Yoga has been considered therapeutic for many diseases including respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. In addition to being a cure for life threatening diseases, yoga also helps in reduction of stress, fatigue and calms the mind to lead a happy and blissful life.

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Can Pranayama Cure Sleep Apnea?

Regular practice of yoga can also help in the treatment of sleep apnea. Sleep apnea can occur because of stress, worry and tension and can also be as a result of taking a lot of medicines for treatment of cardiovascular diseases. To lead a stress-free life, yoga needs to be incorporated in the daily routine which could help in alleviating many health disorders.

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Sleep apnea is also considered a health disorder as the lack of sleep can make a person go mad.

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Mild to moderate sleep apnea is treatable with alterative yoga therapy. Many yogic breathing exercises are considered very effective in the treatment of sleep apnea. These exercise help identify the root cause of the problem and help in eliminating them. They help by opening the airways or nasal passages, improving the breathing techniques etc.

If sleep apnea is left untreated, it can result in the occurrence of Daytime sleepiness, Irritable behavior, changes in the memory and lack of concentration. Therefore, it is very important to treat sleep apnea. The benefits of yoga for sleep Apnea are mentioned below:

Benefits of Yoga in Curing Sleep Apnea:

  • Yoga helps in reduction of the stress and anxiety which can result in the occurrence of sleep apnea and other life threating diseases.
  • It helps in the reduction of fatigue which can result in restlessness, shortage of breath and depression leading to sleep apnea.
  • Yoga helps in proper circulation of oxygenated blood to all the organs of the body.
  • Regular practice of yoga helps in building a stronger diaphragm which also helps in oxygenation of the blood.
  • The yogic exercises for sleep apnea can make significant changes in the practitioner’s life by enhancing the quality of life, quantity of deep and restful sleep.

Regular practice of yoga unwinds the nervous system which helps in treatment of sleep apnea by regulating the production of hormones in the body. Yoga aids the process of the production of hormones by stimulation the brain to produce hormones. When the blood is oxygenated, the glands responsible for the hormones essential for sleeping are stimulated.

Yogic Exercises to Cure Sleep Apnea:

Ujjayi Pranayama or Ocean Breath

Benefits Of Practicing Ujjayi Pranayama Or Ocean’s Breath For Sleep Apnea:

  • Ujjayi pranayama can be practiced anytime, anywhere, while standing, sitting, lying down or while sleeping.
  • It is most effective for sleep apnea when practiced before sleep at night.

Steps To Practice Ujjayi Pranayama Or Ocean’s Breath For Sleep Apnea:

  • Start by sitting in any of the comfortable sitting yoga poses like sukhasana or Padmasana etc.
  • Now, breathe deeply for five times.
  • After deep inhalation and exhalation, constrict your throat in such a way that there is a small pathway for the air to come and go inside the throat.
  • Now, take deep breaths while maintain this constriction in the throat. It will feel as if the air is coming and going in and out of the body through a nozzle.
  • Practice 5 minutes before the bed or until you fall asleep.

Kapalbhati Pranayama Or Skull Shining Breathing Technique For Sleep Apnea

Benefits Of Practicing Kapalbhati Pranayama Or Skull Shining Breathing Technique For Sleep Apnea:

  • Regular practice of Kapalbhati pranayama helps in improving the sleep by helping in clearing the airways.
  • It also helps in cleaning the cranial sinus which helps in getting deep sleep.

Steps To Practice Kapalbhati Pranayama Or Skull Shining Breathing Technique For Sleep Apnea:

  • Sit in any comfortable meditation asana like Sukhasana, Padmasana or Siddha yoni asana.
  • Make sure you keep your head and spine straight and your hands must rest on the knees in either chin or jnana mudra.
  • Close the eyes inhale and exhale deeply and relax the whole body.
  • Inhale deeply through both nostrils while expanding the abdomen and exhale with a forceful contraction of the abdominal muscles.
  • Do not strain yourself while breathing now.
  • Contract the abdominal muscles and be spontaneous with the exhalation. However, the exhalation is forceful; the inhalation does not require any effort while practicing Kapalbhati pranayama.

Bhastrika Pranayama or Breath of Fire

Benefits Of Practicing Bhastrika Pranayama Or Breath Of Fire:

  • Bhastrika pranayama helps in controlling the breath and increases the lung capacity thereby helps in getting deep sleep.
  • It helps in reducing the stress levels and invigorating the mind. Reduction in stress levels helps in getting deep sleep.

Steps To Practice Bhastrika Pranayama Or The Breath Of Fire:

  • Sit in any of the comfortable meditative asanas to practice Bhastrika.
  • Bring your hands in Pranayama mudra and close one nostril with the thumb and inhale deeply.
  • Now, exhale from the other nostril. Repeat this for about 15 to 20 times in succession.
  • The abdominal wall must move in and out with each inhale and exhale.
  • Repeat the same steps by putting a thumb on the other nostril and inhale deeply. Exhale from the free nostril.
  • After completing 20 rounds from each side, bring your hand on the knees and repeat the exercise with both nostrils.
  • Relax for a sometime and breathe normally and then continue the next round beginning starting with the right nostril. Alternate breathing from both the left and right nostrils when beginning any further rounds of Bhastrika pranayama or the breath of fire.

Brahmari Or Humming Bee Breath For Sleep Apnea:

Benefits Of Practicing Brahmari Or Humming Bee Breath For Sleep Apnea:

  • Brahmari pranayama calms the brain and is considered therapeutic to cure sleeplessness.
  • It also considered very beneficial for people suffering from mild to moderate anxiety and sleep disorders.

Steps To Practice Brahmari Or Humming Bee Breath For Sleep Apnea:

  • Sit on the yoga mat in in a comfortable meditation asana based on your ease and comfort you can sit in Padmasana, Siddhayoni asana or sukhasana.
  • Place the feet flat on the floor with the knees raised with the elbows resting on the knees.
  • While practicing, the spinal cord should be erect, the head straight and the hands should be resting on the knees in chin or jnana mudra.
  • Close the eyes and relax and the entire body must be at ease.
  • One must stay in this pose for a few breaths and while maintaining the posture, your teeth will remain slightly separated while the lips will be gently closed throughout the practice. Maintaining this allows the sound vibration produced while practicing Bhramari pranayama to be heard and felt more clearly in the brain.
  • Make sure that the jaws are relaxed while maintaining the posture.
  • Now, raise the arms sideways and bend the elbows and bring the hands to the ears and use the index or middle finger to plug both the ears.
  • Plug your ears by pressing the flaps of your ears with the thumbs. Make sure that you do not insert your fingers inside your ear. Place the fingers on your head.
  • Close your eyes and concentrate on the eye center and keep inhaling and exhaling deeply.
  • Start inhaling deeply through the nose and exhale slowly and in a controlled manner while making a deep, long and steady humming sound.
  • The humming sound coming of throat should be smooth, and it should be produced during the entire time of exhalation.
  • The ideal exhalation technique when followed reverberated the skull and give a deep calming and relieving sensation.
  • This completes one round of the Bhramari pranayama. At the end of each exhalation, breathe in deeply and repeat the process.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: September 17, 2019

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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