In this article, we look at what sleep apnea is, how you recognize it and how you can best treat sleep apnea.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a condition where your breathing functions abnormally while you sleep. In general, people with sleep apnea have multiple periods during their sleep where breathing stops briefly. This causes you to sleep less well and can also lead to problems with the oxygen supply of the body. It is therefore important to remedy sleep apnea.
There are three types of sleep apnea:
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). This blocks the airway at the back of the throat so that you can temporarily not breathe. OSA is more common in men than in women.
- Central Sleep Apnea (CSA). There is a malfunction in the brain that causes the muscles that control your breathing to function less well. As a result, you take slower and less deep breaths.
- Mixed Sleep Apnea. With this variant, you suffer from both OSA and CSA, which can make breathing very difficult during sleep.
Sleep apnea can be caused by hereditary characteristics, but also by being overweight, the use of alcohol, smoking cigarettes, sleeping on your back, a stuffy nose, and hormonal complaints. The position and size of your tonsils, neck, jaw, and tongue can also cause sleep apnea.
How do you recognize sleep apnea?
Each variant has different symptoms and different ways to treat sleep apnea. It is therefore important to look carefully at how you recognize it. Yet they also have symptoms that match each variant:
- Daytime fatigue
- Disturbed breathing/heavy breathing
- Headache after getting up
- A short attention span
OCD also has the following common symptoms:
- A dry mouth and throat upon waking up
- (loud) snoring and/or making smacking noises that suddenly wake you up
- Having to urinate a lot at night
Treating sleep apnea with supplements
1. Vitamin D
Research showed that people with sleep apnea usually have very low vitamin D levels. By taking more vitamin D supplements, they could improve their sleep quality and reduce sleep apnea symptoms.
Sleep apnea is closely associated with oxidative damage caused by free radicals. To combat these naturally, it is best to get enough antioxidants. Vitamins C and E are good antioxidants that help prevent sleep apnea.
3. Treating Sleep Apnea With DHA
DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) is part of the omega-3 fatty acids that are good for your brain. A deficiency of these acids can cause sleep problems, including sleep apnea. Omega-3 fatty acids supplements offer a good solution for this.