If your loud snoring and daytime fatigue is starting to concern you, there are several things you can do at home to subside it. Sleep apnea affects millions of Americans and its effects significantly increase with age. People with sleep apnea have an increased risk of heart failure, stroke, and coronary heart disease.
It is therefore absolutely essential to combat this chronic condition and do everything you can to lessen its long-term effects. Here are a few things you can do to improve sleep apnea and the quality of your rest.
Use The Power Of Honey
High-quality honey is a powerful antioxidant, and sleep doctor Michael Breus recommends using a teaspoon of honey before bed. While this may not make your sleep apnea completely disappear, it will help ease the swelling of the throat. Before you go to bed, you should add honey to warm water. Dr. Breus recommends using raw honey, as the (regular) processed version may lose helpful nutrients during the pasteurization process.
Leaving sleep apnea untreated can lead to high blood pressure, memory problems, cluster headaches, and many other symptoms that can severely change your life. It’s therefore important to find the right treatment for you and do daily exercises that contribute to the wellbeing of your nighttime breathing.
Rethink Your Sleep Hygiene
Your sleep hygiene is extremely important — after all, it’s what preps you for sleeping well. From having an evening routine to changing how you sleep, there are a couple of things you can do to improve sleep apnea at home. The first is to sleep on your side. If you tend to experience sleep apnea when you sleep on your back, your tongue and soft tissues may be obstructing the airway.
To teach yourself to sleep on your side, you could use the tennis ball trick — connect a tennis ball to the back of your pajamas. This will make it automatically uncomfortable to roll on your back and will make it harder for you to experience sleep apnea. You can also elevate your upper body a couple of inches by using a special pillow or a foam wedge during your sleep.
Do These Throat Exercises
Doing regular throat and tongue exercises can strengthen your airway muscles and allow you to breathe easily when you sleep. These are best to be done every single day and should be a part of your sleep hygiene. The first exercise includes brushing the top and sides of your tongue with a toothbrush. You should do so multiple times per day. Along with this, it’s recommended to press your tongue to the roof of your mouth and hold it for a couple of minutes.
Another easy exercise to do is purse your lips tightly and move them around. Do this a couple of times and repeat the whole sequence for three times more. For the final exercise, you should hold your tongue between your teeth and swallow five times. Repeat this several times throughout the day. And lastly, don’t forget to gargle with salt water for at least five minutes every day in order to shrink your tonsils.
Use A Humidifier In Your Bedroom
Humidifiers are used to add moisture to the air. By putting one in your bedroom, you’ll minimize dry air and breathe clearer. If you’re breathing in dry air, it gets trapped in your throat, leading to snoring at night,. It’s recommended to also add essential oils with well-known soothing benefits, such as eucalyptus or peppermint oil.
If you do use a humidifier, it’s always best to make sure the water is fresh and clean at all times. Cleaning instructions should always come in the box with your purchased humidifier. However, ensuring the right humidity level is key for effective ease of sleep apnea. Having too much moisture in your room could lead to mold, while too little could lead to dry air.
Use Oral Appliances
There are several things you can do at home, including using oral appliances to keep your airway open. These are particularly useful if you don’t want to or can’t use Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machines. The main appliances found on the market today include devices for stabilizing your tongue and mandibular (lower jaw) advancement devices. The latter is the most widely used appliance for sleep apnea treatment. You can find plenty of options to fit your budget and most importantly, they’ve all been approved by the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine.
If you’re looking to get serious about the treatment, the most expensive option is considered to be the most effective. You can get a custom-fit appliance to fully tailor the position to your own jaw and drastically improve your sleep quality. The appliance moves your jaw forward and makes sure your tongue no longer blocks your airway. This is considered to be the best alternative to CPAP machines.