We're Currently Accepting New Patients!

Understanding the Link between Sleep Apnea and High Blood Pressure: A Naturopathic Perspective

Written by Portland Clinic of Natural Health on June 30, 2023

Sleep apnea and high blood pressure are two common health concerns that often coexist, forming a complex interplay that can significantly impact overall well-being. While conventional medicine focuses on treating these conditions separately, naturopathic and functional medicine take a holistic approach, recognizing the interconnectedness of the body's systems. In this article, we delve into the connection between sleep apnea and high blood pressure and explore how a naturopathic perspective can provide insights and potential solutions.

Sleep Apnea and High Blood Pressure: A Vicious Cycle

  1. Sleep Apnea and Blood Pressure: Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder characterized by pauses in breathing or shallow breaths during sleep. It has been found to contribute to the development and exacerbation of high blood pressure. When breathing is disrupted during sleep, the oxygen supply to the body decreases, leading to a cascade of physiological responses. The brain signals the blood vessels to constrict and the heart to pump harder, elevating blood pressure levels. (1)
  2. Synergistic Effects: The relationship between sleep apnea and high blood pressure is bidirectional, forming a vicious cycle. On one hand, untreated sleep apnea can lead to chronic elevation of blood pressure, putting strain on the cardiovascular system. On the other hand, high blood pressure can worsen the severity of sleep apnea, leading to more frequent breathing interruptions during sleep.

Naturopathic and Functional Medicine Approaches:

  1. Lifestyle Modifications: Making positive lifestyle changes can have a significant impact on both sleep apnea and high blood pressure. Consider the following:
    • Weight Management: Excess weight can contribute to both conditions. Losing weight through a balanced diet and regular exercise can alleviate symptoms of sleep apnea and help reduce blood pressure.
    • Sleep Hygiene: Adopt healthy sleep habits, such as maintaining a regular sleep schedule, creating a comfortable sleep environment, and avoiding stimulants like caffeine before bed.
    • Stress Reduction: Chronic stress can contribute to high blood pressure and worsen sleep apnea. Incorporate stress-reduction techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, or engaging in activities that promote relaxation.
  2. Diet and Nutrition: A naturopathic approach emphasizes the importance of a nutrient-rich diet. Consider the following dietary recommendations:
    • Anti-inflammatory Foods: Incorporate anti-inflammatory foods such as fatty fish (rich in omega-3 fatty acids), nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables. These foods can help reduce inflammation and support cardiovascular health.
  3. Herbal and Nutritional Supplements: Certain supplements may offer support for both sleep apnea and high blood pressure. However, it is essential to consult with a qualified naturopathic physician or functional medicine practitioner to determine the most appropriate supplements for your specific needs.
    • Magnesium: This mineral can help relax muscles and support healthy blood pressure levels. It may also improve sleep quality and reduce the severity of sleep apnea symptoms. (2)
    • Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10): CoQ10 is an antioxidant that supports energy production in the body. Studies suggest that it may help lower blood pressure and improve symptoms of sleep apnea. (3, 4)

Recognizing the intricate relationship between sleep apnea and high blood pressure is crucial for effective management and improved well-being. A naturopathic and functional medicine perspective emphasizes holistic approaches, focusing on lifestyle modifications, dietary interventions, and targeted supplementation to address both conditions simultaneously. By addressing the underlying factors contributing to sleep apnea and high blood pressure, individuals can strive towards improved sleep quality, better cardiovascular health, and enhanced overall vitality. As always, it is recommended to consult with a qualified healthcare professional for personalized guidance and support on your health journey.


  1. Seravalle G, Grassi G. Sleep Apnea and Hypertension. High Blood Press Cardiovasc Prev. 2022 Jan;29(1):23-31. doi: 10.1007/s40292-021-00484-4. Epub 2021 Nov 5. PMID: 34739711.
  2. Dominguez L, Veronese N, Barbagallo M. Magnesium and Hypertension in Old Age. Nutrients. 2020 Dec 31;13(1):139. doi: 10.3390/nu13010139. PMID: 33396570; PMCID: PMC7823889.
  3. Zhao D, Liang Y, Dai S, Hou S, Liu Z, Liu M, Dong X, Zhan Y, Tian Z, Yang Y. Dose-Response Effect of Coenzyme Q10 Supplementation on Blood Pressure among Patients with Cardiometabolic Disorders: A Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE)-Assessed Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Adv Nutr. 2022 Dec 22;13(6):2180-2194. doi: 10.1093/advances/nmac100. PMID: 36130103; PMCID: PMC9776655.
  4. Sunnetcioglu A, Alp HH, Sertogullarından B, Balaharoglu R, Gunbatar H. Evaluation of Oxidative Damage and Antioxidant Mechanisms in COPD, Lung Cancer, and Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome. Respir Care. 2016 Feb;61(2):205-11. doi: 10.4187/respcare.04209. Epub 2015 Nov 24. PMID: 26604330.

Our Newsletter

Experience a New Level of Wellness - Sign Up for the Portland Clinic of Natural Health Newsletter Today!

Related Posts

What our Patients say about us