15 Natural Remedies For Snoring
Think you’ve tried every possible natural remedy for snoring? You may want to think again – read the following interesting tips for combating your snoring.
Some of the following ideas are common-sense; a few are more off the beaten path. Whatever ends up working for you, though, is the right course of action – and can make things better not only for you but for your partner when you hit the pillows at night.
1. Determine what “type” of snorer you are. And yes, there is a type. Here’s a general rule of thumb:
- If you snore with your mouth closed, the problem is probably with your tongue. It may be falling too far back into your mouth when you sleep. Sleeping on your side or stomach rather than your back may help, as will a mouth device.
- If you snore with your mouth open, you may have sinus or allergy issues, though physical issues such as tongue position or a constricted airway may also happen with open-mouthed snoring.
- If you snore in any sleep position, there could be an underlying medical cause. See your doctor.
2. Sleep on your side. Sleeping on your back collapses the soft palate (at the top of the inside of your mouth). That means it overlaps over the back of your throat, constricting your airway. Simply changing your sleep position may alleviate snoring, or at least make it sound less intrusive to your partner.
A way to stay sleeping on your side is the “tennis ball trick” – place a tennis ball down the back of your shirt and leave it there. Fall asleep on your side. During the night, you will likely roll to your back. However, you will encounter the tennis ball and move back to a side position.
3. Lose weight. Although thin as well as heavier people snore, according to researchers, being overweight significantly increases your chances of being a snorer. The mechanism isn’t certain, though it’s assumed that excess fat around the neck and on the chest can weigh down on your respiratory system. Losing as little as 10% of your total body weight may help.
4. Quit smoking. That may seem obvious, but smoking affects your body even when you’re not actively puffing away. As irritants, nicotine and tar can both cause swelling in the throat and ultimately, snoring.
5. Don’t drink alcohol, especially before bed. Alcohol causes an over-relaxation effect on the muscles at the back of your throat, making them lie back over your airway. Sedatives can have a similar effect.
7. Have a little stinging nettle tea before bed. Holistic professionals believe stinging nettle can combat the inflammatory effects of allergens such as pollen.
8. Consider allergies. Allergies can contribute to snoring. Have your air conditioner ducts cleaned out, vacuum your rug and any textile surfaces regularly, and change to a hypoallergenic pillow. If your allergies are really kicking up, consider taking your allergy medication before bed, particularly if it’s not a 24-hour acting one. Some allergy medicines can make a person sleepy anyway, making the timing perfect when you’re experiencing a flare-up.
9. Drink an adequate amount of water during the day. Dehdration makes the mucous in your airway thicker and sticker, contributing to discomfort and snoring. If you’re worried about needing to get up frequently in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, consider a humidifier in your room instead to keep you hydrated.
10. Get on a regular sleep schedule. If you sleep irregularly or wait until you’re dead-tired before your head hits the pillow, your sleeping may be overly deep at times unfamiliar to your body. Maintaining a regular sleep schedule trains your body to be ready to relax in a slow, natural way each night.
11. Reduce your daily intake of dairy. Dairy causes the body to produce excess mucous. In some individuals, it also may create an inflammatory response (this is much rarer; ask your doctor). More mucous means more discomfort, a constricted airway, and lots of tossing and turning – and snoring.
12. Some researchers speculate that exercising the throat may tone muscles just as exercising tones other parts of the body. Their suggestion? Sing! Sing loudly and clearly about three times a day. Go through at least one three-minute song at each singing period. Toned throat muscles may not overrelax as much and could cut down on your snoring episodes at night.
13. Elevate your pillow(s) so that your head, neck and shoulders are in alignment in a gentle downward slope. Allowing a “crick” or jerky position of your neck at night can block airways.
14. For persistent sinus issues, use a neti pot. This amazing, inexpensive little device flushes your sinuses gently with water so you can easily flush the excess down the drain. You can find neti pots online or in pharmacies like Walgreen’s, Walmart and Rite Aid. A good neti pot will last you for years.
15. Go to the doctor. Even if you feel your snoring is under control, snoring can indicate a deeper medical issue that should be addressed.
Remember: share the sleeping quarters equitably. If your snoring is so serious that your partner can’t sleep, don’t force him or her to the couch every night. Nor should you crawl off every single night like a disobedient pet to be punished when you really aren’t trying to do anything wrong. Don’t laugh – snoring can cause serious rifts in relationships. The sooner you address your snoring issues, the better for the both of you.