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Home Remedies for Sleep Apnea

sleep apnea

Another sleepless night? Sufferers of sleep apnea long for restorative sleep, inevitably evaded by stop-start breathing throughout the night. But what can one do to soothe these apnea events and finally achieve the much-needed rest they deserve?

There are several home remedies for sleep apnea that help reduce or stop apnea events from occurring, allowing your body to slip into deeper, more restorative sleep. Each of these remedies can be used alone, in combination, or in conjunction with other sleep apnea treatments (like a C-PAP machine). All of these home remedies for sleep apnea are mild and safe, making them ideal for everyday use.


Rinsing your nose with saline is an excellent home remedy for sleep apnea because it moisturizes your delicate nasal tissues, solubilizes buildup and blockages, and cleans out your sinus cavities and nasal passages. Saline spray is inexpensive and can be found at any pharmacy or drugstore. Of course, you can make your own saline solution but be careful to measure the salt accurately and never use tap water, as both of these can cause serious issues.

For delivery, tilt your head back and vigorously spray the saline up one nostril. Repeat on the other side. The point is to moisturize while pushing through physical air blockages that may be contributing to your sleep apnea.


A humidifier works on a similar principle to saline, moisturizing delicate air passages. That is particularly important in dry climates or during times of forced air use, which dehumidifies the air. Be diligent in cleaning your humidifier per packaging instructions to avoid bacteria by washing with soap, bleach, or vinegar, or by using a drop-in humidifier cleaner in the tank.

Tennis Ball

This old-fashioned home remedy is particularly useful for sleep apnea because it helps to maintain a side-lying position. Just place a tennis ball behind your lower back or sew one into your pajamas at that position to prevent you from rolling over flat on your back. Side-lying positions contribute to fewer apnea events than back-lying.


The flatter you lie, the greater your risk for sleep apnea. Propping yourself up with pillows or sleeping in a recliner is a simple home remedy for sleep apnea. That is because your nasal and throat passages swell with fluids when you lie flat, restricting air flow. Propping reduces the fluid and restriction, allowing more air to flow your passageways.


Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen, also reduce the swelling in your air passages. Although routine dosing with this drug is not advisable without a doctor’s consent, infrequent use can help you achieve deeper sleep if sleep apnea is an issue. A standard OTC dose is enough to enlarge your airways slightly. This remedy pairs well with propping.

Essential Oils

Aromas of lavender and eucalyptus can have a medicinal effect on sleep apnea. You can use an essential oil diffuser or add a few drops of your chosen oil to your humidifier to disperse the airway-opening scents.

Depending on the aroma, the effect may be the relaxation of your muscles and mind or relaxation and enlargement of your airways. Both are beneficial for achieving a restful night’s sleep.

You can use all of these sleep apnea home remedies in combination, based on your preference. You can also use them with medical treatments for sleep apnea, such as a C-PAP machine or dental device. These home remedies are effective, gentle, and natural solutions for treating sleep apnea.

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