What home treatment options are there for sleep apnea?

I have a mild case of sleep apnea and I don't have insurance. Are there any home treatment remedies you would recommend to minimize it? What about if it gets worse?

Doctors Answers (5)

J. Douglas Hudson, MD, DABSM
Answered on: 10/4/2013

Home treatment options for mild obstructive sleep apnea include avoiding sleeping on your back, avoiding sedatives, especially alcohol, at bedtime and maintaining an ideal body weight. Some will benefit from elevating the head with two pillows. Inserting a styrofoam cylinder about 12 inches long and 3 inches wide into a pocket sewn on the back side of a tee shirt creates a "roll bar" which makes it very difficult to sleep on your back.

Timothy J. Delcambre, DDS, MHA
Answered on: 9/25/2013

You really should be tested to see how severe your sleep apnea is and what is causing it before any treatment can be recommended. Talk to your primary care doctor or go to a community clinic and speak with a doctor there. He may be able to get you in for a sleep study and then recommend proper treatment.

Robert C. Jones, M.D.
Answered on: 9/25/2013

CPAP or an oral appliance are the most common treatment options for mild obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSA). To decrease the severity of the apnea, a side sleep position is recommended and/or elevating the head of your bed. Keep in mind that these suggestions should not be considered as treatment for OSA. Your prescribed therapy should be adhered to.

Susan M. Welch
Answered on: 9/25/2013

If you have mild OSA, one way that works for folks is to lose weight. Exercise, alkaline your diet, drink non fluoridated water, and strive for 7 hours of sleep. Cut out carbonated drinks, especially DIET sodas. Eat a non-processed food diet. Reduce refined sugars and gluten products. Studies are showing these types of foods create gut inflammation which leads to interstitial tissue inflammation which leads to swelling of tissues like that going in the airway and throat. Exercise at least 30 min a day. Park and walk away from the stores and take the stairs. Little changes can make for big results.

Joseph Lee, DDS, FICOI
Answered on: 9/24/2013

If you are overweight, exercise and a healthy diet. If you have positional obstructive sleep apnea, you can sleep on your side or put pillows so you can't roll over. These suggestions may or may not help depending on your specific circumstances and you should always get advice from your doctor.