If you are known to suffer from OSA (obstructive sleep apnea), your first move should be to seek medical advice from your family Doctor and request a referral to Dream Sleep Respiratory for a FREE sleep study to confirm your diagnosis. Upon diagnosis, especially in severe cases, the gold standard treatment modality is CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) which maintains patent airways through a mask or nasal interface. Mild to moderate cases may also benefit from CPAP therapy, but can also be regulated by lifestyle changes such as smoking cessation, weight loss, and limiting alcohol consumption; especially before bed.
If you crave a more natural treatment approach for OSA, essential oils have been shown to aid in treatment of OSA symptoms and promote a full night of rest. Specific oils have been shown to aid in the relief of nervous insomnia and snoring as well, but will not provide a cure for obstructive sleep apnea. Essential oils are safe and easy to use so long as they are not ingested. Many also require use of a carrier oil for dilution such as jojoba, grape seed, coconut, olive, or almond oils. Read below to learn more!
Marjoram Essential Oil
Marjoram essential oil has warm and comforting properties with a sedative effect to help induce sleep. This oil is known to calm the nerves, relax muscles, and aid in the relief of respiratory ailments. To use for promotion of sleep, you may rub a few drops in the soles of your feet and/or bottoms of your toes. This oil may also be used in a diffuser at your bedside.
Lavender Essential Oil
A powerful antioxidant used over 3000 years ago by the ancient Egyptians, lavender essential oil is also known for its antimicrobial, sedative, calming, and antidepressant properties. People suffering from sleep disturbances and nervous system disorders often use this oil as an effective treatment. You can also now buy lavender-infused pillows from Canadian mattress retailers or put a few drops on your own pillow to aid in getting a good night’s sleep. Alternatively, you may massage a few drops of this oil before bed into your feet, neck or chest.
Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint essential oil can help to relieve irritation and inflammation in the lining of your nasal passages which helps improve obstruction seen in OSA (obstructive sleep apnea) caused by block nasal passages. This oil can be used to aid in sleep in several ways. You may add a few drops to a hot bath and inhale the steam, or rub drops under each nostril before bed. Alternatively, you may add a few drops of peppermint essential oil to a glass of water before bedtime and gargle, ensuring you do not swallow any of the liquid.
Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Much like peppermint essential oil, eucalyptus is a great tool used in the battle against obstructive sleep apnea caused by congestion. This oil contains anti-inflammatory properties and helps to clear mucous and secretions from the nose and throat to aid in a great night’s sleep. To use, dilute the eucalyptus in a carrier oil (such as olive, almond, jojoba, coconut, or grape seed oils) and then dab a few drops below each nostril before bedtime. Many patients swear by inhaling a steam containing a few drops of this powerful oil before bedtime to get shut eye as well.
Roman Chamomile Essential Oil
Roman chamomile essential oil is known for its sleep-promoting relaxation properties. Famous for treating health problems associated with the central nervous system, patients suffering from central sleep apnea (CSA) have noted benefit from this oil.
Thyme Essential Oil
Known worldwide as a natural remedy for snoring and sleep apnea, this oil is generally used to treat respiratory conditions by clearing up blocked airways of mucous and debris. If you decide to topically apply this oil, be sure to dilute in a carrier oil first. Alternatively, this oil may be used in a diffuser at your bedside to head to dream land.
Geranium Essential Oil
Geranium essential oil is widely used to help patients experience a calm and deep sleep. This oil is known to balance hormones, relieve stress and depression, and reduces inflammation and irritation. It is also proven to improve overall circulation. To use as an effective remedy for sleep disruptions, massage a few drops of this oil into your chest, neck and feet just before bed time. Ensure you dilute this oil in a carrier oil before applying topically.
Valerian Essential Oil
Valerian root has been harvested and used for centuries for its nerve-calming effects and sleep-aiding properties, and is known for its sedative and antispasmodic effects as well. It can be used to help the body and mind enter a state of utmost relaxation, promoting a full and beneficial night of sleep. This oil is of great benefit for patients suffering from sleep apnea, insomnia, or other sleep disorders.
Lemon Essential Oil
Lemon oil was used in a research study in which an oil mixture containing thyme, lavender, peppermint, and lemon oils was shown to reduce snoring in the test population by up to 82%. It is also known for its astringent, antiseptic, antifungal, and detoxifying properties. You may mix the oils in a carrier and massage into your feet and chest, or place a drop under each nostril.
While essential oils are a great addition to an OSA treatment regimen, keep in mind CPAP after a diagnostic sleep study is the gold standard for treatment. Dream Sleep Respiratory is here to help by offering free sleep studies and the latest and greatest in CPAP machines and interface technologies. Contact us today or visit one of our three Calgary locations to find out more!