How to Treat Sleep Apnea Without a CPAP?

Sleep apnea affects 25 percent of men and 10 percent of women, according to the Cleveland Clinic. It occurs when your upper airway repeatedly becomes blocked and reduces or stops your breathing during the night. If not treated, it can also cause high blood pressure, heart attacks, diabetes and stroke.

Doctors often suggest patients use a CPAP machine to treat obstructive sleep apnea. But are there other treatments?

If you find yourself without a CPAP machine, here’s are ways you can treat it.

Avoid Sleep Apnea by Losing Weight

Obesity is one of theObesity is one of the major causes of sleep apnea symptoms. Losing weight can help alleviate symptoms immensely and cause you to avoid a CPAP machine. Making lifestyle changes with a healthy diet and daily exercise can help with symptoms and get you on the right path to improving your sleep.

Additional upper body weight puts more pressure on the chest and airways, thus making it more difficult to breathe. Even losing a small amount of weight can help. The more weight you lose, the better you will feel.  

Check with your doctor about how to lose weight to avoid a CPAP. After you lose weight, you may want to get tested again to see if it helps.

Sleeping Position 

A change in your sleeping position may also help your symptoms. 

Some studies show sleeping on your back can make your obstructive sleep apnea worse. You may want to alter your position to your side.

It’s best to discuss with your doctor how you sleep. You may also consider a body pillow to help make sleeping on your side more comfortable. They come in all shapes and sizes and can help you get a better night’s rest. 

A sleep positioner can also be a great solution to look into if you find yourself more prone to sleeping on your back.


It’s not always your weight or sleeping position that can cause obstructive sleep apnea. It could be the way you are made!

Check with your doctor about your tonsils, nasal passages, and even if you have a deviated septum. All of these parts of your anatomy can affect sleep apnea. They cause you not to breathe the way you should.  

Enlarged tonsils, swollen adenoids, tissues around the soft palate can all cause sleep apnea symptoms. 

It may seem drastic, but surgery can improve airflow. If you don’t want a CPAP, you might consider surgery to improve your night’s sleep and avoid other serious health problems. 


Mouthguards force your lower jaw forward to allow more air to flow into your lungs. They can be an inexpensive way to avoid a CPAP machine. A sleep apnea test can help you figure out if this is the right step for you.

A mouthguard relaxes the muscles in your mouth and jaw to help you breathe easier. They are often a great sleep apnea treatment for those who want to avoid a CPAP machine.

For mild to moderate cases, you can try an alternative therapy that mimics your typical breathing patterns and creates expiratory positive airway pressure that allows you to breathe normally.

Treating Sleep Apnea Without a CPAP

Plenty of ways exist to treat sleep apnea without a CPAP. They include losing weight, adjusting your sleeping position, getting surgery, and getting a mouthguard. 

If you want to explore ways to get a better night’s sleep without a CPAP, contact us today!  

About the Author


Jason Smith is recognized by the board of polysomnographic technologists (BRPT) as a registered polysomnographic technologist (RPSGT) since 2003. He is also Director of Clinical Operations for 6 multi-state sleep diagnostic facilities including the nation’s largest 20 bed sleep disorder testing center. Jason has also been a Co-Author with two research publications featured in Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.