Patients can take various steps at home that go a long way toward reducing their sleep apnea symptoms and improving their overall quality of life. As one major example, there are several essential oils that can be used to complement traditional sleep apnea therapy, making it easier for patients to get the rest they need. Below are 6 examples of essential oils that sleep dentists should keep in mind when suggesting at-home remedies for sleep apnea.
Among essential oils, lavender is considered particularly versatile and beneficial. It acts as a mild sedative that can help calm the mind, which makes it particularly helpful for sleep apnea patients who have trouble falling asleep. Furthermore, people who use lavender tend to spend more time in the deeper stages of sleep; this enhances the quality of their rest so that they don’t feel as tired during the day.
Peppermint can actively help patients breathe better at night by keeping the nasal passages clear of congestion. As such, using peppermint can lower the risk of sleep apnea episodes. Some patients also find that it helps relieve headaches, which is a common side effect of a sleep disorder.
The potent aroma of eucalyptus makes it effective for addressing asthma, bronchitis, and other respiratory issues. Like peppermint, its anti-inflammatory properties allow it to help keep the airways clear, making breathing interruptions less likely to happen. It’s often suggested for sleep apnea patients to diffuse eucalyptus into the room where they’ll be sleeping; placing it on their chest can also get results.
While marjoram is considered a culinary herb, it also has properties that can help sleep apnea patients. Applying a few drops of marjoram to the bottom of the feet, wrists, and chest has been shown to help improve the overall quality of sleep.
Chamomile has properties that allow it to bind with the benzodiazepine receptors in your body. These receptors are partly responsible for promoting relaxation and making it easier to fall asleep. As such, chamomile can be an excellent option for patients with a sleep disorder.
Bergamot isn’t as well-known as other essential oils, but evidence suggests it can be beneficial for sleep apnea patients. A small study in 2019 found that patients who slept with cotton balls that had been infused with bergamot tended to enjoy higher-quality rest, waking up less often throughout the night.
These essential oils may not be able to cure sleep apnea entirely, but they nevertheless can help your patients enjoy more restful nights. Taking the time to research other essential oils with sleep-promoting properties could enhance your ability to offer effective advice for managing the issue at home.
About the Author
Dr. Kent Smith is a widely respected expert in the field of sleep dentistry. He regularly hosts continuing education sessions such as The Roundtable so that he can share his knowledge for treating sleep disorders with his fellow dentists. If you would like to sign up for a seminar to learn more about incorporating sleep apnea treatment into your practice, visit our website or call (972) 255-3712.