Natural treatments for sleep apnea include losing weight, exercising, avoiding alcohol and medications that relax the muscles of the throat, avoiding sleeping on the back, and using a saline mist to keep the nasal passages open, according to Mayo Clinic. Stopping smoking can also reduce the symptoms.
If the person with sleep apnea loses weight, there is a chance of reducing his apnea symptoms. Some people have cured their sleep apnea through weight loss, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Some studies show weight-loss treatment as an effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea.
Exercising 30 minutes per day, most days of the week, helps to reduce sleep apnea symptoms, reports Mayo Clinic. Moderate activity, such as a brisk walk, is sufficient.
Sleep apnea occurs when the muscles of the throat relax, allowing the soft palate, tonsils and sidewalls of the throat to narrow or close the air passageway. Alcohol, tranquilizers and sleeping medication often cause these muscles to relax more, indicates Mayo Clinic. Sleeping on the back increases the chance of the passageway collapsing, so it is beneficial to sleep on the side or abdomen. Sewing a tennis ball into the back of the sleep shirt helps to remind the patient to sleep in another position.