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How To Manage Sleep Apnea Naturally At Home (Without A CPAP Machine)

Are there natural remedies for sleep apnea symptoms? Yes! While these lifestyle changes will not cure sleep apnea, they will help you get relief from symptoms without using a CPAP(continuous positive airway pressure) machine.

How To Manage Sleep Apnea Naturally At Home


Addressing excess weight, particularly around the neck, may help reduce symptoms.

Experiment with sleeping positions, especially favoring side sleeping.

Slight elevation of your bed may aid in preventing airway collapse during sleep. 

Did you know?
Sleep apnea affects an estimated 936 million people worldwide, highlighting the widespread nature of this sleep disorder!

If you or your loved one experience sleep apnea, then you may have wondered if a good night’s rest is possible without a CPAP machine. In a world where most of us deal with the intricacies of this sleep disorder, you’re not alone in the quest for remedies for sleep apnea. So, can you truly face sleep apnea without the hum of a CPAP? Let’s find out by first understanding what exactly sleep apnea is!

What Is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that is experienced as breathing disruptions when you’re sleeping. Typically, your breathing pauses – and can stay that way for a few seconds to a couple minutes. This can occur multiple times throughout the night and in varying degrees.

There are two main types of sleep apnea:

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA): OSA is the more prevalent form of sleep apnea. It happens when the muscles at the back of your throat relax excessively during sleep, causing an obstruction in the airway. This obstruction leads to temporary pauses in breathing. The brain senses the lack of airflow and briefly rouses you from sleep to reopen the airway. Often, people with OSA are not fully aware of these awakenings.

Central Sleep Apnea (CSA): CSA is less common and involves a failure of the brain to send the appropriate signals to the muscles responsible for breathing. Unlike OSA, CSA is not associated with a physical blockage of the airway. People with CSA may experience pauses in breathing without the characteristic snoring seen in OSA.

Both OSA and CSA have similar symptoms so let’s look at some common ones in the next subsection.

Signs and Symptoms of Sleep Apnea:

1. Loud Snoring: One of the most common symptoms of sleep apnea is loud and persistent snoring. The snoring is often accompanied by choking or gasping sounds as breathing resumes after a pause.

2. Episodes of Pauses in Breathing: Witnessed by a bed partner, family member, or roommate, episodes of breathing pauses during sleep are a significant indicator of sleep apnea.

3. Excessive Daytime Sleepiness: Sleep apnea can lead to fragmented sleep, resulting in daytime sleepiness, fatigue, and difficulty staying awake or focused during waking hours.

4. Morning Headaches: People with sleep apnea may wake up with headaches due to the changes in oxygen levels and increased carbon dioxide levels during the night.

5. Difficulty Concentrating: Impaired cognitive function, memory problems, and difficulty concentrating are common consequences of disrupted sleep caused by sleep apnea.

6. Irritability and Mood Changes: Sleep apnea can contribute to irritability, mood swings, and feelings of irritability or frustration.

7. Frequent Nighttime Urination: Nocturia, or the need to urinate frequently during the night, is sometimes associated with sleep apnea.

8. Dry Mouth or Sore Throat: People with sleep apnea may wake up with a dry mouth or sore throat due to breathing through the mouth or snoring.

Before we turn to natural remedies of obstructive sleep apnea, let’s consider factors that put you at risk of experiencing this sleep disorder.

Risk Factors for Sleep Apnea:

1. Obesity: Excess weight, especially in the neck area, can contribute to the compression of the airway and increase the risk of sleep apnea.

2. Age: Sleep apnea becomes more common as people age, although it can affect people of all ages.

3. Gender: Men are more likely to have sleep apnea than women. However, the risk for women increases if they are overweight, and it may also be influenced by hormonal changes.

4. Neck Circumference: A thicker neck may have a narrower airway, increasing the likelihood of airway obstruction.

5. Family History: There is evidence that a family history of sleep apnea may increase your risk of developing the disorder.

6. Medical Conditions: Conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and nasal congestion can increase the risk of sleep apnea.

Knowing this, let’s now turn to whether or not sleep apnea can be cured through natural home remedies.

Can Sleep Apnea Be Cured Naturally?

No, sleep apnea cannot be reliably cured through natural means alone. While lifestyle changes and natural remedies may help manage the symptoms of sleep apnea, there is no guaranteed “natural cure” for the disorder. Sleep apnea is a medical condition that often requires professional evaluation and treatment.

However, adopting healthy habits can contribute to symptom improvement and overall well-being. So, what are these sleep apnea remedies? Let’s discuss this next!

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What Are Home Remedies For Sleep Apnea?

If you’re looking to discover the natural solutions for sleep apnea, then consider the following tips:

1. Maintain a Healthy Weight: Losing excess weight, especially around the neck, may help alleviate symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea. Consult with a healthcare professional for guidance on healthy weight management.

2. Positional Therapy: Some people experience positional sleep apnea, meaning their symptoms are more pronounced in certain sleeping positions. Sleeping on your side rather than your back might be helpful. You can use sensory pillows or positional devices to encourage side sleeping.

3. Elevate the Head of the Bed: Elevating the head of your bed by a few inches may help reduce the severity of obstructive sleep apnea by preventing the collapse of the airway. This can be done using bed risers or an adjustable bed.

4. Avoid Alcohol and Sedatives: Alcohol and sedatives can relax the muscles of the throat, potentially worsening sleep apnea symptoms. Avoid consuming these substances, especially close to bedtime.

5. Quit Smoking: Smoking can increase inflammation and fluid retention in the airway, exacerbating sleep apnea symptoms. Quitting smoking can have positive effects on overall respiratory health as well.

6. Stay Hydrated: Proper hydration is important, but avoid excessive fluid intake close to bedtime to reduce the likelihood of nocturia (frequent nighttime urination).

7. Regular Exercise: Engaging in regular physical activity can contribute to overall health and may help with weight management. However, intense exercise close to bedtime should be avoided because this can make it harder to fall asleep.

8. Use a Humidifier: For people with nasal congestion or dry throat, using a humidifier in the bedroom can add moisture to the air, potentially easing breathing.

9. Practice Good Sleep Hygiene: Establish a consistent sleep schedule and create a comfortable sleep environment. This includes keeping the bedroom dark, quiet, and cool. For added comfort, use sleep aids like weighted blankets. Our Cotton Napper, for instance, helps reduce sleep anxiety by making you feel more calm and secure – it’s like receiving a big tight hug as you sleep.

These home remedies are supportive measures and should not replace professional medical advice. If you suspect you have sleep apnea or are experiencing symptoms such as loud snoring, choking or gasping during sleep, excessive daytime sleepiness, or difficulty concentrating, consult with a healthcare professional for assessment.

Another common tip for home remedies for sleep apnea is drinking tea. So, is there some truth to this? Let’s talk about it next.

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Does Tea Help To Cure Sleep Apnea?

Not really. But, while tea alone may not be a cure for sleep apnea, some herbal teas offer relaxation and potential benefits that complement a relaxing sleep routine. Here are a few herbal teas for better sleep:

1. Chamomile Tea: Known for its calming properties, chamomile tea may help relax muscles and ease stress, potentially promoting a more restful night’s rest.

2. Lavender Tea: Lavender is often associated with relaxation and may have mild sedative effects. A cup of lavender tea before bedtime might contribute to a calming atmosphere.

3. Valerian Root Tea: Valerian root is an herb known for its potential to induce relaxation and improve sleep quality. However, its effectiveness can vary among people.

4. Peppermint Tea: While not directly linked to sleep, peppermint tea can help with digestion, reducing the likelihood of discomfort that may disrupt sleep.

Before incorporating any herbal remedies, including teas, have a chat with your doctor just in case they may have any specific food-related concerns based on your medical profile. Speaking of food… let’s talk about foods to steer clear of if you have sleep apnea.

What Foods Should I Avoid For Sleep Apnea?

There is lots of scientific evidence showing that the foods you eat (or don’t eat) can affect the development of sleep apnea or even exacerbate its symptoms if you already have it. Let’s begin by looking at foods that you may want to keep out of your home to reduce the risk of this happening:

1. Alcohol: Alcohol can relax the muscles in your throat, worsening sleep apnea symptoms like snoring and choking.

2. Caffeine: Limiting caffeine intake, especially in the hours leading up to bedtime, may help improve sleep quality overall. This ensures that your body is not improperly stimulated, which could worsen the symptoms of sleep disorders like sleep apnea.

3. Highly Processed Foods: Processed foods and those high in refined sugars may contribute to inflammation and weight gain, both of which can affect the development of sleep apnea.

4. Heavy Meals Before Bed: Large, heavy meals close to bedtime can lead to discomfort and may exacerbate sleep apnea symptoms too. Overall, steer clear of eating within 2 hours to bedtime because food is still digested while you’re sleeping and that interferes with your body’s ability to rest deeply.

5. Dairy Products: For some people, dairy products may increase mucus production, potentially impacting breathing during sleep.

On the flip side, let’s now look at foods you can eat to assist with sleep apnea symptoms. These are not foods that “cure” sleep apnea, but can really help:

1. Fruits and Vegetables: A diet rich in fruits and vegetables provides essential vitamins and antioxidants that support overall health, including respiratory health.

2. Fatty Fish: Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish like salmon and trout may have anti-inflammatory properties, potentially benefiting airway function.

3. Magnesium-Rich Foods: Magnesium is associated with muscle relaxation, and incorporating foods like nuts, seeds, leafy greens, and whole grains may be beneficial.

4. Turmeric: Curcumin, the active compound in turmeric, has anti-inflammatory properties that may be helpful for respiratory health.

5. Ginger: Known for its anti-inflammatory properties, ginger might contribute to reducing inflammation in the airways. Also, having a drink like lemon-ginger tea before bed may help you feel much ready for bed

Instead of making dietary changes, some sleepers also consider using supplements for sleep apnea. So in the next section, let’s discuss how sleep apnea relief supplements work.

What Foods Should I Avoid For Sleep Apnea?

How Do Sleep Apnea Relief Supplements Work?

Sleep apnea relief supplements typically work by targeting various aspects of sleep quality or factors contributing to sleep apnea symptoms. Here’s how some of the common supplements people use work:

1. Melatonin supplements work by supplementing the body’s natural production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle. By promoting relaxation and drowsiness, melatonin may help you fall asleep more easily and maintain a more regular sleep schedule.

2. Magnesium is a mineral that plays a crucial role in muscle function and relaxation. It may help relax the muscles in the airway, potentially reducing the likelihood of airway obstruction during sleep, which is a common issue in obstructive sleep apnea.

3. Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with various sleep disorders, including sleep apnea. While the exact mechanisms are not fully understood, vitamin D may influence sleep patterns and contribute to overall sleep quality. Supplementing with vitamin D may help address deficiencies and improve sleep in individuals with sleep apnea.

4. Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties and may help reduce inflammation in the airways. Inflammation can contribute to airway obstruction and worsen sleep apnea symptoms. By reducing inflammation, omega-3 fatty acids may help improve airflow and reduce the severity of sleep apnea.

5. Valerian root contains compounds that act as natural sedatives and anxiolytics (promoting relaxation and reducing anxiety). By calming the nervous system and inducing relaxation, valerian root may help individuals with sleep apnea fall asleep more easily and experience deeper, more restful sleep.

6. L-Theanine is an amino acid that promotes relaxation and reduces stress and anxiety by increasing levels of neurotransmitters like GABA and serotonin. By promoting relaxation and reducing arousal, L-Theanine may help individuals with sleep apnea achieve better sleep quality and reduce the frequency of awakenings during the night.

It’s essential to remember that supplements are not a substitute for medical treatment or lifestyle modifications recommended by healthcare professionals. Consulting with a doctor is crucial before starting any new supplement regimen, especially if you have underlying health conditions or are taking medications.

In the next section, we talk about tell-tale signs indicating that it’s time to speak to a medical professional about your sleep apnea symptoms.

When To See A Doctor

If you suspect that you or someone you know may have sleep apnea, visit your local hospital to have a conversation with a medical professional. Here are some signs and symptoms you need to look out for:

1. Loud and Persistent Snoring: Loud snoring, especially if it is regular and disruptive, can be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea.

2. Pauses in Breathing: Witnessed pauses in breathing during sleep, where breathing stops and then restarts with a gasp or snort.

3. Excessive Daytime Sleepiness: Persistent daytime sleepiness, fatigue, or difficulty staying awake during daily activities.

4. Morning Headaches: Waking up with frequent headaches, which could be a result of the disrupted sleep patterns associated with sleep apnea.

5. Difficulty Concentrating: Impaired cognitive function, memory problems, and difficulty concentrating during waking hours could indicate that your sleep was not optimal due to a disorder like sleep apnea.

6. Irritability and Mood Changes: Irritability, mood swings, or feelings of frustration may be linked to poor sleep quality caused by sleep apnea.

7. Frequent Nighttime Urination: Nocturia, or the need to urinate frequently during the night, can be associated with sleep apnea.

8. Gasping or Choking During Sleep: If you wake up with a sensation of gasping or choking, it may indicate disrupted breathing during sleep.

9. Restless Sleep: Tossing and turning during sleep or frequent awakenings throughout the night may also signal that you’re dealing with a sleeping disorder like sleep apnea.

10. High Blood Pressure: The presence of high blood pressure, especially if it is difficult to control with medication, could be associated with sleep apnea.

You do not have to experience every single one of these symptoms to see your doctor. If you or your loved one notices any of these signs, schedule an appointment with a healthcare professional. A primary care physician or a sleep specialist can conduct a thorough evaluation, which may include taking a detailed medical history, performing a physical examination, and, if necessary, recommending a sleep study (polysomnography).

A sleep study is exactly what it sounds like – your sleep quality will be studied by a sleep specialist. This is the most definitive way to diagnose sleep disorders like sleep apnea and to assess how severe they are.


While managing sleep apnea naturally at home is a desirable goal, it’s important to know that there’s no guaranteed “cure” for this disorder through only natural means. Sleep apnea is a medical condition that often requires professional evaluation and treatment. However, even with that, lifestyle adjustments and home remedies can help alleviate some symptoms of this disorder.