Home remedies - or common-sense types of therapy - are the least effective modes of treating OSA. Before delving into some of these options, a few generalizations must be understood.
First, airway potency is generally worse when you are sleeping supine, or on your back. This is in part due to gravitational effects on the body's tissue. The weight of the body presses down on the airway, contributing to the obstruction.
Second, OSA is more severe following episodes of sleep deprivation and alcohol consumption.
The first home remedy is to sew a pocket big enough to hold two tennis balls onto the back of your pajama top, between the shoulder blades. Place the tennis balls in the pocket prior to going to bed. During the night, when you attempt to roll onto your back, the tennis balls make the position so uncomfortable that you roll to your side. In time, the supine position is associated subconsciously with discomfort, and you won't attempt to sleep on your back.
Good sleep is important for everyone. It is even more important for individuals with sleep-related breathing disorders such as OSA. Sleep deprivation aggravates OSA, increasing apneic events and disrupting sleep.
This is also true of alcohol consumption. Although it is true that a "nightcap" may help an individual fall asleep, generally alcohol creates micro-arousal or awakenings during the night, decreasing the restfulness of the sleep. Alcohol also relaxes the airway muscles, making the events worse.
Often, but not always, individuals with obstructive sleep apnea also carry more weight than is ideal. Weight loss can improve obstructive sleep apnea. Keep in mind that weight by itself is not indicative of sleep apnea, but it can make the problem worse. Also, patients with OSA often find it very difficult to lose weight until their OSA has been treated. That said, a weight loss of even five pounds can have a dramatic impact on the severity of OSA.