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Natural remedies for sleep apnea

 
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What are the best natural remedies (food, herbs, behaviors, etc) for sleep apnea?
 
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A biomat. NASA technology with amethysts and no electromagnetic problems. There are cycles to this matt that helps people relax muscles and sleep, detox the body with sweat, and breathe easier. Will it cure or fix or change sleep apnea? I have not read any studies and I have never been diagnosed with sleep apnea. If it is the tongue position that causes snoring, then the right pillow will make a world of difference. Losing the gut always helps breathing, and the best way is to use a low yeast/mold/vinegar diet. Why? Have you seen what yeast/mold/vinegar does to bread? Vinegar bread does not taste like soda bread. A protruding belly never helps breathing or sleep.
 
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So I just realized after watching this video and my partner telling me that he's heard me stop breathing at night, that I probably have mild sleep apnea. Having watched the video, I started exploring the solution he suggested, mandibular advancement devices (MADs). Basically, they're a mouth guard type device that you wear at night which slightly pulls your jaw forward, making it less likely that your airway will become blocked. Sometimes they're marketed as anti-snoring devices. Apparently, for mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea, they can make a huge difference and are becoming a first line treatment option.  More info on those here: https://www.sleepassociation.org/sleep-treatments/snoring-mouthpieces/mandibular-advancement-device/

While MADs aren't super expensive ($80-100ish), I didn't love the idea of having a weird plastic thing in my mouth. Especially since I already have jaw pain and they can make that worse. So I did some searching around and found these exercises, recommended by an ENT. They're super easy and only take a few minutes each day to do. I've only been doing them for a couple days and feel they're already helping. My partner said he hasn't heard me stop breathing since either. I think I've felt a bit more rested too, but that's harder to tell. The exhaustion runs pretty deep at this point, so that might take longer to feel the difference. I hope maybe this can help someone else too!


Another thing that can help with obstructive sleep apnea is not drinking or at least reducing alcohol consumption before bed time. Alcohol relaxes the muscles of the throat and airways, causing them to narrow. Apparently, it can cause sleep apnea in people who otherwise don't have the condition. Sleeping on your side rather than your back can be beneficial, as when you sleep on your back, the tongue is more likely to fall back into the throat and block the airway.
 
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Following. I have sleep apnea and use a C-PAP machine which I despise; on top of that, I have an O2 concentrator, which I hate, also. My problems may be more severe than can be addressed by solutions in this thread, but I'm looking anyway. Ever hopeful!

I have heard that losing weight may help. A Facebook friend was on C-PAP for several years until she lost weight; her doctor took her off it after a sleep study confirmed it wasn't needed anymore! (I need to lose 60+ pounds.)
 
Heather Sharpe
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Paul, that sounds rough. CPAP machines seem like they'd be crazy uncomfortable, so I can certainly understand wanting to find another way. Losing weight can only help. But as I'm sure you know, can be tough when you're tired all the time. Apparently, the relationship between weight and obstructive sleep apnea is more complex than previously thought. The same fellow above with the exercises has a good video about that too. I know it helped me understand why I've struggled to lose weight despite doing all the right things and thus be a little easier on myself about that.


Obviously, you might want to check with your doctor, but I'd think those exercises could only help. I hope you find something that works for you so you can get some good rest! Being tired all the time is beyond hard.
 
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Following this thread now.  Doc thinks my high blood pressure and other factors weighed in on a mild stroke back in January.  Looking into dietary/herbal assistance for hypertension as well as possibly switching medications.  Blood pressure can be pretty high, even upon waking....which has led to suggestion of apnea contributing to oxygen debt and elevated blood pressure.  So again, CPAP came up and for many reasons I'd rather not go down that road.  Would consider the mouthguard type of fix before that, but also hoping more chime in about what may have worked for them.  I'm a side-sleeper..... except when I can't.  The 4 am insomnia usually makes me sit up against pillows and try to meditate back to sleep, which usually works.  Anyway, hoping others continue with this thread and new solutions emerge from the discussions.
 
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Both my friend and my sister have CPAP machines for sleep apnea. These machines may not be as "natural" as you are all hoping for, but I will say that for these two individuals the machine has been extremely beneficial.

My sister needed surgery. While in hospital recovering, the nurses would get her up into a recliner. If she fell asleep, the nurses would know because her sensor would start beeping in the nursing station. They said that if she thought she'd fall asleep in the recliner, she had to ask the nurses to move her machine near enough that she could put it on, because clearly even a nap in a recliner dropped her blood O2 level.

That said, I will send her some of these videos. If something less intrusive can help her, she'll be all for it!

Every person is different, and every treatment has its pro and cons. It's worth trying multiple approaches. For example, even if the exercises don't work now - if using a CPAP helps you loose weight (poor sleep habits tend to make weight loss extremely difficult), once the weight is lower, the exercises might be enough. That said, my sister has lost weight many times over her life and *always* gains it back. Nothing is ever simple!
 
pollinator
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Heather, how are you doing with the exercises six months out?
 
Heather Sharpe
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Melissa Ferrin wrote:Heather, how are you doing with the exercises six months out?

Hi Melissa! To be honest, I only did them for a few weeks and stopped cause I was feeling better and my partner wasn't hearing me stop breathing anymore. So I would say they worked quite well for me.

I had still been having sleep that didn't feel refreshing, but I think that's due to CPTSD, associated anxiety and fibromyalgia. I also started taking Ashwagandha tincture at bedtime after learning about the relationship between cortisol levels being high and sleep difficulties. High cortisol makes it hard to sleep, losing sleep ups your cortisol, thus making it harder yet to sleep and so on in a loop. Ashwagandha helps lower cortisol. I feel like this has helped. I also started taking a clinically studied form of lavender oil for the anxiety part of the bad sleep spiral. Not as permie as I would prefer, taking lavender capsules, but not sleeping and being unable to function isn't very permie either. The lavender has made a huge difference in my sleep, mood and pain. I have felt rested for the first time in ages! Obviously this probably wouldn't help for the sleep apnea itself, but might help with that cortisol loop. Could be helpful to folks for whom anxiety is a piece of the puzzle. Which I would guess might be lots, since continually getting poor sleep can be pretty anxiety provoking in itself.  
 
Melissa Ferrin
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Thanks for the detailed reply Heather!
I have not been diagnosed with anything. but just starting to try to figure out why I'm exhausted every morning.  I have several relatives with sleep apnea so this caught my eye.
I live in a fairly rural area of Southern Mexico and haven't really found a general doctor who I feel is comprehensive,  So trying to do a bit of research into possible causes in preparation for seeing a doctor.
 
Heather Sharpe
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Melissa Ferrin wrote:Thanks for the detailed reply Heather!
I have not been diagnosed with anything. but just starting to try to figure out why I'm exhausted every morning.  I have several relatives with sleep apnea so this caught my eye.
I live in a fairly rural area of Southern Mexico and haven't really found a general doctor who I feel is comprehensive,  So trying to do a bit of research into possible causes in preparation for seeing a doctor.

Of course. It's so frustrating being exhausted after sleep and especially when you don't even know why. I hope you find some answers and get some refreshing sleep soon!

Finding a good doctor is such an important part of the process, I feel. You're wise to be choosy and to know what might be going on for yourself. The same fellow with the exercises I posted earlier has a free, app called SnoreDoctor. It records the sounds you make over the night so you can see if you're snoring or stopping breathing. It also gives you the ability to keep track of patterns, It could give you some clues and possibly help you see if changes you're making make a difference.  
 
John Weiland
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Heather Sharpe wrote:.... a free, app called SnoreDoctor. It records the sounds you make over the night so you can see if you're snoring or stopping breathing. It also gives you the ability to keep track of patterns, It could give you some clues and possibly help you see if changes you're making make a difference.  



Along similar lines, I'm probably going to activate a 30-day cardiac monitor.....anyone have experience with these?  It both records and broadcasts the heart rhythm to my health care provider so we can make some plans in July.  I'm not inclined to want to take any kind of drastic action, but at least we will have some understanding of what my heart is doing through all of this, both during the day and at night.  Does SnoreDoctor take a lot of battery power from your phone....can you just leave the phone plugged in for recharging while the app is functioning?  Thanks!...
 
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Hi Jennifer,
I think many of the common items have been talked about already. Losing weight, special exercises, reducing stress, etc.

One item that I believe has greatly helped my sleep (I was not officially diagnosed with sleep apnea, but I suspected, based on my experience and reading) was magnesium. Magnesium is used in over 300 biochemical reactions in the body, particularly around muscles being able to relax and contract properly. I'm not a doctor, I'm not suggesting this will cure anything, and all that good "don't blame me" stuff :), but the health and scince article below talks about some studies showing a relationship between sleep apnea and magnesium. Essentially that people with sleep apnea tend to be even more likely to be deficient in magnesium than than those without. They suggest that adding magnesium supplements to your diet may help. It is certainly a helpful mineral and is one of the safer supplements because it is harder to overdose than many other things. For me, it greatly improves my sleep. I sleep more soundly and wake up feeling more rested when I take my dose at night. Plus, according the healthline article below, while only 2% of people experience magnesium deficiency symptoms, nearly half of Americans are not getting enough and could suffer from less obvious symptoms... so it might be good in general too.

https://www.healthandscience.eu/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3233:sleep-apnea-is-linked-to-magnesium-deficiency-us&catid=20&lang=us&Itemid=374
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/magnesium-deficiency-symptoms
 
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