Hey, guys. Dr. Axe, here, doctor of natural medicine. I’m going to go through a seven-step process on how to overcome sleep apnea. If you struggle with sleep apnea, snoring, insomnia, just trouble sleeping at night, these tips are going to help you big time. The number one thing you’ve got to start doing if you want to overcome sleep apnea is look at your diet. Now, sometimes sleep apnea can be related to weight gain.
It can be related to inflammation in different areas of your body. But if you can follow these dietary tips, it’s going to help tremendously. The first thing you want to do is you really want to focus on supporting your metabolism. You want to focus on getting three things every single meal: good quality protein, healthy fat, and fiber, those three things.
Most people with sleep apnea tend to consume too many carbohydrates and too much sugar, which can actually affect your insulin levels and your metabolism, which causes sleep apnea. So again, healthy protein, such as bone broth protein, organic chicken and turkey, wild-caught fish, grass-fed beef, getting good quality protein is important. Number two, fiber, getting more vegetables and fruits in your diet and whole-sprouted grains, such as brown rice, that’s where you want to get your fiber. The healthy fats, things like coconut oil, olive oil, organic nuts and seeds, those are some ways to get some good healthy fat in your diet. So again, focus on a healthy diet, a diet that’s anti-inflammatory and that helps balance out insulin levels is going to be big when it comes to beating sleep apnea.
Number two, there are certain things you want to avoid. If you have sleep apnea, you want to avoid intake of alcohol, caffeine, smoking, and also you need to be aware of sedatives. If you’re taking sedatives on a regular basis, that can really cause sleep apnea. Stay away from those things. If you’re saying to yourself, “Well, I’m still going to do caffeine and alcohol,” then what I would do is not do coffee. I would just do a little bit of tea, like a green tea during the day. So again, just tone it down some. The other thing I would do is, if you’re drinking alcohol, limit it to one glass.
When you start doing more than one glass, more than one beer, more than one glass of alcohol, that’s really going to affect your sleep cycle. And no more than two days a week. Again, bring the alcohol down, because that will absolutely cause sleep apnea. The number three tip is to treat acid reflux. Many people with sleep apnea have heartburn, GERD, or acid reflux, or some type of digestive issue that’s causing their sleep apnea.
Now, the way to overcome that is to follow these dietary tips. You want to eat smaller meals, so you don’t want to overeat, and get more organic meat, vegetables, and fruits. You’ve got to be careful overconsuming the grains, the pastas, the breads, the chips. All of those things will really cause acid reflux and sleep apnea. Also, supplementing with digestive enzymes, probiotics, and apple cider vinegar. So probiotics, enzymes, and apple cider vinegar, all of those can help in the natural treatment of acid reflux and reduce sleep apnea. The number four thing you want to consider doing to beat sleep apnea is getting a humidifier in your bedroom. Oftentimes, it’s the humidity or being too dry in the bedroom that actually causes sleep apnea.
So look into getting a humidifier and sometimes an air purifier. So a humidifier, an air purifier, those things can actually help support your body and you breathing better and overcoming sleep apnea. Number five is your sleeping position. Many people with sleep apnea sleep on their back. Some of them sleep on their stomach. You want to sleep on your side. What you want to do is get a good pillow that you’re comfortable with laying on your side, and then you want to get a body pillow, something you can really have in between your knees and hug with your arms. It might be two pillows, or it might be one big body pillow.
But you want to sleep on your side if you have sleep apnea. It might be the number one effective way to overcome sleep apnea, again, sleeping on your side. Listen, it takes a while to sleep on your side if you’ve been a back or a stomach sleeper. I know, for me, I was a stomach sleeper throughout my adolescent life, and it got to the point where it gave me back pain.
So I started sleeping on my side, and it took me two weeks to fall asleep. But after two weeks, I started sleeping like a baby again. So again, it does take time to get used to, changing your sleeping position, but that is a very crucial thing in overcoming sleep apnea. Number six is exercise. You don’t have to do any type of radical exercise, but just getting out and moving. If you’re very sedentary and sitting all the time, that will cause sleep apnea. We really need to open up your airways, improve your lung capacity. The best way to do that is through cardiovascular exercise, weight training, or doing burst training is fantastic as well, but really increasing your oxygen capacity.
Cycling is fantastic. Swimming is great. Running is great. But cycling and swimming especially are great ways to open up those airways. Number seven, use essential oils, specifically peppermint oil and lavender, a blend of peppermint and lavender. Lavender calms your body, and peppermint opens the airways. Eucalyptus and chamomile are other essential oils you might try. Those are the four most effective essential oils to help relax the body and open up those airways. I guarantee if you try those seven tips, you’re going to see improvements in sleep apnea. For a more in-depth guide on how to overcome sleep apnea, check out this solution right here.