For years I suffered from sleep apnea, waking out of breath with dry mouth and dehydration almost every night. Chin straps and breathing strips only provided partial success. I found complete relief by taping my mouth shut with a strip of first aid paper tape. I cover it completely and wake up feeling refreshed. Despite mild sinus congestion it feels like I'm getting more oxygen. Three months of taping and I even have less fatigue! Amazing.
(Michelbach-le-bas, Alsace, France)
Interesting, although I don't suffer from sleep apnea I have a very dry mouth during the night and I had thought of taping it. What a coincidence to hear from someone else who does it.... It won't be too comfortable though.... but then I got so used to sleeping with ear plugs that I can't sleep without them anymore, so it is maybe the same thing for the tape.
(Anchorage, Alaska, Usa)
I cannot remember exactly what age when I started snoring loudly but I think it was in high school. I was informed by a male cousin that I kept him awake with my snoring and grinding teeth. I outgrew the teeth grinding but the snoring worsened as I grew older. A colleague told me to consult a doctor because I may have sleep apnea. But I never did.
I tried Googling for the causes and symptoms of sleep apnea and I am convinced that I have them. I want to try the various remedies for sleep apnea being recommended here in EC and I'll start with mouth taping. Aside from congestion, is there other health risk for mouth taping?
I have been using 2" wide medium adhesive tape for my sleep apnea for about 7 years. I used a cpap for about 3 years before that. It took a little getting used to, but after a few weeks, I found it was better than the CPAP for me. I would tend to get congestion with the CPAP often when I used it and sometimes I get congestion while using the tape, but I just remove the tape just like I removed the cpap when I got to congestive with it.
Thank you for your post on this. I read and tried it, and after a month of waking up at approximately 2:30 am and not being able to go back to sleep, I slept until my alarm woke me up this morning. Amazing!!!
I had used a CPAP machine in the past, but never had good results with it.
(Los Angeles, California)
You know those peel-off address labels you get from charities? They're perfect. The smaller ones I need two. I curl my lips in so there's minimum contact with them. I find the lower part loosens first (drool? nasal breath?) so I position so lower has more contact.
Throat Strengthening, Mouth Guard
I have to say that all I hear is that supplements will help but I don't believe this. How can obstructive sleep apnea be cured with supplements? it is a physical issue the throat collapsing on itself when unconscious.
You either do exercises to strengthen the throat tissue or a second possibility that over time your teeth and jaw clenching at night has caused your teeth to close tight at night and so the throat aperture to be less open when asleep.
Use a mouth guard to keep your teeth apart 5mm and you should get more oxygen during sleep reducing the oxygen requirements for the body's organs and so a lessening n blood pressure also and no snoring.
just some out of the box thinking.
Seven years ago I was diagnosed with severe obstructive sleep apnea. I began using the C-pap machine, along with supplemental oxygen. One year ago I went back to the sleep lab for a re-study and was told I no longer had sleep apnea! I did not believe it and went back for a second night. Again, I was told I did not have sleep apnea! When I told my sleep doctor that I thought sleep apnea was not curable, he just shrugged his shoulders! It was a mystery to him....... Maybe. Since then, I have not used my machine because I can no longer get replacement masks. At first I was very fearful to not use it but I have gotten along fine.
I have 2 siblings with sleep apnea that have asked me what I did to cure it and I have thought and wondered about it a lot. I have finally come to the conclusion that increasing the amount of Vitamin C I take cured me. Vitamin C is a natural antihistamine and antitoxin. Of course there is no way for me to know for sure, it is just my best guess on what has cured me. I take about 3000 mg, spread throughout the day, and if I get up at night to use the bathroom, I take another one. I wanted to share this information for all the people who are out there suffering and even in danger of dying in their sleep due to this problem.
Many people have no insurance and cannot afford the study or the machine. I also take selenium, garlic and hawthorne berry on a regular basis, but I really think it is the Vitamin C. I also practice oil pulling from time to time. Also, I sleep with the head of my bed raised up a few inches on bricks and I sleep with 2 or 3 feather pillows. Occasionally I will wake with a headache and will have an irritated, raw feeling in my sinuses. That tells me I need to up my Vitamin C.
Another tip is that any good essential oil dabbed on your body somewhere, (use a tiny amount) will increase the oxygen levels in your blood. Your oxygen levels drop as you struggle to breathe if you have sleep apnea. I proved this to myself when the doctor wanted to keep me on supplemental oxygen even though I no longer needed C-pap. I used an essential oil (don't overdo it) before I went in for a blood oxygen saturation test and my levels were fine!
(an article I found on a natural treatment)
Sleep apnea is one of the most common sleep disturbance problems in America. It ruins the sleep of an estimated 25 million Americans on a regular basis. The condition prevents the sleeper from entering REM and Delta sleep causing them to become anxious, cantankerous and tired during the day. There are very serious health consequences of prolonged sleep deprivation. Additionally, due to the nature of the condition, it causes blood oxygen levels to be lower than normal for very prolonged periods of time. This is damaging to the brain and heart in particular.
Presently, there are several ways in which the problem is addressed. Initially, the patient is told to lose weight, drink less alcohol and quit smoking. With just a smidgen of insight into human nature, anyone can figure out how unsuccessful this approach will be. Beyond that, surgery is offered to reduce obstruction in the inhalation pathway. This has provided some success, but the procedure is painful and often provides no relief. The last option is for the patient to purchase a CPAP device. This is a forced air mask, worn during sleep, that insures proper inhalation. Most patients are not willing to go to this expense or to endure this level of machinery and the resultant nasal irritation.
What has continued to plague the appropriate treatment of this condition is that none of the "solutions" address the actual cause of the problem. Being over-weight does not cause this problem, smoking does not cause this problem, sleeping on ones back does not cause this problem. So what then, does cause the problem?
Cause of the condition:
When we start to fall asleep, we move from stage one (drowsiness) into stage two sleep. Stage two sleep is the transition stage before entering REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. REM sleep is where we dream. Dreaming is critical to a good nights sleep. When we enter stage two sleep in preparation for dreaming, muscular activity is inhibited. It is called "reduction of muscle tonus". This is a function that occurs primarily to keep the dreamer from physically acting out the movements of their dreams since the part of the brain that controls muscular movement cannot tell the difference between you dreaming of walking down stairs and you actually walking down stairs. This muscular inhibition is absolutely necessary. It is accomplished by suppressing the flow of signals from the brain along the spinal cord. Unfortunately, as we age, a couple of problems develop.
The first problem is that the muscles of the soft palate in your mouth become weaker. This allows the soft palate to sag. This is not particularly unusual since most people are not professional vocalists and don't exercise their soft palate. As we age and levels of HGH drop, many muscles in our body atrophy to a lower level of capability.
The second problem is that the communication between the diaphragm and the brain becomes somewhat obstructed. The nerves that reach the diaphragm emanate from the spinal column at C3, C4 and C5. These are cervical vertebrate that are right at the insertion of the upper trapezius muscles. The upper trapezius muscles are the most common expression of stress and tension in humans. This tension reduces the intervertebral foramen from which the nerves emanate and restricts the nervous flow along the root of the nerve through direct restriction. Unfortunately, a large amount of this tension is residual and does not dissipate when the subject enters stage two sleep.
The result of this is that upon entering stage two sleep, the muscle tonus holding the soft palate out of the air-way is reduced. This allows the soft palate to sag into the airway. While this is happening, the same inhibition of muscle tonus is attenuating (reducing) the signals to the diaphragm on an already obstructed communication channel. The result is that our breathing becomes shallower and shallower due to insufficient signal strength to the diaphragmatic muscles.
As our breathing becomes shallower, the blood oxygen level drops. In a young and healthy individual, this would elicit stronger and deeper breathing from the control system that regulates these activities. In an older individual with restricted nervous flow to the diaphragmatic muscles, there is no residual ability to increase for the purpose of offsetting the inhibition caused by stage two sleep entry and restricted nervous flow due to muscular tension in the neck region. Consequently, the respirations reduce in intensity and the blood oxygenation drops.
The blood oxygen level drops and the normal proportional control loop is un-able to maintain the desired level. This is where the safety back-up system comes in. When the blood oxygen level gets low enough and the carbon dioxide level gets high enough, the brain intervenes and causes the body to make a large and immediate inhalation. This causes a large pressure differential in the pharynx and literally sucks the sagging-soft palate into the airway. This obstructs the flow and causes a loud "SNORT" awakening the subject. Most times, the subject is not fully awakened and thus isn't aware that this is even happening. They just return to stage 1 sleep.
Upon awakening or return to stage 1 sleep, the inhibition causing the reduction of muscle tonus for entry into stage two sleep is released and respiration begins again in a somewhat normal manner. As the subject starts to drift off to sleep again, they move into stage two, the muscle tonus drops, the soft palate sags, the signal to the diaphragm diminish and the cycle repeats. The resulting snorting awakenings typically occur every minute or so.
So you see, the problem is not the sagging soft palate. The problem is not the rapid inhalation that sucks your soft palate into the airway. The problem is the reduced ability of the signal from your brain to produce sufficient breathing amplitude from your diaphragm. If your breathing was sufficiently deep enough, then you would not make a rapid inhalation, suck your soft palate into the airway and snort; disturbing your sleep.
The appropriate solution is not to cut flesh from your pharynx or to use heavy equipment to force air into your lungs. The appropriate intervention is to accentuate the ability of the brain to communicate with the diaphragm so that you breathe deeply and steadily.
Now that we have accurately characterized the problem, the solution becomes obvious. Sure it is beneficial to strengthen the muscles of the soft palate. Yes it is advantageous to reduce muscular tension in the neck. Both of these things will make a noticeable improvement in the condition. However; the most dramatic impact can be made by the administration of just a few common herbs.
Lobellia is used in small doses as a respiratory stimulant. In larger doses, it has the opposite effect. This herb, when taken before bed, can actually increase the quiescent level of respiration sufficiently so as to avert the dangerous drop in blood oxygen level that occurs upon muscular inhibition. It can maintain deep steady breathing through the stage 2 sleep period. Since it can have some un-settling effect on the stomach, it should be used in conjunction with Meadowsweet to eliminate any slight nauseous feeling.
Thyme has traditionally been used to enhance pleural activity and makes an excellent contribution to maintaining sufficient respiratory amplitude. To round out the combination, Chamomile aids the subject in relaxing and Cramp Bark helps the upper trapezius muscles to relax.
This bouquet of herbs relaxes muscles that restrict nervous flow, increases drowsiness, enhances respiration and protects the stomach lining. It represents a wholistic natural solution to sleep apnea. It is non-habit forming and no-preconditioning is required. This herbal combination is the essence of Sleep Apnea Relief available from Nature's Rite.Utilizing a natural approach to solving the sleep apnea problem can be liberating and rewarding. You may very well avoid surgery or CPAP use.
(Prague, Czech Republic)
Hello there. I just wanted to share my thoughts on this. About 4 months ago, I started having trouble breathing while falling asleep. I have since talked to my doctor about this and went to see about 3 other specialists (heart, lungs... ), who could not explain it. So I gave up on that matter. The thing is, although I wasn't checked for sleep apnea, I don't think that's my problem. It only happens to me when falling asleep and feels like gradually stopping to breathe, but not caring about it until I stop almost entirely. It gets worse when I eat something heavier in the evening. When I sleep, I seem to breathe just fine. It may be more likely that it's simply some sort of neurological reaction to my lifestyle.
Anyway, I have found out, that when I drink a multivitamin, my problems seem to dissapear. Doctors laughed me out with that and told me it's a placebo effect. I have since tried the vitamins separately, and although I haven't yet settled on a single vitamin, C doesn't seem to help by itself. My guess is B. If it was a psychological / neuro problem, B, from what I know about vitamins, would be logical.
Now I was never a much of a believer in any sort of medicine... Natural or prescription based. I have felt that most pills simply don't help me that much and if I think I can get through any illness without them, I do. But in the last few years, I have actually found, that vitamins and some natural remedies do in fact affect me. Not much, but if nothing else they definitely work pretty well as a prevention. I have always suffered from common colds and various other minor diseases, but I have not had a single problem for last two years in that regard. As to why, beats me. I think I am a pretty rational person. 22yrs old, studiyng robotics and cybernetics, strong believer in science. It however seems only logical to fight ilnesses by supporting natural immunity (I have been diagnosed with minor cell imunity deficiency inherited from my mother in that regard) instead of surpressing the symptoms, which is what most pills do.
Anyway, just my two cents worth of experience. I will try some of the suggested herbs as well and see what it does.
(Anchorage, Alaska, Usa)
(Anchorage, Alaska, Usa)
I have had sleep apnea for several years, which was getting more intense as every month went by. I decided to try the vitamin C (sodium ascorbate powder) in addition to Pharma Gaba and Magnesium. I combined 1/2 tsp sodium ascorbate C in 8 ounces of pure water, with 250 mg magnesium malate, or magnesium oil applied transdermally, and 100 mg Pharma GABA. I would take this combination 1/2 to 1 hour before bedtime.
I have not have anymore occurances of apnea ....
Many, many thanks to Earth Clinic and the large family of contributors, I no longer have this problem!