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17 Natural Remedies For Sleep Apnea Treatment At Home

While you cannot cure sleep apnea at home, there are some changes you can make for relief. In this blog, we discuss when to use these home remedies and when to know that it’s time to see your doctor.

Sleep Apnea Treatment Home


Sleep apnea symptoms can be alleviated at home, but proper diagnosis is needed for treatment.

Positional therapy, humidification, and throat exercises are a few of the things you can try.

If you experience excessive daytime sleepiness and morning headaches, see a doctor. 

Did you know?
Sleep apnea affects around 25 million adults in the United States alone.

Do you find yourself nodding off during the day, despite getting what seems like a full night’s rest? Or perhaps you’ve been told that your snoring could wake the neighbors? You might be one of the many people experiencing sleep apnea! In this blog, we discuss whether or not you should try treating sleep apnea at home and when to see a doctor.

Let’s dive in!

Can Sleep Apnea Be Cured At Home?

The short answer is – no, sleep apnea cannot be entirely cured from home. Sleep apnea is a serious medical condition that requires professional diagnosis and treatment. While there are some lifestyle changes and home remedies that help alleviate mild symptoms, they do not cure the condition entirely.

Let’s discuss some of the things you can do to help with sleep apnea at home.

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Natural Home Remedies For Sleep Apnea

Here are lifestyle modifications that help alleviate symptoms of sleep apnea:

Weight Loss

Excess weight contributes to obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), especially if the weight is around your neck area. Losing weight through a combination of a healthy diet and regular exercise can help reduce the severity of sleep apnea symptoms.

1. Positional Therapy: Some people experience sleep apnea when sleeping on their back (supine position). Using pillows or positional devices to encourage side sleeping helps keep the airway open during sleep.

2. Avoid Alcohol and Sedatives: Alcohol and sedative medications relax the muscles in the throat, making obstruction of your airways more likely. Steering clear of alcohol, especially before bedtime, helps reduce the frequency and severity of sleep apnea episodes.

3. Quit Smoking: Smoking contributes to inflammation and narrowing of the airways, worsening sleep apnea symptoms. Quitting smoking improves overall respiratory health and reduces the severity of sleep apnea

4. Elevate the Head of the Bed: Sleeping with the head elevated helps prevent the tongue and soft tissues in the throat from collapsing backward and obstructing the airway. Using a bolster pillow or adjustable bed is helpful for most people.

5. Maintain a Regular Sleep Schedule: Establishing a consistent sleep schedule and ensuring adequate sleep duration (7 to 9 hours) helps improve sleep quality and reduces the likelihood of sleep apnea episodes.

6. Nasal Decongestion: Keeping the nasal passages clear and open helps reduce nasal congestion and airflow resistance during sleep. Nasal strips, saline nasal sprays, or nasal dilator devices are helpful for some people.

7. Practice Relaxing Before Bed: Create a relaxing sleep environment by ensuring your bedroom is dark, quiet, and comfortable. Sleep aids like weighted blankets also help in calming the nervous system and reducing tension in your body. The gentle pressure of a blanket like our Cotton Napper helps keep restless sleepers in a more stable and relaxed sleep position, preventing the worsening of sleep apnea symptoms.

8. Sleeping on Your Side: Sleeping on your side rather than your back can help prevent the tongue and soft tissues in the throat from collapsing backward and obstructing the airway. Use pillows or positional aids to encourage side sleeping.

9. Humidification: Dry air irritates the airways and worsens sleep apnea symptoms. Using a humidifier in the bedroom adds moisture to the air, reducing nasal congestion and throat irritation.

10. Avoid Large Meals Before Bed: Eating a large meal shortly before bedtime can increase the risk of acid reflux, worsening sleep apnea symptoms. Steer clear of heavy or spicy meals close to bedtime.

11. Limit Caffeine And Other Stimulants: Both caffeine and alcohol disrupt sleep patterns and exacerbate sleep apnea symptoms. Limit consumption of caffeine and other stimulants, especially in the hours leading up to bedtime.

12. Regular Exercise: Engaging in regular physical activity can reduce the severity of sleep apnea symptoms. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week.

13. Throat Exercises: Strengthening the muscles of the throat and tongue with targeted exercises help reduce the severity of sleep apnea. Simple exercises like tongue slides, throat stretching, and vocalization exercises can be done regularly to improve muscle tone.

14. Acupuncture: Some studies by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) suggest that acupuncture helps reduce the severity of sleep apnea symptoms by promoting relaxation and improving airflow. Consult with a qualified acupuncturist for personalized treatment.

15. Avoid Sleep Disruptors: Identify and address any factors that disrupt your sleep, like loud snoring, restless leg syndrome, or frequent bathroom trips. Addressing these underlying issues helps improve overall sleep quality.

16. Reduce Allergen Exposure: Allergens like dust mites, pet dander, and pollen exacerbate nasal congestion and contribute to sleep apnea symptoms. Take steps to reduce allergen exposure in the bedroom, like using hypoallergenic bedding and regularly cleaning air filters.

Beyond these tips, many people have also reported experiencing great benefits from herbal remedies while at home. Let’s look at some of these in the next section.

Natural Home Remedies For Sleep Apnea

Herbal Remedies For Sleep Apnea

Here are 10 herbal remedies that have been shown to alleviate symptoms of sleep apnea:

1. Valerian Root is a popular herbal remedy known for its calming and sedative properties. It helps promote relaxation and improve sleep quality, reducing the severity of sleep apnea symptoms.

2. Lemon Balm is a member of the mint family known for its soothing effects on the nervous system. Lemon balm helps reduce anxiety and its associated symptoms, making it beneficial for people with sleep apnea.

3. Passionflower is another herb with calming properties that help improve sleep quality and reduce nighttime awakenings. It also helps alleviate anxiety, which worsens sleep apnea symptoms.

4. Chamomile is well-known for its calming and sleep-inducing effects. Drinking chamomile tea before bedtime helps promote relaxation, reduce stress, and improve sleep quality, benefiting people who experience sleep apnea.

5. Lavender is often used in aromatherapy for its relaxing and sleep-promoting properties. Inhaling lavender essential oil or using it in a diffuser before bedtime can help reduce anxiety, promote relaxation, and improve sleep quality.

6. Hops, a key ingredient in beer, also has sedative properties that help promote relaxation. It can be consumed as a tea or taken in supplement form.

7. Skullcap is an herb traditionally used to promote relaxation and relieve anxiety. Skullcap helps calm the nervous system and improve sleep quality, reducing the severity of sleep apnea symptoms.

8. Kava Kava is a plant native to the South Pacific known for its sedative and anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing) effects. Kava Kava helps to relax your body, especially when taken in the right dosage.

9. California Poppy is a mild sedative herb that helps the body relax. California poppy is often used to relieve anxiety and insomnia, making it beneficial for people with sleep apnea.

10. Lobelia is an herb with relaxant and antispasmodic (reducing muscle spasms) properties that help reduce muscle tension and promote relaxation of the airways. It can be used as part of a comprehensive treatment approach for sleep apnea, with medical supervision.

While herbal remedies can be helpful for some people, consult with a healthcare provider before using them, especially if you have underlying health conditions or are taking medications. Some herbs interact with medications or have contraindications for certain medical conditions.

Next, let’s talk about whether or not you should consider using these home remedies in your treatment of sleep apnea.

Should I Consider Home Remedies for Sleep Apnea?

Should I Consider Home Remedies for Sleep Apnea?

Here are some factors to consider when determining if home remedies for sleep apnea are appropriate for you:

1. Severity of Symptoms: Home remedies are suitable for people with mild to moderate symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea. If you have severe symptoms or complications related to sleep apnea, like excessive daytime sleepiness, high blood pressure, or cardiovascular diseases, you require more intensive treatment approaches under the guidance of a healthcare provider.

2. Health Status: Consider your overall health status and any underlying medical conditions you may have. Some home remedies, like lifestyle modifications or herbal supplements, interact with medications or have contraindications for certain health conditions. Discuss any home remedies with your healthcare provider to ensure they are safe and appropriate for you.

3. Treatment Preferences: Some people prefer exploring non-invasive or natural treatment options for sleep apnea before considering more intensive therapies, like continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy or surgery. Home remedies, like positional therapy, weight loss, or nasal decongestants, appeal to those who prefer self-care approaches or who have difficulty tolerating CPAP therapy.

4. Compliance with Treatment: Successful management of sleep apnea often requires ongoing adherence to treatment recommendations. Home remedies are more suitable for people who are motivated to make lifestyle changes and who are willing to incorporate these changes into their daily routine.

Simply, consider home remedies for sleep apnea if you have mild to moderate symptoms, are motivated to make lifestyle changes, and prefer non-invasive or natural treatment approaches. Next, let’s see if it is safe to treat sleep apnea while at home.

Is It Safe To Treat Sleep Apnea At Home?

Yes – and No. Treating sleep apnea at home using certain methods can be safe for some people, especially those with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and without significant underlying health conditions. However, it’s essential to approach home treatment with caution and under the guidance of a healthcare provider to ensure safety and effectiveness.

So, in the next section, let’s look at some tell-tale signs that your sleep apnea symptoms need more than home treatment.

When To See A Doctor

Here are some indications of when to see a doctor about sleep apnea:

1. Loud and Persistent Snoring: If you or your sleep partner notice loud and persistent snoring, especially accompanied by pauses in breathing, choking, or gasping sounds during sleep, talk to a doctor.

2. Excessive Daytime Sleepiness: If you regularly feel excessively sleepy during the day, despite getting a full night’s sleep, it could be a sign of sleep apnea. This sleepiness can interfere with daily activities, like work, driving, and social functioning.

3. Witnessed Apneas: If someone observes episodes of breathing cessation during your sleep, characterized by long pauses followed by gasping or choking sounds, seek medical evaluation.

4. Morning Headaches: Waking up with frequent headaches, particularly in the morning, is usually a symptom of severe sleep apnea due to changes in oxygen levels and increased carbon dioxide in the blood during sleep.

5. Difficulty Concentrating: Sleep apnea can impair cognitive function, leading to difficulty concentrating, memory problems, and decreased alertness during the day. It is best to speak to a doctor about this instead of using only home remedies.

6. Mood Changes: Sleep apnea can contribute to mood disturbances, like irritability, mood swings, depression, and anxiety. If you experience recurring or persistent mood swings, speak to your doctor about checking for disorders like sleep apnea.

7. Frequent Nighttime Urination: Nocturia, or the need to urinate frequently during the night, is associated with sleep apnea, especially if it disrupts sleep patterns. If this happens once in a while, it may be simply because you drank lots of fluids before bed. However, if this is a recurring symptom, you may be dealing with severe sleep apnea, interrupting with your ability to sleep through the night.

8. Obesity or Large Neck Circumference: Being overweight or having a large neck circumference increases the risk of sleep apnea due to the presence of excess soft tissue around the airway.

9. High Blood Pressure: Sleep apnea is associated with an increased risk of hypertension (high blood pressure). If you have hypertension that is difficult to control despite medication, sleep apnea could be a contributing factor.

If you experience any of these symptoms or if you suspect you have sleep apnea, consult with a healthcare provider, preferably one specialized in sleep medicine.


Home remedies and lifestyle changes can offer relief from mild to moderate sleep apnea. However, seek medical guidance for proper diagnosis and treatment recommendation by a healthcare professional. Some useful home remedies to try include positional therapy, weight loss, and the use of herbal supplements. All of these can complement traditional treatments like continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy or oral appliances.