouth and throat exercises for sleep apnea strengthen the muscles in a part of your body called the “oropharynx”. This is the part of your body that includes the tongue, upper throat and mouth and helps you to talk, eat and breathe.
Sleep specialists use mouth and throat exercises (also called “orofacial” or “oropharyngeal” exercises) to correct breathing disorders during sleep. Dentists and orthodontists use these exercises to strengthen the muscles in the mouth and throat, and to correct problems with alignment.
Best of all? These exercises are:
- risk free, and
- have been proven in scientific trials to cure (or significantly reduce) sleep apnea!
Learn More About Mouth & Throat Exercises:
• Singing Therapy
One of the new treatments for sleep apnea is singing therapy. The main purpose of this therapy is to strengthen your vocal chords and the breathing muscles in your mouth, throat and nose. If these muscles are weak, they can involuntarily block your airway passage.
One exercise is to put your tongue against the hard palate and say the vowels as forcefully as possible. Another exercise is to sing loudly for 20 minutes each day; in the shower if you want privacy. Stronger breathing muscles mean more oxygen in your airways and that means less sleep apnea incidents.
Learn More About Singing Therapy:
• Didgeridoo Therapy
An article published in the British Medical Journal reported that playing the didgeridoo is an effective therapy for moderate OSA. The circular breathing style used helps improve upper airway muscular strength to lessen OSA incidents and reduce daytime sleepiness due to lack of quality nighttime sleep.
The technique involves breathing in through your nose while breathing out through your mouth using your tongue and cheeks. Your vibrating lips produce the droning beat particular to the didgeridoo. Regular playing of this instrument helps to reduce snoring and your nightly sleep disorder episodes.
• Positional Sleeping Therapy
If you have mild sleep apnea, the National Institutes of Health recommend that you sleep on your side and not on your back. Sleeping on your back adds pressure on your airway. Sleeping on your side will help to keep your throat open and that will make it easier for you to breath.
If you are constantly tossing and turning in bed, trying to find a more comfortable position for breathing, you can use a special sleep shirt that will help you remain on your side. You can sew a few small rubber balls or tennis balls in the back portion of the shirt and these will keep you from sleeping on your back.
Learn More About Positional Sleeping Therapy:
• Herbal Treatments
Herbal treatments for sleep apnea are more cost effective, safer, less invasive, and healthier than artificial or chemical treatments. One soothing herb is lavender. You can spray a mist on your bed sheets, drink it as a tea, or use the oil on your skin. California Poppy is used as a tincture or powder.
Herbal teas have been used for generations to promote natural, quality sleep. Five of the most popular teas used to help with sleep apnea symptoms are:
- Sleepy Time tea,
- Chamomile tea,
- Hops tea,
- Catnip tea, and
- Valerian tea.
If you like sweet tea, you can add a teaspoon of honey.
Learn More About Herbal Treatments:
• Yoga Breathing Exercises
The beauty of yoga is its ability to relax your body and improve your breathing, all at the same time. When you practice the Pranayama technique, you increase your lung capacity and the amount of oxygen in your body. More oxygen means less sleep disturbance and snoring.
Yoga breathing exercises also use visualization imaging for relaxation. To maintain the benefits of yoga breathing exercises, you need to do them nightly before going to bed. After a few weeks, you’ll wonder how you managed to breathe properly without these exercises.
Learn More About Yoga Breathing Exercises:
• Sleep Hygiene
Sleep hygiene techniques, just like personal hygiene techniques, only work when you follow the routine day-in and day-out. Good sleeping hygiene is a major factor in helping to control sleep apnea disorders. Two areas that can help in this control are the height of your pillow and the elevation of your mattress.
You can help reduce the pressure on your breathing muscles by inclining your mattress. You can add a few thick books or blankets under the head portion of the mattress. You can also raise the level of your head by using one or two additional pillows. This added height helps to keep your airways open.
• Buteyko Breathing Technique
The Buteyko technique is a relatively new method based on the concept that breathing through your mouth while sleeping increases the chances of a sleep apnea episode. To correct this problem, the Buteyko technique can teach you how to relax and how to breathe through your nose.
Yes, you already know how to breathe through your nose, but that’s only when your nasal passages are clear and, generally only while you’re awake. The fundamental goal of this technique is to learn how you can maintain nose breathing all of the time in order to reduce or eliminate OSA incidents.
Hyperventilation and mouth-breathing creates an imbalance in the quality of oxygen in your system. The purpose of this technique is to strengthen your nasal passages and to increase the quality of air in your lungs while reducing sleep apnea situations. With a little training, your benefit is clearer lungs.
• Acupuncture Therapy
Acupuncture works on sleep apnea conditions by stimulating the muscles of your upper respiratory air passages. The therapy used for sleep apnea is based on energy meridians, specific points, located around your ear. These meridians need to be unblocked to relieve or eliminate sleep apnea symptoms.
You want to use a licensed acupuncturist or one who is certified by the National Commission for the Certification of Acupuncturists. There is minimal or no pain involved in this therapy and these professional practitioners use very fine, sterile, disposable needles.
If you want to try acupuncture but are uncomfortable with needles, ask the acupuncturist about acupressure. This therapy uses the same meridian points, but uses finger pressure to balance the energy in your upper respiratory airway. Both therapies are beneficial for treating sleep apnea events.
• Weight Loss
Being overweight is unhealthy for a lot of reasons including sleep apnea. Too much weight adds fatty deposits in and around your airways. This adds pressure on your breathing muscles, especially when you are sleeping. You can reduce your sleeping disorder symptoms when you lose excess weight.
Losing weight is always easier to say than to do. A good way to know how much and what types of foods will help you lose weight is to talk with your primary doctor. An aid that can help you stick to your diet is to keep a daily record of everything you eat. If you don’t want to see it in writing, don’t eat it.
Learn More About Weight Loss and Sleep Apnea:
• Eat These Foods
In addition to maintaining the proper weight, there are some foods that are better for keeping your airways open and allowing you to get proper sleep. The list of good foods is practically endless and full of variety. If you really don’t like the taste or appearance of one food, just select something you do like.
Dairy products that are reduced or non-fat are better than whole milk items. Most fresh fruits and vegetables, whole wheat items, and seafood are also on the okay list. Anti-inflammatory foods are:
- soybean products,
- herbal teas,
- green tea,
- dark chocolate,
- and foods with Omega-3 fatty acids.
Learn More About Healthy Foods to Help Sleep Apnea:
• Avoid These Foods
Just as there are good foods to eat that help with sleep apnea, there are certain foods that you don’t want to eat if you have sleep apnea. These do-not-eat foods can put on the pounds, adversely impact your cardiovascular system, add fat deposits along your airways, and encourage mucus production.
Foods that can make your sleep apnea worse are:
- whole, fat-heavy dairy products,
- refined wheat and sugary items
- white rice,
- fatty meats,
- starchy potatoes,
- and refined flour.
- You can also avoid sugary drinks made with corn syrup.
Even if you only give up a few items, your airway will thank you.
Learn More About Foods to Avoid for Sleep Apnea:
• Treat Your Allergies
Not all allergies will obstruct your breathing, but allergies that do impact your respiratory passages can contribute to sleep apnea if not controlled. Typical breathing related allergies are:
- dairy and other foods,
- pet hair,
- seasonal irritants such as grass, pollen, hay fever and ragweed.
Of course, if you have severe allergic reactions to any liquid, solids, or medications, you need to be treated by a doctor who might give you allergy shots. For mild or occasional allergies, you may be able to treat the symptoms yourself with an air purifier or over-the-counter nasal congestion products.
Products that can help you to reduce or eliminate nasal related allergies are:
- non-steroidal nasal sprays,
- and nasal decongestants.
Always read the product label to be sure it will not interfere with any of your medications. After all, you want better sleep, not more problems.
Learn More About Treating Your Allergies:
• Nasal Irrigation
Nasal irrigation is an inexpensive, no-risk home remedy to clear up a blocked or congested nose. It doesn’t matter if the irritation is from an allergy, sinus problem, deviated septum, or a cold; clearing up the stuffiness will open up your airway and allow you to breathe better.
There are two ways that you can irrigate your nasal passages.
- One way is to use an at-home nasal pulsation system that you will need to buy from a specialist.
- The other way is an at-home nasal irrigation system that uses a salt solution and a small syringe or Neti-pot.
Commercial solutions such as Oasis, BreathEase XL, and Sinus Rinse that can be purchased at a pharmacy for at-home use. The benefit of keeping your nasal passage clear is that when you breathe better, you will have fewer sleep apnea incidents.
Learn More About Nasal Irrigation and Sleep Apnea:
• Salt Water Gargle
Inflamed or irritated adenoids or tonsils can interfere with your breathing and cause a negative interaction with any sleep apnea problems. If you have enlarged tonsils, you will need to seek the care of a doctor. If your problem is minor or seasonally related, you can treat it with an age-old remedy.
Gargling with salt water can aid in reducing the inflamed adenoids, shrinking tonsils, and smoothing sore throats. You will want to gargle several times a day for several days. You will know when you have conquered the problem because you will breathe better and have more restful sleep.
Learn More About Salt Water Gargling:
• Lifestyle Changes (smoking and alcohol)
Without giving you a long lecture, you already know that smoking is a habit that can result in cancer and negatively affect your heart. It is a habit that can be hard to quit if you are addicted to nicotine. Fortunately, there are many stop-smoking aids available over-the-counter and from your doctor.
If you smoke, it is worth the effort to try to quit. Smoking contributes to sleep apnea by creating inflammation and fluid retention in your chest, throat and upper airway. One technique is to stop one cigarette at a time. Try going without a cigarette for three minutes more when the urge strikes you.
An occasional glass of wine with dinner is okay if it’s more than two hours before you go to sleep. You may also believe that having an alcoholic drink before bed will help you sleep better. Yes, alcohol does relax you, but it also can relax your breathing muscles in your throat and contribute to sleep apnea.
Alcohol and any sleep inducing pills or medication may end up doing too good a job of relaxing your system. These sleeping aids can make it harder for your airways to remain open while you are laying down. A warm cup of herbal tea can help you get to sleep without interfering with your breathing.
Learn More About How Smoking and Alcohol Affect Sleep Apnea:
A great, effortless way to change how you react to a situation or how to improve subconscious mind-body functions is with the use of hypnosis. Hypnotic self-help tapes for sleep apnea are used when you go to bed. All you need is a CD player, a pair of good earplugs for sleeping, and a bed, and the restful sleep will follow.
A self-help hypnotic recording teaches you the techniques to relax, to alter your breathing pattern, to enhance respiratory muscles, to breathe without blockages, and to awake fully rested and energized. Most recordings are 45 minutes of soft spoken instructions and delta binaural rhythmic beats.
Learn More About Sleep Apnea Hypnosis:
Meditation teaches you to concentrate and focus your thoughts on relaxing and regulating your breathing. This is a great technique to help your body and mind prepare for sleep, to improve your breathing capability, and to enable you to get good quality, restful sleep.
There are three basic meditation exercises for sleep apnea. One is to focus on your breathing technique, another is to concentrate on a visual focal point or a single mantra word to be used for relaxing, and the third is a pre-recorded audio program that guides you through the meditation.
Learn More About Meditation and Sleep Apnea:
• Homeopathic Remedies
Natural, homeopathic, and holistic remedies are methods you use to get relief from sleep apnea issues. These treatments work two ways: they help to reduce your sleep disorder and they help your overall mental and emotional wellness. Talk with a homeopathic doctor to find the right remedy for you.
Some popular remedies are:
- Coffea C30;
- Nux Vomica C30;
- Calcium lactate;
- Vitamin B6;
- Spongia; and
- Arsenicum album
- Opium is another remedy, but you will need to have a prescription from a doctor to use it.
Learn More About Homeopathic Remedies:
• Ayurvedic Remedies
Ayurvedic medicine is derived from traditional Hindu practices and today is considered an alternative or contemporary form of treatment in America. The basis for this type of remedy is to bring harmonious balance within the body.
Before you go to sleep, add a few drops of Eucalyptus oil to steaming water and inhale. This helps to clear up mucus in the airway. Eating a few walnuts each day provides relief from sleep apnea symptoms. Eating crushed garlic with warm water helps to reduce inflamed tonsils and airways.
Learn More About Ayurvedic Remedies:
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• Chiropractic Treatment
If you have any spinal, neck, or chest area problems, it’s possible that any one of these issues can be a contributing factor to your sleep apnea. Chiropractic treatment may just be the solution to your problem. Be sure to tell the chiropractor that your doctor has determined that you have sleep apnea.
The chiropractor can use soft tissue massage, spinal adjustment and exercises to improve your chest muscles and blood flow. He or she can teach you strengthening, stretching, and breathing techniques that you can do at home to improve your neck muscles and increase the oxygen levels in your body.
Learn More About Chiropractic Treatment for Sleep Apnea:
2. SLEEP APNEA DEVICES
• Nasal Strips
Nasal strips have been around for years as a remedy for snoring. The good news is that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) studied the effects of using Breathe Right nasal strips to reduce respiratory disturbances in patients with OSA and the strips proved positive.
Nasal strips are non-prescription, inexpensive, over-the-counter mini-pads that are applied to bridge of your nose prior to sleep. The benefit of opening up your airway and breathing easier is felt immediately. The NIH study documented that people with OSA do have less sleep disturbance when wearing the strip.
• Saline Drops
Nothing could be easier in your efforts to keep your nasal passages clear than to use a few drops of saline nasal spray in each nostril before going to bed. This inexpensive, drug-free solution provides breathing relief and is effective in reducing sleep apnea disturbances.
Nasal saline drops are sold over-the-counter at your local pharmacies and there are no known negative side effects. You might want to try these drops before resorting to more expensive devices.
Learn More About Saline Drops:
• Sleep Apnea Pillows
The sleep apnea pillow is specially designed to encourage you to sleep on your side. The design also adjusts the position of your neck and head in a manner that prevents your airway from closing. The shape of this pillow will cradle your head at an angle that will prevent your tongue from blocking out air.
Sleep apnea pillows are not expensive and can be bought in both brick-and-mortar stores as well as online. Using this pillow is a surprisingly simple way to increase your breathing and reduce your sleep apnea symptoms.
• Chin Straps
The sleep apnea chin strap is an affordable device is you have mild to moderate OSA. The strap fits over your head and under your chin in a manner that keeps your mouth closed during sleep. The benefit of the chin strap is that it encourages you to breathe more naturally through your nose.
There are a number of inexpensive chin strap models available on the market. Some models can be adjusted to position your lower jaw forward so that your airway remains open and you can get a full night of restful sleep.
Learn More About Chin Straps:
A sleep apnea mouthguard looks like the insert that football players and boxers use, but this device is specially designed for you by a dentist or orthodontist. It has both an upper and lower guard that works to reposition your lower jaw forward and to keep your tongue from moving to the back of your throat.
Sleep apnea mouthguards are designed to let you breathe through your nose and to keep your airway open to reduce the symptoms of sleep disturbances. The mouthguard is easy to use, comfortable, non-invasive, and travel friendly.
Learn More About Mouthguards:
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• Oral Appliances
There are more than 100 dental appliances that have been approved by the FDA, so there is a good chance that one of these appliances will help with your sleep apnea condition. You will need a prescription for a custom-made appliance by a qualified dentist or orthodontist.
The function of an oral appliance is to position your jaw forward so that your airway remains open while sleeping. The therapy is used nightly, easy to wear and clean, comfortable, and travel friendly. Most insurance plans cover this type of appliance.
• Provent Sleep Apnea Therapy
The Provent Therapy is the latest state-of-the-art development for sleep apnea treatment in more than two decades. It is effective for all levels of sleep apnea, but it does require a prescription.
The device is not connected to any machine, wire, or battery. It attaches to your nose with hypoallergenic adhesive and the nostril pads are small and disposable. The Provent device is designed to keep your airway open using a pressure system that enables you to breathe freely and sleep restfully.
Learn More About Provent Sleep Apnea Therapy:
• Winx Sleep Therapy System
The Winx sleep therapy system is effective in reducing sleep disturbances for all levels of sleep apnea. The great benefit of this device is that there is no inconvenient mask to deal with. You are also able to sleep in any position. To use this device you must have a prescription from your doctor.
The device’s uniqueness is using a small air tube attached to a console at one end and a mouthpiece at the other end. The mouthpiece is worn inside your mouth while the console creates a light vacuum effect to gently pull forward your soft palate while stabilizing your tongue for an open airway.
Learn More About Winx Sleep Therapy System:
3. SLEEP APNEA SURGERY
• Throat and Mouth Surgery
If you are one of those individuals that find it difficult to use a CPAP machine, and you have an upper respiratory obstruction in your throat or mouth, you might want to discuss surgery with your doctor. There are a number of very effective procedures that target specific areas of airflow difficulties.
• Tonsillectomy and Adenoidectomy:
This is the removal of enlarged tonsils and adenoids that inhibit your breathing capability.
• Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP):
UPPP removes soft tissue from the back of your throat and palate to increase the airway width of the throat opening and improves movement of the soft palate.
• Laser-Assisted Uvulopalatoplasty (LAUP):
This procedure removes less tissue than UPPP at the back of your throat.
• Pillar Palatal Implant:
This is a non-invasive procedure to insert short pieces of polyester string into your soft palate to reduce the vibration and movements that contribute to snoring and sleep apnea.
• Mandibular Maxillary Advancement:
The surgery corrects some facial problems and/or throat obstructions. The procedure will move forward your upper or lower jawbone to remove sleep apnea risk factors.
• Hyoid Advancement:
This surgery moves the small hyoid bone underneath your chin forward and pulls your enlarged tongue muscle with it. This procedure expands your airway and prevents your tongue from falling back to the wall of your pharynx where it becomes an obstruction to your breathing.
• Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA):
This procedure targets the reduction of your enlarged tongue or palate to enable you to breathe more fully.
This procedure is also called Tongue Advancement. The purpose is to position one of your main tongue muscles forward so that when you relax the tongue does not fall backward and obstruct your airway.
This surgery involves making an opening directly into your windpipe through your neck. A tube is inserted to bypass obstructions in your upper airway. This surgery is only used if you have life threatening sleep apnea.
Learn More About Throat and Mouth Surgeries:
• Nasal Surgery
Nasal obstructions and congestion are contributing risk factors for people suffering with sleep apnea. When nasal sprays and antihistamines do not correct these problems, you might want to consider nasal surgery. You should talk with your doctor to determine which surgery would be best for you.
The three areas of your nose that can become a breathing problem are the septum, the nasal valve, and the turbinates. There is a corrective surgical procedure for each of these areas. The surgeries are:
Septum surgery is called Septoplasty and it straightens a deviated septum. The purpose is to increase your breathing space and to allow more air to flow easily into your airway.
• Nasal Valve
Nasal valve surgery is performed in conjunction with rhinoplasty. This procedure involves correction to your external nose, your nostrils and the internal areas above the nostrils that are prone to collapsing. The purpose is to correct birth defects, narrow nasal pathways, and other obstructions that may be due to prior injuries. The result is to provide improved breathing and the ability to intake the appropriate amount of air into your body through your nose.
There are three pairs of long, thin, tissue covered bones inside of your nose. These are the nasal turbinates and they may swell or block your airflow due to allergies or other problems. There are three types of turbinate surgery:
The procedure removes part of all of the lower pair of turbinates to improve your breathing capability.
The procedure uses an instrument to alter the position of the turbinates so that air flows easily and smoothly into your airway.
• Radiofrequency or laser ablation:
Laser light or radio-energy is projected through a thin probe placed in your nose to shrink the blockage or swollen turbinate tissue. This procedure greatly increases your ability to breathe fully through your nose.
Learn More About Nasal Surgeries:
• Bariatric (Weight Loss) Surgery
While nearly 18 million Americans have some form of sleep apnea, more than half are overweight or obese. This condition greatly increases the risk of sleep apnea attacks. If you’re overweight and have difficulty losing weight, talk with your doctor to see if you’re a candidate for Bariatric weight loss surgery.
Bariatric surgery reduces your ability to eat large amounts of food and literally forces you to lose weight. In addition to weight loss, you’ll experience improved breathing capability and fewer sleep apnea episodes. There are several forms of Bariatric surgery aimed at specific weight loss goals.
The goal of each form of Bariatric surgery is to alter the size of your stomach so that you will eat far less food than before the surgery. The various names are Gastric Bypass, Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding (Lap-Band), and Sleeve Gastrectomy.
Learn More About Bariatric surgery:
• Upper Airway Stimulation (Inspire)
Inspire is a revolutionary new Upper Airway Stimulation (UAS) system for people with moderate to severe sleep apnea who are not able to, or who choice not to, use a CPAP machine. Inspire is an implant that works with your individual breathing process without the need for a mask or an oral appliance.
The three components of Inspire are a small generator, a stimulation lead, and a breathing sensor lead, and they are controlled by a handheld sleep remote that you turn on when you go to bed and turn off when you wake up.
When turned on, the Inspire therapy monitors your breathing patterns and will deliver a mild stimulation to your airway muscles to keep the pathway open. The battery inside of the implant has a lifespan of 10 years and will be replaced by your doctor. This system gives you total mobility freedom.
Learn More About Upper Airway Stimulation (Inspire):
What To Do Next:
You now know more than 99% of sleep apnea sufferers about new and natural sleep apnea treatments.
Here’s what you should do now:
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To read the article related to this video please click this link: Home Remedies for Sleep Apnea: 20 Little-Known Natural Remedies That Actually Work
References & Resources:
- Didgeridoo playing as alternative treatment for obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome: randomised controlled trial
- Positional therapy for obstructive sleep apnea: an objective measurement of patients' usage and efficacy at home
- Treatment of moderate obstructive sleep apnea syndrome with acupuncture: A randomised, placebo-controlled pilot trial
- Excessive Daytime Sleepiness in a General Population Sample: The Role of Sleep Apnea, Age, Obesity, Diabetes, and Depression
- Nasal dilator strip therapy for chronic sleep-maintenance insomnia and symptoms of sleep-disordered breathing: a randomized controlled trial
- A Multicenter, Prospective Study of a Novel Nasal EPAP Device in the Treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Efficacy and 30-Day Adherence