Lets say it straight out from the beginning and get it out of the way, wearing a CPAP mask sucks! We know it, you know it, and you wouldn’t be looking for a CPAP alternative for sleep apnea if you didn’t.
The good news is yes, there are other sleep apnea treatment options available. The bad news is CPAP does work and works VERY well and can be the most inexpensive option compared to other alternatives like surgery.
Did you know that over 50% of people who are diagnosed with sleep apnea refuse to wear a mask and just go right along with their lives without treatment?
First, don’t be that 50% because you are only shortening your life and 2nd, if you are, it is okay to hate cpap treatment. After all, you have over 50% that feels the same way you do.
You are definitely not alone and many have found alternative treatments for sleep apnea. With that being said, let us now get you on the right track and show you those CPAP alternatives.
What Are Alternatives to CPAP?
There are 3 types of CPAP alternatives. Some are simple lifestyle changes, or home remedies. Then there are devices, implants and surgeries.
Home Remedy Alternatives For Sleep Apnea
First lets talk about the natural remedies for sleep apnea.
Some of these you may already know and if you have severe obstructive sleep apnea, your doctor may have already talked to you about these, but if not and you haven’t tried, these are well worth a shot.
- Losing Weight – Most people with sleep apnea are overweight. If you are overweight, lose the weight. I know, sounds way more simple to say it than actually do it.
You may be thinking “I’m not too overweight”. Well only 5-10 lbs can make a huge difference if your sleep apnea is caused by weight issues.
Example, you may think you look fine at 215 lbs. but if your doc says you should weigh 200, then you may be surprised how much better you feel at 200 and also be saying good riddance to sleep apnea.
The tissues in your neck are bigger when you are overweight and can cause the obstruction in your throat while you sleep.
This is the number one sleep apnea treatment option, or should I say cause, that can put your sleep apnea behind you for good!
- Vitamins – Vitamin D, C, and Magnesium. These are the 3 most important minerals that you need to make sure your body is getting. If you don’t know, more than likely you are not.
Studies have shown that most people who complain of having sleep apnea have a vitamin D deficiency. By increasing vitamin D, some patients decreased their sleep apnea symptoms/episodes or eliminated them completely!
If you don’t know what Vitamin D is, the good news you don’t have to take anything orally. You get all you need by being outside from the Sun!
If you work at night and sleep in the day, you may need to look into an all around vitamin with D in it.
Vitamin C can counter the damaging effects of sleep apnea on your cells. Vitamin C has shown to repair damaged cells and decrease sleep apnea episodes as well.
Magnesium is vital to your body for muscle regulation. Since obstructive sleep apnea is caused by the throat closing, magnesium can help control muscles and decrease the chances of your throat collapsing while you sleep.
- Herbs – There are a number of different herbs that are said to help not only sleep apnea, but all sorts of sleep disorders. A few of those herbs are Lavender, Lavandula, and California Poppy.
Go to your local herb store and talk with the owner or specialist there. They should know exactly what other herbs can help you.
- 5-HTP – This is a serotonin precursor and is a recommendation for people with sleep apnea that have low serotonin levels.
Serotonin (the feel good hormone) can be increased by taking 5-HTP. Ask your doctor about your serotonin levels.
- Change Your Sleeping Position – Again, sometimes easier said than done, but this definitely applies to you if you are a back sleeper.
People who sleep on their back are more likely to have sleep apnea episodes during the night because simply how you are positioned makes gravity take it’s toll on your throat muscles.
Try sleeping on your side or even your stomach to decrease the chances of the blockage occurring.
Sleep Apnea Devices for Sleep Apnea
- Mandibular Advancement Device – Or otherwise called a mouth guard or Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT) is a very popular cpap alternative.
This device prevents the collapse of the oral tissues and/or the tongue in your throat.
To see if you are a candidate it for this, first talk with your doctor then if he/she approves, you must collaborate with a dentist who can determine what you need and have it designed specifically for you.
- The Night Shift – The catchy name of this device is literally what it means. This is a device that you strap around your back and detects when you are on your back to MAKE you change positions.
So, this goes along with number 5 above. If you believe you only have your sleep apnea episodes while on your back and you just can’t whip the habit, this device can help you.
It vibrates in stronger and stronger increments until you get off your back.
Sleep Apnea Surgeries
- Oral Surgeries – There are 8 different types of sleep apnea oral surgeries that have a whole post about here.
- Implants – There are now implants that go just under the skin that sends a signal through a nerve to stop the obstruction from happening. A popular one is Inspire.
As you can see, there are many alternatives to CPAP treatment that can help you get rid of the CPAP mask for good.
There is no reason to automatically assume that you will have to be on a cpap mask the rest of your life when you find out you have sleep apnea.
With the rapid growth and changes in technology, there are always cpap alternatives and this is, of course, always good news.
Last, but not definitely least, there are also causes for sleep apnea that you could be eliminating in your daily life that could be the culprit for your sleep apnea problem, such as alcohol for example.
Be sure you check those out as well to make sure that it isn’t something that you could just simply stop doing.