What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder that occurs when your breathing is interrupted several times during sleep. This is common in young children, but it may also affect some adults. Loud snoring and abnormal breathing are the two main symptoms of sleep apnea. If you are suffering from this condition, you may feel drowsy and irritated the whole wakeful state due to the lack of proper sleep.
What are the Symptoms of Sleep Apnea?
Typical: The signs and symptoms of obstructive and central sleep apneas overlap, sometimes making it difficult to determine which type you have.
Might Experience: Sleep apnea has some typical symptoms. Some of the common symptoms are loud snoring and unusual breathing patterns during sleep. You may have incidents when you stop inhaling while sleeping for few seconds and then gasping a larger amount of air for breathing. You may also suffer from headaches due to a lack of rest. Extreme daytime tiredness and sleepiness (hypersomnia) are very common symptoms of sleep apnea. A person with sleep apnea often becomes irritated.
What are the Causes of Sleep Apnea?
- There are some typical causes of sleep apnea. One of the main causes which trigger this condition is the blockage of the airway in the soft tissue of your mouth and throat.
- This is mostly seen in people who are overweight. Obesity significantly boosts the possibility of sleep apnea. Excess fat may cause the blockage of the airway and trigger this condition.
- Another major cause may be neck conditions. People who have thicker necks often have narrowed airways and might develop this condition.
- Smoking may also cause sleep apnea.
- It is seen that older people tend to develop sleep apnea more than younger people. However, you may also suffer from this condition if you have a family history of sleep apnea.
- The use of alcohol is also found to be one of the causes of sleep apnea.
When to see a Doctor?
Sleep apnea may lead to some serious health conditions and hence it is important to be taken care of. If ignored it may cause stroke and other health conditions such as heart attack, heart failure and irregular heartbeat. You may also suffer from depression, headaches or even diabetes. So in case you notice any signs and symptoms of sleep apnea, please see your doctor.
Lifestyle Prevention of Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea can be prevented just by following some measures. Let us understand how it can be done.
- Regular walking or jogging will help an obese person to breathe better. Heavy breathing caused by exercise will help you clear the blockages.
- However, in case you are heavy, do not jog or do any other exercise. Initially stick to walking only.
- Shifting your sleeping position is also a very effective measure to prevent sleep apnea. You can try different sleeping positions to see which is working better and helping you to ease the condition.
- Humidifying your house may sometimes help in preventing this condition. There may be instances when you may suffer from a feeling of choking in the nose due to dry or hot air in the room. So, using a humidifier will help in that case.
Common Ayurvedic Remedies for Sleep Apnea
Some Ayurvedic remedies are very effective on Sleep Apnea. Herbs like Ashwagandha, Shankapushpi, Sarpagandha, Jatamansi, Nirgundi, Chamomile tea, etc are very useful to relieve the symptoms of sleep apnea.
- Ashwagandha: Ashwagandha is a great adaptogen that soothes the nerves. Ashwagandha is infused with phytonutrient triethylene glycol, which stimulates uninterrupted sleep at night, to effectively prevent sleep apnea and enhance the quality of sleep. 300 mg twice daily after food for 60 days.
- Jatamansi: Jatamanshi is a very efficient herb for stimulating deep sleep at night. So for obvious reasons, it is very effective on sleep apnea as well. Mix ¼ – ½ teaspoon of powdered Jatamansi and drink it before sleep.
- Chamomile Tea: Chamomile is also a very effective flowering herb for improving the quality of sleep. To make the Chamomile tea, take 3 g dried flowers in 1 cup of hot water and steep it for 3 to 5 minutes. Drink twice or thrice a day.