Good sleep is central to our well-being. Nothing rejuvenates our body and mind as well as sound sleep. However, at times we can’t sleep properly as we may be tensed or excited or our body is not completely exhausted. This happens with all of us but generally this is a one-time phenomenon. But some suffer chronically from lack of proper sleep and may be suffering from Sleep Apnea. This if left untreated can have a damaging impact on a person’s overall health.
Medically speaking, Sleep Apnea has multiple reasons like obstruction in the throat, when the brain fails to detect signals to muscles that manage breathing and at times when both happen together. Typically, because the person is gasping for breath during the sleep, the person intermittently wakes up which leads to disturbed sleep. Since this is a repeated pattern, it leads to health complications such as compromised immune system, lack of proper memory, high blood pressure, diabetes and feeling of tiredness and irritability during the day. It impairs the person’s cognitive ability as well.
But there are certain home remedies which can be highly beneficial. On World Sleep Day, Dr. Satya Rajan Sahu, Pulmonologist, PSRI Hospital shared some tips which can be beneficial in overcoming Sleep Apnea.
Obesity is a major problem responsible for many health issues and it is so in the case of Sleep Apnea as well. Obesity can lead to Airway Obstruction- meaning partial or complete blocking of air to lung and thus disrupting sleep. So if you are overweight and suffer from Sleep Apnea, you should do all efforts to reduce weight.
Regular exercise or Yoga is like a panacea for any disease. Here too exercises can strengthen your respiratory system, your lungs inhale oxygen and since Sleep Apnea is caused by oxygen deprivation, the exercises or Yoga can help immensely in this.
Changing Sleep Positions
It has been found that changing sleep positions helps. If a person sleeps on back, it obstructs the breathing, so sleeping on the side may work.
Using air humidifier
Sometimes dry air in the closed environment can hinder oxygen diffusion, so devices like humidifiers which can improve moisture level can also help. Adding oils to these humidifiers is also recommended.
Having better lifestyle
Avoiding junk food, drinking and smoking. These impact the breathing pattern and best avoided to overcome Sleep Apnea. Smoking damages lungs, so excessive smoking does impair sleep pattern. So, it is better avoided. Avoiding caffeine at night is also recommended as it disrupts the sleep.
In some patients above tips may not work. In consultation with the doctor, such patients can opt for a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure therapy (CPAP) machine. It helps a person to breathe more easily during sleep as it keeps the airway open by applying positive pressure.