Sleep apnea is a hard problem to deal with. You always feel tired, irritated, and just want to go to sleep. Find the relief you need with help from Dr. Wilhelm at Mark W. Wilhelm, DMD, MSD in Woodbury, MN.
Sleep Apnea Explained
Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder that can rob you of your needed rest. There are two types of sleep apnea:
Central Sleep Apnea – This type of sleep apnea originates in the brain. The area of your brain that controls breathing fails to send the signal to the lungs and diaphragm during your sleep hours, so your breathing stops. When this happens, you jerk awake to breathe again. This repeated cycle robs you of rest and drains you of energy the next day.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea – For some, sleep apnea comes from a physical obstruction that blocks their airway while they sleep. This blockage (such as a large tongue, large tonsils, or fatty tissues in the throat) causes you to stop breathing, and like central sleep apnea, you will jerk awake to regain your breath. This can be a big obstacle to you getting good sleep.
Natural Remedies to Help with Your Sleep Apnea Symptoms
Mother Nature is a great physician, and she has several natural remedies that can help ease your sleep apnea symptoms.
• Weight Loss – For many people with sleep apnea, their symptoms are exacerbated by their body size. Losing weight is a great way to reduce and even eliminate your sleep apnea symptoms. This is easy and hard all at the same time. The easy part is finding ways to do it. The hard part is sticking with those lifestyle changes long enough to achieve results. We can’t help you with your “sticktoitiveness,” but we can help you with some practical ways to get in better shape.
• Walk, Run, or Jog – Regularly getting out and getting some form of exercise (running, jogging, or walking) will do you a world of good in trying to get healthier. The key to this is to do it regularly. Jogging for five minutes, one time per week is not going to do much. You should shoot for at least three times per week, and shoot for at least 20 minutes of movement, even if you have to start out slow or work your way up to that time. Studies show that you burn twice as many calories in the second half of a 20-minute workout than you do in the first half of the same workout. Even better, find a friend or family member to do this with you.
• Join a Local Gym – Fitness centers and gyms are a great place to go. You will get the benefit of more equipment than you could buy, and there are always gym rats and workout-aholics who will be willing to help, encourage, and push you to do your best. Many times, the gym personnel will have fitness training experience. You can ask them about proper form, what exercises you should do, and any other helpful tips to get you a leaner, meaner body form.
• Plan Your Meals – Ask anyone who is active or is big into fitness, and they will all tell you that the most important part of getting fit is starting to eat right. Now, this doesn’t mean you have to stop eating all the stuff you love. There are many online resources and apps to help you plan out flavorful, healthy, lower-calorie meals. You can work out all day long, but if you don’t start eating better, your gains will be minimal at best.
• Get Rid of the Junk Food – Much like meal planning, you need to put the potato chip bag down, walk right on by the candy rack, and go to the produce section. Processed sugars are going to do you no good if you are trying to slim down. Pay attention to ingredients, and anything that is over half saturated fat should be put down immediately. This also includes fast food. You can make a comparable meal at home for less money and with better ingredients.
• Different Sleep Position – If you sleep on your back, you may be unintentionally helping to bring on sleep apnea symptoms. You may be able to lessen these symptoms by simply rolling onto your side to sleep. This will reduce the pressure on your throat and may alleviate the potential for obstruction. You may want to cut down on the number of pillows you use as well. It is easier for your sleep apnea to act up when you head is tilted forward.
• Take Your Vitamins – Vitamin D has been shown to have amazing effects on helping decrease sleep apnea symptoms. You may even have your sleep apnea symptoms eliminated. There is also some evidence that vitamin C may help keep the damage sleep apnea does to the cells in the throat to a minimum.
What if Natural Remedies Just Don’t Work?
Natural remedies are great, but unfortunately, they don’t always work for everyone. If you are having problems dealing with your sleep apnea, call Mark W. Wilhelm, DMD, MSD today at 651-319-9064 to schedule your consultation. Find out how our oral appliances and CPAP treatments can help you rest easy throughout the night.