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4 Natural Cures for Sleep Apnea

Updated on February 12, 2013


Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder that occurs when a person's breathing is broken, in a manner which causes interruption of the normal sleep cycle. This condition is a common disorder but can be very serious. Persons troubled with sleep apnea will find that their breathing stops or gets very shallow while they are asleep. The breathing pauses usually lasts 10 to 20 seconds or more and can add up to hundreds of times per night.

Apnea is a Greek word which means "without breath."

Insomnia is usually thought of as a lack of sleep or a distinct change in sleep patterns. . Persons who have problems falling asleep, maintaining sleep, or gaining restorative sleep a regular basis for no apparent reason are said to have chronic insomnia.

Natural cures

1. Valerian

Valerian (Valeriana officinalis ) is an annual herbal plant with varying curative properties. The usable parts of the plants are the roots, dried leaves and tinctures. Preparations are available commercially but the powder is mainly used. Valerian has a sedative effect on the nervous system which makes it useful in for treating conditions such as insomnia and epilepsy as well as to relieve tension and anxiety.

An infusion from the plant is prepared by pouring boiling water over 1 to 2 teaspoons of the root and allowing it to stand for 10 to 15 minutes. It can be taken with lemon and honey.

Dosage: Drink one cup of the infusion before retiring to bed. It is recommended that it be taken an hour or so before going to bed. Valerian takes effect in about two to three weeks. Usage is not recommended beyond three months at a time.

Active ingredients: Isovalerianic acid, borneol, essential oil, alkaloids, pinene, trimester epoxivalerianic, canfeno.

Contraindications: Over use and excessive doses can cause dizziness, headaches, blurry vision, disorientation and uneasiness upon awaking.

2. Melatonin

Melatonin is a hormone found within the body. It is often used to help people fall asleep when the sleep/wake cycle has been broken. Persons who work on shifts and those who may suffer from jet lag are prime candidates for this. The substance should be taken at least half a hour before retiring to bed.

It should be carefully noted that persons suffering from the following conditions are advised not to use melatonin.

  • Depression
  • Schizophrenia
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Other serious illness
  • Pregnant and nursing women should also avoid using melatonin.

Contraindication: None found so far.

3. Diet

Persons suffering from insomnia should follow this quick guide to dieting.

  • · Avoid caffeine
  • · Eat magnesium-rich foods ( magnesium is a natural sedative which causes a lack of sleep when there is a deficiency).
  • · Avoid sweets
  • · Eat foods that help you sleep

4. Aromatherapy

English lavender is great for helping people to relax and fall asleep when used in aromatherapy. It works quickly and is said to even increase the sleep time of the patient. It is also said that it increases deep sleep and leaves the user feeling refreshed. Women are said to respond better to this treatment as their sense of smell is more acute than that of their male counterpart.

A sachet of lavender placed under the pillow has proven to be very effective. So too is the lavender essential oil. Two drops of lavender essential oil in a handkerchief or several drops added to a bath does wonders for the user. The drop in the body’s temperature after a warm bath helps with sleep.

Chamomile and ylang ylang aromatherapy oils are also recommended for similar use.


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