Breathing Related Sleep Disorder Treatments

(Also Known As: Sleep Disorder Treatments, Sleep Apnea Treatments, Sleep Disordered Breathing Treatments, Sleep Apnea Disorder Treatments, Sleep Breathing Disorders Treatments, Insomnia Treatments)

(Reviewed by: Paul Peterson, Licensed Therapist)

Simple cases of sleep apnea may only require losing weight as a solution for relief from the condition. One must also quit smoking and avoid alcohol and sedating agents. Sedative agents can help improve sleep but it also poses a risk factor to snoring which can aggravate the condition as the agents can relax the tongue and parapharyngeal muscles. 2 In moderate to severe cases, lifestyle modification cannot alleviate the condition and requires proper medical treatment. Various forms of therapies and surgical procedures are needed to treat severe cases of sleep apnea.

CPAP or continuous positive airway pressure is considered the most effective treatment for severe forms of obstructive sleep apneas. With CPAP, the patient wears a mask on top of the nose while asleep and then the pressure from an air blower forces air through the nasal passages to keep the upper airway passages open to prevent snoring and apnea. There are studies that show that CPAP therapy does not just treat sleep apnea but it also improves mood and functional condition that can lessen the prevalence of motor vehicle accidents with apneic people. 3 It also benefits people to enjoy improved sleep and less frequent episodes of daytime sleeping with obstructive sleep apnea patients. 4 Although a number of people who have tried CPAP found it to be uncomfortable to use, some adjustments of the strap can give a better and secure fit. 5

Another type of airway pressure device is the bilevel positive airway pressure (BiPAP) units that adjust the pressure, giving you more pressure when inhaling and less when exhaling, although CPAP is a more effective treatment. You can also use an oral appliance that will keep your throat open. It has been designed to bring the tongue or jaw forward which can help reduce snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. A new study has found that this device demonstrated partial response in up to two thirds of patients. 6 You may also consult your dentist for these appliances.

In some cases, there is a need to undertake surgery to remove the excess tissue from nose or throat that causes snoring or blocks the upper air passages that cause sleep apnea. These surgical procedures are:

Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP)

The process of UPPP removes the tissue from the mouth and throat to stop snoring, which may usually remove the tonsils and adenoids too. This surgery may successfully lessen snoring but it is not effective in treating sleep apnea.

Maxillomandibular Advancement

This jaw surgery moves forward your upper and lower jaw from the remainder of your face bones to expand the space at the back of tongue and soft palate to reduce obstruction.


This is the last surgical option if other forms of surgical procedures are not successful. The surgeon will create an opening in the neck and inserts a metal or plastic tube through which one breathes. During daytime the opening is covered and during the night it will be opened to expose it and allow more air to pass in and out of the lungs. This will avoid blocked air passage in the throat. This kind of surgery for sleep apnea is an unconventional treatment for a long period of time because of its complications and disability. 7

Could You Have Breathing Related Sleep Disorder?

Breathing Related Sleep Disorder Topics

Related Conditions

Hypersomnia – excessive daytime sleepiness, inability to sleep, insomnia, depression, anxiety
Narcolepsy – Dyssomnia, daytime sleepiness, sudden attack of sleep, disturbed sleep
Nightmare Disorder – dream anxiety disorder, disturbed sleep, nightmares, insomnia, fear