≡ Menu

What to Do When You Have Central Sleep Apnea or Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Central sleep apnea is one of the two types of sleeping disorders where there is an interruption (start-stop-start) of your breathing while at sleep. In this particular type, the bran stops to send signals to the lungs and muscles to breathe. The malfunctioning of the neurological respiratory breathing controls results to intermittent breathing during sleep.


It can be a little difficult to recognize this type of sleep apnea but here are the symptoms that may warn you of the disorder:

Fatigue and lethargy

Interrupted sleep

Frequent visit to the bathroom at night waking up from sleeping

Headaches when you wake up in the morning

Other symptoms include lack of concentration, mood swings, swallowing difficulties, changes in your voice, and general weakness or a feeling of numbness of your body


Several factors can cause this type of sleeping disorder. Usually though, it happens when you are suffering from other medical or health conditions. It can also occur simultaneously with obstructive sleep apnea, or alone with no known medical and health issues as trigger.

Here are some of medical or health conditions that may trigger the disorder:

Diseases associated with neurological malfunction and degeneration such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and Lou Gehrig’s;

Encephalitis, stroke, or injuries and damage to the brainstem;

Cervical spine complications and damages;

Degeneration or disorders of the bones;

Other conditions and issues such as cardio-vascular, obesity, severe arthritis

While men who are over 40 years old and obese are high risks, sleep apnea can happen to anyone with the above triggers.

What to Do

First, if you are experiencing the symptoms, or if your loved one notices your interrupted breathing during your sleep, you need to consult with your physician immediately for diagnosis. Your physician will perform some tests to determine underlying medical or health conditions and require you to undergo polysomnogram (a study of your sleep conducted overnight) to confirm the disorder.

Next, you will get treatment for your underlying medical or health condition. For instance, if diagnosis reveals you have heart disease, then you treat it to resolve the sleep apnea. Outside of the medical treatment, here is what to do when you have the disorder:

Lose your excess weight and maintain your recommended weight.

Introduce healthy changes to your lifestyle. For instance, if you smoke, you have to reduce smoking until you are able to quit the habit.

Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages and taking sleeping pills as these may obstruct your air passage during your sleep.

Benefit from the relaxing and soothing capabilities of herbs.

Sleep on your side instead of on your back. Use pillow or other devices that will help you maintain the position while sleeping.

Get enough sleep.

Central sleep apnea is a disorder you should never sleep on or take for granted. It may warn you of a serious underlying condition requiring immediate medical attention and treatment. At the first signs of sleep apnea, get an accurate diagnosis from your physician. On your own, perform some healthy changes to treat your sleeping disorder naturally.

Get Proper Treatment When You Know What Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Knowing what is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) will lead you to the right treatment for your sleeping disorder. OSA is one of the two types of sleep apnea where you experience breathing abnormalities, specifically breathing pauses, during your sleep. The breathing pauses for this type is due to the obstruction in the airway.


You will know that you suffer from OSA when:

You snore heavily and loudly. Unlike central sleep apnea where snoring can be absent, OSA’s most obvious symptom is snoring.

As you fall asleep at night, you start to snore heavily with a progressive sound volume. A period of silence where breathing stops or pauses interrupts the sleep, and then followed by loud snores gasping for breath.

The cycle repeats.

You feel drowsy and sleepy in the morning as you wake up and the entire day due to your sleep disturbance. Usually you also wake up with a headache.

You easily fall asleep as you perform your daily routine such as work, watching TV, driving, or reading.

You tend to become edgy, impatient, and bad-tempered.

You feel depressed.

Physical manifestation is the swelling of the legs.


OSA often occurs in individuals who have a narrow throat. This area remains open as you sleep for the air to pass and flow into your lungs. For those who have narrow air passage, sleep apnea happens. Other factors that increase the risk for OSA are the following:

Excessive weight that takes its toll on the throat, blocking the easy passage of air;

Large neck, tongue, or tonsils; and

Irregular or abnormal palate shape

Unlike central sleep apnea where there is lack of or absence of effort to breathe normally, while at sleep, in OSA this effort is present but physical obstruction prevents you to do so. In both disorders, though, usually you are not aware that you suffer from it unless you recognize the symptoms or your loved one notices it during your sleep.

What to Do

Several treatments are available for sleep apnea. Natural treatments you can do on your own include the following:

Lose weight. You can do this by following a healthy and nutritious diet and performing simple but consistent exercises.

Stop smoking as this is one of the primary triggers for physical obstruction in your airway.

Avoid alcoholic beverages as well as unnecessary medication like sleeping pills.

If you are sleeping on your back, change position and sleep on your side to encourage and improve the flow of air.

In extreme cases of OSA, however, your physician may require you to undergo surgical procedure to remove the obstruction from the air passage, or to correct abnormalities that hinder the flow of air to your lungs while you sleep.

When you get the right treatment, you will be able to resolve the sleeping disorder and eliminate it for good. The goal in the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea is to open the passage of air to prevent breathing pauses during sleep.

You can always get the right treatment when you are fully aware of and understand what is obstructive sleep apnea.

{ 0 comments… add one }