Herbal & homeopathic remedies for sleep apnea

Sleep Apnea
HEALTH HERBS & NUTRITION - REMEDIES - sleep apnea

· General Description

· Symptoms

· Causes

· Herbal & Homeopathic Remedies

· Helpful Dietary Habits

· Dos and Don'ts

Natural herbal & homeopathic products for sleep apnea (obstructive)

General description & overview of sleep apnea (obstructive)


Sleep apnea is a common distract in which you have one or more breaks in breathing or shallow breaths while you sleep. Breathing suspensions can last from a few seconds to minutes. They often occur 5 to 30 times or more an hour. Typically, normal breathing then starts again, sometimes with a loud snort or choking sound.

Sleep apnea usually is a chronic (ongoing) condition that disrupts your sleep 3 or more nights each week. You often move out of deep sleep and into light sleep when your breathing pauses or becomes shallow.

You generally do not wake up fully when this happens, but in the morning, you don't feel rested, and you feel sleepy headed during the day. In fact, sleep apnea is one of the leading causes of excessive daytime sleepiness.

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Overview

Sleep apnea often goes undiagnosed. Doctors usually cannot detect the condition during routine office visits. In addition, there are no blood tests for the condition.

Most people who have sleep apnea do not know they have it because it only occurs during sleep. A family member and/or bed partner may first notice the signs of sleep apnea.

The most common type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea. This most often means that the airway has collapsed, or has jammed, during sleep. The blockage may cause shallow breathing or breathing pauses.

When you try to breathe, any air that squeezes past the blockage can cause loud snoring. Obstructive sleep apnea happens more often in people who are overweight, but it can affect anyone.

Central sleep apnea is a less common type of sleep apnea. It happens when the area of your brain that controls your breathing does not send the correct signals to your breathing muscles. You make no effort to breathe for brief periods. It is due to a disturbance in the respiratory center in the brain.

Central sleep apnea often occurs with obstructive sleep apnea, but it can occur alone. Snoring does not typically happen with central sleep apnea.

This article mainly focuses on obstructive sleep apnea.


Alternative remedies, medicines & cures for sleep apnea (obstructive). It is approximated that sleep apnea affects more than 12 million Americans. It is more common in men (over 40 years old) than women, and in people who are overweight or obese.

Outlook

Untreated sleep apnea can:

Sleep Apnea is also known as sleep-disordered breathing and Cheyne-Stokes breathing.

Additional medical problems associated with untreated sleep apnea include hypertension, coronary artery disease, myocardial infarction, stroke, psychiatric problems, impotence, cognitive dysfunction, memory loss, and death.

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Symptoms of sleep apnea (obstructive)


Major Signs and Symptoms

One of the most common signs of obstructive sleep apnea is loud and chronic (ongoing) snoring. Pauses may occur in the snoring. Choking or gasping may follow the pauses.

The snoring usually is loudest when you sleep on your back; it may be less noisy when you turn on your side. Snoring may not happen every night. Over time, the snoring may happen more often and get louder.

Not everyone who snores has sleep apnea.

Another common sign of sleep apnea is fighting sleepiness during the day, at work, or while driving. You may find yourself rapidly falling asleep during the quiet moments of the day when you're not active.

Other Signs and Symptoms

Others usual signs and symptoms of sleep apnea may include:

  • Morning headaches

  • Memory or learning problems and not being able to concentrate

  • Feeling irritable, depressed, or having mood swings or personality changes

  • Urination at night

  • A dry throat when you wake up, sore throat, cough

Some not so usual symptoms include:

  • Possible impotence

  • Recent weight gain

  • Low Libido

  • Poor judgment

  • Automatic behavior (performing actions by rote)

  • High blood pressure

  • Leg swelling (if severe)

  • Depression

In children, sleep apnea can cause

  • Hyperactivity

  • Poor school performance

  • Aggressiveness

  • May have unusual sleeping positions

  • May have bedwetting problem

  • May breathe through their mouths instead of their noses during the day

Natural medicines, cures & remedies for sleep apnea (obstructive). You're asleep when the snoring or gasping occurs. You will likely not know that you're having problems breathing or be able to judge how severe the problem is. Your family members or bed partner will often notice these problems before you do.

Diagnosis

Doctors diagnose sleep apnea based on your medical and family histories, a physical exam, and results from sleep studies.

Medical and Family Histories

Your doctor will ask you and your family questions about how you sleep and how you function during the day. To help your doctor, consider keeping a sleep diary for 1 to 2 weeks. Write down how much you sleep each night, as well as how sleepy you feel at various times during the day.

Your doctor also will want to know how loudly and often you snore or make gasping or choking sounds during sleep. Often you're not aware of such symptoms and must ask a family member or bed partner to report them.

If you're a parent of a child who may have sleep apnea, tell your child's doctor about your child's signs and symptoms.

Many people aren't aware of their symptoms and aren't diagnosed.

Physical Exam

Your doctor will check your mouth, nose, and throat for extra or large tissues. The tonsils often are enlarged in children with sleep apnea. A physical exam and medical history may be all that's needed to diagnose sleep apnea in children.

Adults with the condition may have an enlarged uvula or soft palate. The uvula is the tissue that hangs from the middle of the back of your mouth. The soft palate is the roof of your mouth in the back of your throat.

Sleep Studies

A sleep study is the most accurate test for diagnosing sleep apnea. It captures what happens with your breathing while you sleep.

A sleep study is often done in a sleep center or sleep lab, which may be part of a hospital. You may stay overnight in the sleep center.

Polysomnogram

A polysomnogram, or PSG, is the most common study for diagnosing sleep apnea. This test records:

  • Brain activity

  • Eye movement and other muscle activity

  • Breathing and heart rate

  • How much air moves in and out of your lungs while you're sleeping

  • The amount of oxygen in your blood

A PSG is painless. You will go to sleep as usual, except you will have sensors on your scalp, face, chest, limbs, and finger. The staff at the sleep center will use the sensors to check on you throughout the night.

A sleep specialist reviews the results of your PSG to see whether you have sleep apnea and how severe it is. He or she will use the results to plan your treatment.


Herbal supplements for sleep apnea (obstructive). Let your doctor know if anyone in your family has been diagnosed with sleep apnea or has had symptoms of the disorder.

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Causes of sleep apnea (obstructive)

When you are awake, throat muscles help keep your airway stiff and open so air can flow into your lungs. When you sleep, these muscles are more relaxed. Normally, the relaxed throat muscles don't stop your airway from staying open to allow air into your lungs.

But if you have obstructive sleep apnea, your airways can be blocked or narrowed during sleep because:

  • Your throat muscles and tongue relax more than normal.

  • Your tongue and tonsils (tissue masses in the back of your mouth) are large compared to the opening into your windpipe.

  • You are overweight - The extra soft fat tissue can thicken the wall of the windpipe. This causes the inside opening to narrow and makes it harder to keep open.

  • The shape of your head and neck (bony structure) may cause a smaller airway size in the mouth and throat area.

  • The aging process limits the ability of brain signals to keep your throat muscles stiff during sleep. This makes it more likely that the airway will narrow or collapse.

Not enough air flows into your lungs when your airways are fully, or partly, blocked during sleep. This can cause loud snoring and a drop in your blood oxygen levels.

When the oxygen drops to dangerous levels, it triggers your brain to disturb your sleep. This helps tighten the upper airway muscles and open your windpipe. Normal breaths then start again, often with a loud snort or choking sound.

The frequent drops in oxygen levels and reduced sleep quality trigger the release of stress hormones. These compounds raise your heart rate and increase your risk for high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, and irregular heartbeats. The hormones also raise the risk for or worsen heart failure.

Sometimes drugs such as alcohol, sleeping pills, or heart medications can trigger apnea.

 

Who Is At Risk for Sleep Apnea?

 

  Sleep apnea is more common in men. One out of 25 middle-aged men and 1 out of 50 middle-aged women has   sleep apnea.

 

  Sleep apnea becomes more common as you get older. At least 1 out of 10 people over the age of 65 has sleep   apnea. Women are much more likely to develop sleep apnea after menopause.

 

  African Americans, Hispanics, and Pacific Islanders are more likely to develop sleep apnea than Caucasians.

 

  It can also be inherited - If someone in your family has sleep apnea, you are more likely to develop it.

 

  Other risk factors for sleep apnea include smoking, high blood pressure, and risk factors for stroke or heart   failure.

Homeopathic medicines for sleep apnea (obstructive). Untreated sleep apnea also can lead to changes in how your body uses energy. These changes increase your risk for obesity and diabetes.

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Herbal & homeopathic remedies useful in sleep apnea (obstructive)


For more extreme cases of sleep apnea, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is one of the most popular methods prescribed (described below). In addition, surgical procedures may be performed to remove enlarged tonsils or adenoids (tonsillectomy) or excess tissue at the back of the throat (uvulopalatopharyngoplasty or UPPP).

Natural and holistic approaches are also excellent treatment methods for providing relief of sleep apnea. More and more people are exploring natural remedies and declining the use of allopathic medicines. Treatments such as herbal and homeopathic remedies help to improve symptoms but also address the individual’s overall physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. 

Certain herbs such as Avena sativa, Scuttelaria laterifolia and Passiflora incarnata can safely be taken to treat chronic sleep problems and maintain healthy sleep patterns. In addition, a combination of herbs and sleep facilitating nutrients such as Hypericum perforatuma, Schizandra chinesis, Calcium lactate, Magnesium lactate and Vitamin B6 treats the underlying causes of sleep problems, balances serotonin levels naturally and induces a regular, satisfying sleep.  

  • Passiflora incarnata research has demonstrated the effectiveness of this relaxing herb in the treatment of anxiety and stress. It is also particularly useful for the person who lies awake worrying due to stress or overwork!

  • Coffea C30 is a homeopathic remedy known for its effectiveness in treating headaches, insomnia, and restlessness. People who are over stimulated due to worry or excessive work will benefit very much from the addition of Coffea to the formula.

  • Nux Vomica C30 also used homeopathically for the treatment of irritability and insomnia, Nux Vomica will also help the tense, ambitious, perfectionistic person who cannot sleep due to worrying about unfinished business or unresolved emotional issues.

  • Hypericum perforatuma is a herb which is widely used as a natural alternative to the prescription drugs for depression and anxiety. Research supports its effectiveness in stabilizing levels of neurotransmitters responsible for mood, sleep, concentration, libido and general feelings of well being.

  • Schizandra chinesisalso known in Traditional Chinese Medicine as Wu-wei-zi - is an effective adaptogen, increasing the body's ability to cope with stress and improving overall systemic functioning. Schizandra is also known to have a range of other benefits, including liver protection, anxiety reduction and improved immune system functioning.

  • Calcium lactate a mineral essential for regular sleep patterns

  • Vitamin B6 often deficient in people who are under emotional or physical stress, the addition of Vitamin B6 to the daily supplements has been shown to assist with the treatment of chronic insomnia

  • Magnesium phosphate D6 (also known as “Mag. phos”) - This tissue salt naturally occurs on a cellular level in the body. It is a nerve and muscle fibre nutrient – making it a major constituent of muscles, nerves, brain and blood corpuscles. It combines with albumin and water to form a fluid that nourishes and nurtures the white nerve fibres of the nervous system. It is suitable for all age groups including small babies. Magnesium is an important mineral that is involved in over 300 enzyme reactions within the body – one of which is to help manufacture one of the many hormones responsible for regulating sleep, L-tryptophan.

Herbal & homeopathic products recommended in sleep apnea (obstructive)

SerenitePlus for sleep apnea (obstructive)

SerenitePlus™

Natural sleep tonic for a restful night.

Product Details

Serenite-LT for sleep apnea (obstructive)

Serenite-LT™

Solve long term sleep problems without the risk of addiction.

Product Details

Sleep Tonic for sleep apnea (obstructive)

Sleep Tonic™

Helps maintain a healthy balance of all hormones involved in healthy sleep patterns.

Product Details

 

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Helpful dietary recommendations in sleep apnea (obstructive)

Diet - Try eliminating mucus-producing foods (dairy and bananas) for 2 weeks, then reintroducing them and noticing any difference. Anyways, eat a healthy balanced diet packed with fresh fruit and vegetables

Essential fatty acids (EFAs) moderate inflammatory response and decrease allergic response. EFAs are found to be low in obese people. Fish oil, evening primrose oil, flaxseed oil, and borage oil all contains essential fatty acids. Try to eat foods rich an omega-3 fatty acids (such as cold-water fish, flaxseeds, and walnuts). Eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids and limiting foods with omega-6 fatty acids (found, for example, in egg yolks, meats, and cooking oils including corn, safflower, and cottonseed,) may reduce allergy symptoms in general. This is because omega-3 fatty acids tend to decrease inflammation while omega-6 fatty acids (other than GLA) tend to increase inflammation.

Chromium helps insulin bring glucose from the blood into the cells for energy. Chromium helps moves blood sugar (glucose) from the bloodstream into the cells to be used as energy and turn fats, carbohydrates, and proteins into energy. Dietary sources of chromium include brewer's yeast (not nutritional or torula yeast), lean meats (especially processed meats), cheeses, pork kidney, calf liver, whole-grain breads and cereals, molasses, mushrooms, brown sugar, coffee, tea, beer, broccoli, spices (black pepper, thyme), and some bran cereals. Vegetables, fruits, and most refined and processed foods (except for processed meats) contain low amounts of chromium. The best source of chromium is brewer's yeast, but many people do not use brewer's yeast because it causes abdominal distention (a bloated feeling) and nausea.

Avoid stimulants such as caffeine that may interfere with the sleep cycle

Avoid eating heavy meals and drinking large amounts before bedtime


Herbal & homeopathic cures for sleep apnea (obstructive). Chromium stimulates fatty acid and cholesterol synthesis, which are important for brain function and other body processes.


Dos & don'ts (precautionary measures) in sleep apnea (obstructive)

Goals of Treatment

The goals of treating obstructive sleep apnea are to:

  • Restore regular breathing during sleep

  • Relieve symptoms such as loud snoring and daytime sleepiness

Treatment may help other medical problems linked to sleep apnea, such as high blood pressure. Treatment also can reduce your risk for heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

Lifestyle Changes

If you have mild sleep apnea, some changes in daily activities or habits may be all that you need.

  • Avoid alcohol and medicines (antihistamines, or tranquilizers) that make you sleepy. They make it harder for your throat to stay open while you sleep.

  • Keep your nasal passages open at night with nose sprays or allergy medicines, if needed. Talk to your doctor about whether these treatments might help you.

  • Get treatment for allergies and colds or sinus problems.

  • Gargle with salt water (without swallowing) to shrink your tonsils.

  • Develop regular sleep habits, and especially make sure you get enough sleep at night.

  • Sleep on your side rather than on your back or with your body elevated from the waist up. You can use foam wedges (rather than soft pillows, which tend to make apnea worse by pushing the chin toward the chest) to raise your upper body.

  • Raise the head of your bed by placing bricks under the headboard.

  • Use an air humidifier at night.

  • Don't smoke or expose yourself to other irritants (such as dust or perfumes).

  • Exercise regularly by walking, jogging, swimming or going to gym

  • Determine how much sleep you need to feel constantly awake and recharged -  this can be done by keeping a sleep journal

  • Practice relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga or visualization to reduce stress and anxiety

  • Spend time outdoors after waking as this regulates the body’s biological clock

  • Create a comfortable, tranquil and relaxing sleeping environment

Mouthpiece

A mouthpiece, sometimes called an oral appliance, may help some people who have mild sleep apnea. Your doctor also may recommend a mouthpiece if you snore loudly but don't have sleep apnea.

If you use a mouthpiece, it's important that you check with your doctor about discomfort or pain while using the device. You may need periodic office visits so your doctor can adjust your mouthpiece to fit better.


Herbs for sleep apnea (obstructive). If you're having any type of surgery that requires medicine to put you to sleep, let your surgeon and doctors know you have sleep apnea. They might have to take extra steps to make sure your airway stays open during the surgery.

Breathing Devices

Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is the most common treatment for moderate to severe sleep apnea in adults. A CPAP machine uses a mask that fits over your mouth and nose, or just over your nose. The machine gently blows air into your throat.

The air presses on the wall of your airway. The air pressure is adjusted so that it's just enough to stop the airways from becoming narrowed or blocked during sleep.

Treating sleep apnea may help you stop snoring. But stopping snoring doesn't mean that you no longer have sleep apnea or can stop using CPAP. Sleep apnea will return if CPAP is stopped or not used correctly.

Usually, a technician will come to your home to bring the CPAP equipment. The technician will set up the CPAP machine and adjust it based on your doctor's orders. After the initial setup, you may need to have the CPAP adjusted on occasion for the best results.

CPAP treatment may cause side effects in some people. These side effects include a dry or stuffy nose, irritated skin on your face, sore eyes, and headaches. If your CPAP isn't properly adjusted, you may get stomach bloating and discomfort while wearing the mask.

If you're having trouble with CPAP side effects, work with your sleep specialist, his or her nursing staff, and the CPAP technician. Together, you can take steps to reduce these side effects. These steps include adjusting the CPAP settings or the size/fit of the mask, or adding moisture to the air as it flows through the mask. A nasal spray may relieve a dry, stuffy, or runny nose.

Acupuncture

Some evidence suggests that a type of acupuncture called auriculotherapy acupoint pressure may help treat sleep apnea.

Watch out for your weight

Try not to gain weight. Weight gain can worsen sleep apnea and require adjustments to your CPAP device. In contrast, weight loss may relieve your sleep apnea.

Be careful at work

Until your sleep apnea is properly treated, know the dangers of driving or operating heavy machinery while sleepy.

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Herbal & homeopathic products recommended in sleep apnea (obstructive)

SerenitePlus™

Natural sleep tonic for a restful night.

Product Details

Serenite-LT™

Solve long term sleep problems without the risk of addiction.

Product Details

Sleep Tonic™

Helps maintain a healthy balance of all hormones involved in healthy sleep patterns.

Product Details