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What’s the ideal treatment for sleep apnea?

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Story at-a-glance -

  • Although sleep apnea may seem like a condition that's difficult or impossible to treat, any of these potential solutions, if done properly, can address the condition and bring peaceful and uninterrupted sleep in no time
  • Here are possible sleep apnea solutions — natural remedies and specially designed items — that may be ideal for patients

Sleep apnea treatment will rely on different factors, such as the severity and reason why the airway is being blocked. Here are possible sleep apnea solutions — natural remedies and specially designed items — that may be ideal for patients.

What is oral myofunctional therapy?

Sleep apnea patients can rely on a form of facial muscle therapy called oral myofunctional therapy to assist with reshaping their oral cavity and promoting proper tongue placement. It also can teach them how to breathe through the nose, with the tongue resting against the roof of the mouth.

Oral myofunctional therapy won't just target the oral cavity and tongue, but will address all facial muscles, the head and the neck. Patients can exercise facial muscles and work on functional posturing and chewing.

The Academy of Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy (AOMT) website features a list of qualified practitioners worldwide for those who are interested in trying out this technique. It also features training schedules for professionals who are seeking education on this field of expertise.1

Natural remedies for sleep apnea

Natural sleep apnea treatment options is also a course of action that you can take to address this disorder. For starters, there are different essential oils that may benefit patients. According to the book, “Essential Oils for Healing,” herbal oils like lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit, frankincense, wild orange, thyme, lavender, ylang-ylang and sandalwood may help open your airways and help you breathe more easily.2

Before using essential oils, talk to your doctor and take an allergen patch test to see if allergic reactions will occur. An Epsom salt bath before bedtime may also help relax muscles and induce a feeling of well-being that may promote comfortable sleep.3 Add Epsom salts to a warm bath and soak for 20 minutes. The following foods may help promote better sleep health and eventually address sleep apnea:4

  • Raw organic honey It contains anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce swelling around the throat,5 and can be used to address snoring because it acts as a lubricant for the throat.
  • Garlic — This vegetable is said to be a potential sleep apnea cure because it delivers anti-inflammatory capabilities.6 You can try eating two to three garlic cloves daily followed by a glass of high-quality filtered water, or add more garlic to your daily meals.
  • Deskinned raw almonds — Raw almonds contain high amounts of magnesium that can assist with muscle relaxation and sleep.7 However, make sure to only eat deskinned almonds, because almond peels contain lectins, which are plant proteins that can be precursors to various health problems.
  • Warm turmeric milk — Milk contains tryptophan,8 which is able to promote sound sleep, while turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties.9 This combination can work to lessen inflammation in the respiratory system for easier breathing during sleep. Try boiling a teaspoon of turmeric powder in a cup of raw, grass fed milk. Allow to cool and drink it around three or more hours before bed.
  • Cinnamon The cinnamaldehyde in this spice is said to have sedative properties10 and may assist with breathing problems. Add cinnamon powder into a glass of water and drink daily.
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Mouth guards or mouthpieces for sleep apnea

If sleep apnea is related to tongue or jaw position, a custom oral appliance designed by a specially trained dentist can help. Oral appliances like mouth guards and mouthpieces are usually recommended for patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea, or for severe sleep apnea patients who can’t tolerate CPAP. Mouth devices are intended for individuals 18 years old and above, and can be worn during sleeping.11

Mouthpieces or mouth guards for sleep apnea patients include mandibular repositioning devices that shift the jaw forward. Other mouthpieces or mouth guards help hold the tongue forward without moving the jaw. These devices aim to increase the airway and aid in reducing or eliminating snoring and sleep apnea. They’re often adjustable in small increments to help provide comfort and increase airway capacity.12

Can pillows help with sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea patients can address the condition by utilizing the right kind of pillow. Special sleep apnea pillows are designed to be used with a CPAP machine, though others are not. Sleep apnea pillows can come in different forms. One example is the wedge-shaped pillow, which is designed to raise your upper body.

WedMD notes that the best position if you have sleep apnea is on your back, but with your body elevated from the waist up. This will help prevent your airway from collapsing. With this in mind, using foam wedge pillows, and not soft varieties, is your best bet.13

Although sleep apnea may seem like a condition that's difficult or impossible to treat, any of these potential solutions, if done properly, can address the condition and bring peaceful and uninterrupted sleep in no time.

MORE ABOUT SLEEP APNEA

Sleep Apnea: An Introduction

What Is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep Apnea Symptoms

Sleep Apnea Causes

Types of Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea Treatment

Sleep Apnea Testing

Sleep Apnea Surgery

Sleep Apnea Prevention

Sleep Apnea FAQ



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