by Adam Bown, edited by Jeff Campbell
I think you’ll agree with me when I say there’s nothing worse than getting a bad night’s sleep.
We spend the whole next day dragging and seeing our energy low. It affects us physically and mentally and can take its toll on everyone around us.
There’s a large range of sleep disorders, most of which we are oblivious of even having.
If you experience bouts of uneven breathing that disturbs your sleep during the night or get complaints regarding your frequent loud snoring or wake up with dry mouth or a sore throat, then you just might have sleep apnea.
In this post, we’ll get into more about what sleep apnea is as well as treatment options. But we’ll also get into sleep apnea cures without a CPAP; the most common, if an uncomfortable way of dealing with it.
What is sleep apnea or obstructive sleep apnea?
— John P Erwin III MD✭ (@HeartOTXHeartMD) July 17, 2018
Apnea is a Greek word which means “without breath”.
Sleep apnea simply means “sleeping without breathing”. It is a sleep disorder and it repeatedly interruptes sleep and breathing.
The main types of sleep apnea are:
- obstructive sleep apnea
- central sleep apnea
- complex sleep apnea syndrome
Research data suggests that only half the population of people suffering from sleep apnea are overweight, therefore anyone can have sleep apnea.
But weight loss has been shown to have a positive impact on obstructive sleep apnea in studies done by the National Institutes of Health.
What then is CPAP?
— Bobby Cleveland (@bobbycland) July 19, 2018
CPAP stands for “Continuous Positive Airway Pressure”.
It is a type of therapy that applies mild air pressure to a person’s upper airway to keep their airway open in order to ensure that they breathe normally while sleeping. This is achieved with the aid of a pump and a mask.
However, most people find it difficult to cope with CPAP.
Some of the issues with the CPAP method of treatment are:
- CPAP machines are loud
- The masks can irritate skin
- They require a significant amount of maintenance
- Patients often find it uncomfortable sleeping with CPAP
So what other ways can sleep apnea be cured?
Let’s dive right into the . . .
13 Proven Sleep Apnea Cures Without a CPAP You Must Know
1. Positional Sleeping Therapy
Your body position during sleep does have considerable effects on sleep apnea.
This therapy is consequently a behavioral strategy used to cure sleep apnea. It is recommended that you sleep on your side as opposed to your back if you have mild sleep apnea.
When sleeping on your back, pressure is exerted on your airway but sleeping on your side will ensure that your throat is open and this makes it easier to breathe.
2. Sleep Hygiene
Proper sleep hygiene will go a long way in curing sleep apnea disorder.
Just like every other hygiene procedures, sleep hygiene will only work if it is routinely observed. The pillow height and the inclination of the mattress are two major areas that can enhance sleep hygiene.
You want to raise your head level, so you can add a few books or blankets under your pillow. You can also add one or two extra pillows to raise your head level to help keep your airways open.
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Recent studies show that Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) might cause changes in the brain that are also seen in individuals with early stage #Alzheimers disease. Visit @Newsweek to learn more: https://t.co/oB78zRQhkD pic.twitter.com/2suv8k1xKI
— Market Street East Lake (@MarketStreetEL) July 19, 2018
3. Weight Loss
Excess weight is a major cause of diverse health issues, sleep apnea inclusive.
Carrying excess weight adds fatty deposits in and around your airways subsequently subjecting your breathing muscles to more pressure, especially when you sleep.
Losing weight is one of the very best of the sleep apnea cures without a CPAP.
4. Yoga Breathing Exercises
These exercises will not only help to strengthen, calm and relax your body but also to improve your breathing at the same time.
The Pranayama technique is utilized to help improve your lung capacity and the amount of oxygen in your body as well.
Increased oxygen equates to less disruption and snoring. For effectiveness, the exercises have to be done every night.
5. Herbal Treatments
These treatments are readily available, safer, less invasive and healthier than the prevalent chemical or artificial treatments.
Lavender is a soothing herb you can spray on bed sheets, drink in the form of tea or use its oil on the skin.
Over the years, herbal teas have been used to ensure quality refreshing sleep.
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6. Acupuncture Therapy
According to a research study by the US National Library of Medicine, acupuncture has been shown to be one of the best sleep apnea cures without a CPAP.
It works by stimulating the muscles of the upper airways, which usually collapse due to sleep apnea.
There is little to no pain associated with this process and if you are uncomfortable with needles you can request for acupressure instead. A licensed acupuncturist should be consulted for this therapy.
Find an acupunturist near you through the National Certification Commission for Acupunture and Oriental Medicine.
7. Lifestyle Changes (smoking & alcohol)
It goes without saying that smoking does more harm than good to your health.
It could lead to cancer or adversely affect your heart.
Smoking induces sleep apnea by causing inflammation and fluid retention in your chest, throat and upper airway.
While a little alcohol is not harmful, excess alcohol can cause the muscles of your throat to relax, consequently leading to sleep apnea.
Quitting your smoking and limiting alcohol is a sure remedy for sleep apnea.
The proven power of better air quality
It doesn’t do much good to talk about sleep apnea cures without a CPAP and breathing better without a quick mention about the huge benefits of HEPA air filters.
A HEPA Air Filter traps harmful particles like pollen, pet dander, pet hair, mold spores, dust mites & tobacco smoke. But it also traps allergens and other solid particles. If you suffer from allergies you may well see relief on that front too.
So check out all the benefits you could see from adding a HEPA Air Filter in your house.
— Middle Class Dad (@middleclassdad1) July 19, 2018
8. Eat Healthy
The phrase, ‘you are what you eat’ is more than justified by the fact that your health is a reflection of what you eat.
Besides helping to maintain proper weight, some foods ensure that your airways are better kept open thereby allowing you to get proper sleep.
These foods vary and include dairy products, wheat foods, fruits, vegetables, and seafood.
While you’re at it, you can also focus on foods to lower your cholesterol too.
This is a method which helps to improve your subconscious mind-body functions.
Hypnotic self-help tapes for sleep apnea are used when you go to bed to ensure you have a restful sleep.
These tapes teach you methods to regulate your breathing pattern, breathe without blockages, improve your respiratory muscles and wake up with vigor.
Meditation is a technique which helps you to focus your thoughts on controlling your breathing.
This procedure helps prepare your mind for a peaceful sleep while also improving your breathing capacity. While some practitioners meditate for long periods of time, start with just 5-10 minutes before bedtime each night.
Find a quiet place & sit cross-legged. Focus on your breath, breathing in slowly through the nose & out through the mouth. Also, keep a strong and upright posture with the crown of your head pointing to the sky.
To dive deeper into how to meditate and the proven benefits it has, check out the Middle Class Dad Meditation post on Lifehack.
11. Playing a Wind Instrument
The Didgeridoo, a wind instrument, from research studies has been identified as an effective means of lowering sleep-disordered breathing events and daytime sleepiness.
It is a new and unconventional means of curing sleep apnea. This method entails inhaling air via your nose while exhaling through your mouth with your tongue and cheeks.
The vibration of your lips produces the droning beat specific to the didgeridoo. Playing this instrument regularly helps reduce sleep apnea.
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12. Sleeping on the floor
In recent times, studies have shown that there’s a quantifiable improvement in sleep apnea when you resort to sleeping on the floor.
This is basically because there’s little deformation in your body since you’re sleeping on a straight and less cushioning surface, so your body structure is preserved to allow air to easily flow through your respiratory system.
Ideally, you can use a floor mattress to sleep. This will help aid your sleep apnea.
13. Sleep Apnea Surgery
Several surgeries exist to combat the problem of sleep apnea.
UPPP (uvulopalatopharyngoplasty), was developed 25 years ago and has become the most commonly performed surgery for sleep apnea. The procedure removes excess tissue from the soft palate & pharynx. A tonsillectomy is typically performed at the same time.
You might want to consult with your doctor in order to decide which procedure would be best for you.
While certainly necessary in some cases, it would certainly be one of the last sleep apnea cures without a CPAP I would try.
Did we cover everything you wanted to know about sleep apnea cures without a CPAP?
In this post, we reviewed the challenges of sleep apnea and specifically sleep apnea cures without a CPAP.
After a hard day’s work, sound sleep is required in order to regain lost strength but this becomes an uphill task when you have to battle with sleep apnea.
It is therefore up to you to decide on the best methods to use in order to take charge of your life.
Any tips, suggestions or questions on sleep apnea cures without a CPAP? Feel free to comment here, email me or reach out to Adam directly at his website below.
About the author of this post.
Adam Bown is a researcher of Mattress and Sleep products. He publishes all his research on MattressesGuide.com. He is a family man and loves to pass time with his wife and son. In addition, he also loves to travel, hang out with positive people when he finds the time!
Want to write for Middle Class Dad too? Check out everything you need to know on my Guest Blog Page.
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