A good night’s sleep is crucial for overall wellbeing, being one of the three fundamental pillars of optimal health, along with a nutritious balanced diet and regular physical exercise. However, certain disorders tend to hamper the resting phase at night, leading to a decline in energy levels, mental focus, with one such common condition being sleep apnea. This illness involves the repeated stop and start of breathing during sleep, leading to suspension of airflow through the organs in the body. Due to lack of oxygen supply, the brain activates the system to wake up from a profound snooze, to reinstate normal breathing functions. This results in frequent waking at night, loud and constant snoring, besides awakening the next morning feeling exhausted due to disturbed sleep. Three types of sleep apnea develop in people – obstructive, central and mixed, out of which obstructive sleep apnea is the most frequently occurring disorder.
Ayurveda defines sleep apnea as “Urdhvajatrugata Roga” or upper clavicular diseases, to denote the problem persisting in the nasal passage and throat situated above the clavicle or collar bone, as well as “Nidra Roga” meaning a sleep-related ailment. Though the activity of all three doshas is impeded in these maladies, the chief factor contributing to sleep apnea is an aggravated Vata dosha. Sleep apnea gives rise to numerous discomforting symptoms of abnormal heart rate, high blood pressure, migraine headaches, dry mouth, mood swings and even makes the affected individual more prone to chronic ailments of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and stroke. Moreover, it negatively influences the functioning of the nervous system, by impairing memory, concentration and thinking abilities.
While severe instances require surgery, mild to moderate cases of sleep apnea can be rectified by appropriate professional medical treatment. These entail using supporting devices to provide continuous passage of air through the nostrils, as well as regular physical activity, breathing exercises to improve lung power, heart functions and maintain healthy body weight. Additionally, the tomes of valuable information housed in the ancient manuscripts of Charaka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita, Abhyanga Hridaya offer umpteen natural solutions to rectify instances of sleep apnea and restore tridoshic harmony. Astonishing therapies with powerful herbs are a proven method to help tackle sleep apnea and achieve uninterrupted shut-eye at night.
5 Phenomenal Herbs To Relieve Snoring And Signs Of Sleep Apnea:
Ashwagandha is an excellent adaptogen that calms the nerves, mitigates stress and guarantees smooth transmission of signals all along the body, to help breathe deeply. In addition, it is imbued with phytonutrient triethylene glycol, which induces undisturbed sleep at night, to efficiently combat sleep apnea and improve the quality of rest.
A potent herb that boosts brain power, shankapushpi is very useful in soothing pounding headaches and agitated moods that are often experienced in instances of sleep apnea. Being a Medhya or mind-stimulating plant, it heals mental fatigue, elevates nervous system activity, ensures sound sleep and vastly improves productivity, concentration, memory.
Bestowed with tranquilising compounds that pacify exacerbated Vata dosha, Sarpagandha is a time-tested remedy to enhance quality and quantity of sleep, as well as treat heart-related conditions encountered in apnea. This plant contains strong antioxidants that relax the blood vessels, facilitate optimal circulation of blood, oxygen, nutrients to tissues, organs and bring down high blood pressure.
Jatamansi holds extraordinary potential in stimulating deep sleep at night, thanks to the treasure trove of plant-based biochemicals present in the herb. It balances the perturbed Vata dosha, instils tridoshic harmony of Pitta, Kapha, Vata in the body, diminishes stress, tension in the nervous system and soothes a heated body due to its Sheeta or cooling nature.
Famed as a panacea for all ailments, nirgundi is a versatile herb containing a powerful essential oil, that tremendously uplifts breathing functions, lung power and also pacifies aggravated Vata dosha in the system. Pouring just 2 drops of nirgundi oil into the nostrils and inhaling the invigorating aroma before bedtime prevents frequent snoring and augments uninterrupted sleep cycles.