A Natural Approach To Health
Living With Sleep Apnea
I had a question the other day about sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea means your breathing often is blocked or partly blocked during sleep.
The problem can be mild to severe, based on how often your lungs don’t get enough air.
This may happen from 5 to more than 50 times an hour.
Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type.
A less common type is called central sleep apnea and can occur in people who’ve had a stroke, have heart failure, or have a brain tumor or infection.
Blocked or narrowed airways in your nose, mouth, or throat can cause sleep apnea.
Your airway can become blocked when your throat muscles and tongue relax during sleep.
Sleep apnea can also occur if you have large tonsils or adenoids or a large uvula.
During the day, when you’re awake and standing up, these may not cause problems.
But when you lie down at night, they can press down on your airway, narrowing it and causing sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea can also occur if you have a problem with your jawbone.
In children, the main cause of sleep apnea is large tonsils or adenoids.
Sleep apnea is more likely to occur if you’re overweight, use certain medicines or alcohol before bed, or sleep on your back.
The main symptoms of sleep apnea you may notice are:
>Not feeling rested after a night’s sleep.
>Feeling sleepy during the day.
>Waking up with a headache.
Your bed partner may notice while you sleep:
>You stop breathing.
>You often snore loudly.
>You gasp or choke.
>You toss and turn.
Children who have sleep apnea:
>Nearly always snore.
>May be hyperactive or have problems paying attention during the day.
>May be restless during sleep and wake up often. They also may have problems with bed-wetting.
But children may not seem very sleepy during the day (a key symptom in adults).
The only symptom of sleep apnea in some children may be they don’t grow as quickly as most children their age.
If you have sleep apnea, you may be more likely to end up with serious problems like:
>High blood pressure.
>High blood pressure in your lungs.
>An abnormal heart rhythm, heart failure, coronary artery disease, or stroke.
Your health care provider may suggest a sleep study.
A sleep study usually takes place at a sleep center, where you’ll spend the night.
Sleep studies find out how often you stop breathing or have too little air flowing into your lungs during sleep.
They also find out how much oxygen you have in your blood during sleep.
Sleep apnea is often treated with a machine that helps you breathe while you sleep.
This treatment is called continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP.
You may be able to treat mild sleep apnea by making changes in how you live and the way you sleep.
To deal with sleep apnea it’s beneficial to:
*Drink 6-8 cups of purified water daily as it hydrates body and brain cells, thins mucus, and flushes toxins.
*Increase Omega-3 essential fats.
*Increase stress relief/relaxation techniques.
*Explore energy medicine techniques (EFT).
*Consider herbs like chamomile and valerian.
*Increase deep-breathing techniques.
*Increase exercise, activity, sunshine, outdoors, fresh air.
*Sleep in complete darkness with no night light as this promotes melatonin.
*Decrease blood sugar fluctuations/hypoglycemic tendencies.
*Decrease possible triggers, allergies, sensitivities.
Decrease toxic household cleaning, laundry, and personal care products and/or poor air quality.
*Decrease sugar and chemical-laden junk and processed foods.
*Decrease caffeine, alcohol and tobacco.
*Do not read/watch upsetting books/TV before bed.
*Avoid eating in the 2-3 hours before bed.
*Avoid exercise before bed.
*Research short- and long-term effects of sleep medications.