Sleep Apnoea disorder is characterized by periods of not breathing, or even shallower breathing, during sleep. More importantly, each pause in the breathing can last from several seconds, to even several minutes, and can recur several times within an hour. The condition can also be associated with snoring, and in many cases, this is how the condition is discovered.
There are three types Sleep Apnoea:
1.Central Sleep Apnoea (CSA)
2.Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (the most common) (OSA)
3.Complex Sleep Apnoea (CSA)
In Obstructive Apnoea (OSA), the individual’s windpipe relaxes and then collapses during sleep, and thus stops breathing, usually for around ten seconds. But as stated before, this period of inactivity can last for any amount of time. The person is usually not aware that this is happening, but the next day will be more fatigued. Some other conditions associated with it include cognitive problems, anxiety, and cardiovascular problems.
Causes of Sleep Apnoea
A huge risk factor for the condition is being overweight. And as obesity is on the rise, so is this. Other risk factors include being of middle age, being male, enlarged tonsils, smoking, sinus problems, a deviated septum that cause nasal obstructions, alcohol, and a neck circumference higher than 16/17”.
Furthermore, individuals with low muscle tone (common with obesity) and soft tissue around the airways are more at risk of the condition.
Central Sleep Apnoea occurs when the brain fails to signal for the muscles to keep the airways open, to breathe. It is usually the result of a problem in the brain’s respiratory control centre, and can be caused by brain tumours. This kind, if not treated, could lead to death.
Mixed Sleep Apnoea combines symptoms of both central and obstructive types. It normally begins as CSA, then progressing into OSA.
Through Ayurveda, we can see the causes of the Sleep Apnoea as:
Moreover, from the ayurvedic perspective, sleep apnoea is seen as an imbalance of the Vata Dosha and which may possibly be cured under guidance and supervision of ayurvedic doctor.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnoea
Sleep apnoea can cause imbalances in the two hormones that usually regulate hunger: leptin and ghrelin. Because of the individual’s disrupted sleep, ghrelin levels rise, meaning they can become hungrier and put on even more weight.
It can also damage the brain’s grey matter, due to the lack of oxygen reaching it, causing memory and cardiovascular problems. And, as it raises blood sugar levels, the individual also has the possibility of developing diabetes.
Further problems that can stem from sleep apnoea include: fatigue, erectile dysfunction, depression, memory problems, vision problems, headaches, and more chance of falling asleep during the day.
Ayurveda- the first complete medical system known to mankind has the most effective, natural and gentle answers to conditions like Sleep Apnoea, since last 5000 years.
More than 1000 thousands herbs and the herbal recipes are described in Ayurvedic texts. Herbs useful to treat Sleep Apnoea are mentioned below. All of these herbs, and more, can be made into a specific vege capsule for the patient, and thus is customised to that individual, and can be combined with several ayurvedic treatments also.
After having a full consultation from one of the most renowned Ayurvedic doctors of Melbourne, Australia, at “Pure Herbal Ayurved Clinic” one can get unique herbal formula to remove the toxins causing Sleep Apnoea.
There are many different herbs or combinations of herbs that have been used traditionally in ayurveda to treat this condition, including Tagar, Jatamansi and Shankhpushpi.
Tagar (Valeriana wallichii)
Tagar herb helps the body to relax and has a calming effect, great for sleep. It is a great sedative and is a respiratory analeptic.
Shankhpushpi (Convolvulus pluricalis)
Shankhpushpi herb helps to counteract the damage done to memory and other cognitive functions, and is also great for anxiety. Furthermore, it is great for improving and restoring the immune system, which may have been compromised due to the interrupted sleep.
Jatamansi (Nardostachys jatamansi)
Jatamansi herb is a natural sedative that fights insomnia, and promotes a calm and balanced mind, plus a restored nervous system. It also promotes deep sleep, and has anticonvulsive and antiepileptic properties.
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)
Ashwagandha herb helps strengthen the immune and nervous systems, stabilize blood sugar levels, help reduce the degeneration of grey matter in the brain, lowers cholesterol, and decreases fatigue. So, overall, it is a perfect all-round herb to combat sleep apnoea.
There is a wide array of ayurvedic treatments that can be combined with herbs and a specific daily regimen to manage sleep apnea as below.
Shirodhara, which involves pouring liquids over the forehead of the individual. The type of liquid being used depends on the ailment that is being treated, but can include milk and a variety of oils. Most commonly used for sleep apnoea is Cow’s milk (Godugdha), and allows mental clarity and a sense of calmness to come over the patient. The application of the warm liquid is said to increase and stimulate blood flow to the brain.
Ayurvedic massage is also a great way to combat Sleep Apnoea, especially when combined with other aspects of ayurvedic practice. It is said to boost the immune system, improve circulation and blood flow, promote deep relaxation, decrease stress, and keep the individual in overall good health, relieving many ailments. Throughout the practice, oils are used consistently, normally infused with the specific herbs that will carry the practice further to improving wellbeing. It is beneficial for the neuromuscular, lymphatic, gastrointestinal and circulatory systems. Finally, it is also said to clear the energy channels, so they can flow more freely, opening up our vitality and senses.
Nasya (Nasal Herbal Treatments)
Nasya is another form of ayurvedic treatment that can be used for Sleep Apnoea. It involves the application of herbs into the nasal cavity, and is said to clear the head. It is also part of the five Panchakarma (detoxification) techniques, used in Ayurveda. Common forms include applying Ghee (clarified butter) or different oil types, combined with powdered herb combinations, again specific to the individual’s body type and ailment.
It is said to improve mental clarity and disorders associated with the brain, eliminate excess doshas (metabolic waste build-ups), allows for a smoother flow of prana (oxygen/life force) through the nasal cavities, promotes the flow of the lymphatic fluid around the body, and eliminates symptoms of various diseases (normally affiliated with the head, neck and central nervous system).
There are two types of Nasya: Shamana and Shodana. Shamana is considered more relaxing to the nervous system, and reverses imbalances. Shodana is more detoxifying and clears any channels in the head. Nasya is usually preferred as a method of treatment, as the herbs and their effects will reach sinus passage quicker and more efficiently. Moreover, it is said to practise this in the morning or afternoon if you want to see more successful effects.
Panchakarma, the detoxifying practices can be made into different combinations to suit the individual’s needs and the condition at hand, according to their body types. It detoxifies the body, strengthens the immune system, reverses the negative effects of stress, corrects any imbalances, provides rest and relaxation (greatly needed in this condition!), increases energy and concentration, and promotes a sense of overall wellbeing. It involves a variety of the treatments, performed over a period of a few days. All of these therapies will be in combination with a cleansing diet, yoga and meditation.
Yoga can be very beneficial in relieving some of the risk factors associated with sleep apnoea. As this practice increases heat in the body, it can burn calories, and so can reduce the chance of being overweight. Breathing exercises within the practice can also tone the muscles in your throat and windpipe that collapse due to the condition. Breathing exercises are seen as the most important for the condition, but both types can improve your sleep and whole quality of life.
Certain lifestyle changes can make any sleep disorder easier to live with or to prevent it:
If you combine a variety of all these techniques and practice them through your own daily routine, then the symptoms of this condition should start to disappear.
All the above-mentioned treatments are offered at one of the best Ayurvedic clinic in Melbourne, Australia- “Pure Herbal Ayurved Clinic” during sleep apnea treatment. One requires a prior consultation with our Ayurvedic doctors to summarise your condition and what your body will require. So, there’s no need to be worried if you have sleep apnoea, as there are many effective natural ways in which it can be treated.
If you want to know anymore, or get a consultation so you can have a personalised treatment regimen, then don’t hesitate to contact the number below.
Dr Gurnam Saini (Ayurvedic Doctor)
Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine from India
MD in Alternative Medicine from India
Certificate in Ayurveda Panchkarma Detox form India
Certificate in Ayurveda Pulse & Tongue diagnosis India
Post Graduate Diploma in Mental Health Nursing from Melbourne
Member of AAA (Australasian Association of Ayurveda)
Organising Secretary of AYUSH MELBOURNE CONFERENCE, 2018
PH- 0061 430 799 515
Disclaimer: The information on ayurvedic products and medicines on our website is for educational purposes only. One should not buy these products over the counter. These should only be taken after ayurvedic consultation with an ayurvedic practitioner. The uses and indications of these herbal products are based on Traditional Ayurvedic text books. These herbs should be supplemented with appropriate diet and lifestyle to get beneficial effects. Although there is a lot of research done on Ayurveda these days, yet these herbal products might not hold enough current research based evidence.
Have a Query?
Please send your query and we will reply you shortly.
Ayurveda stads for extensive and elaborate clinical examination to understand thenature of the disease