Natural treatments are always of interest to the snoring community, who continues to seek out gentler ways to combat this potentially serious issue.
With that in mind, UK grocery chain Asda is selling pineapple plants based on, it says, NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration)-backed studies reporting that the plant could help combat snoring.
Frustratingly, stopsnoringrx.com has been unable to locate the actual NASA study (or studies), despite dozens of newswire and site links as well as Asda’s own roll-out of the new snoring treatment. However, the store claims placing pineapple plants in one’s sleeping area could be of benefit to snorers.
“According to NASA studies, Pineapple Plants produce oxygen and improve air quality throughout the night and, therefore, aid better (and quieter) sleep,” an Asda spokesperson told reporters.
Besides the health benefits, “…with almost a quarter of Brits regularly sleeping in different rooms due to their partner’s snoring, this could be the bedroom revolution British couples have been waiting for to get them out of prickly night-time situations,” the statement added.
The plants sell for L12 in UK stores.
Whatever the actual source of the information, studies have in fact been done that show the pineapple plant helps create oxygen in the air, according to researchers. For oxygen-compromised sleepers, this could be of benefit, Asda no claims.
Snoring can cause a temporary cessation of breathing (Obstructive Sleep Apnea, or OSA) and/or may point to restricted oxygen flow during the muscle relaxation and airway narrowing that can occur during sleep, scientists say.
With more oxygen in the room, some of the negative effects associated with this type and degree of snoring could be lifted, and snoring may even decrease, according to press releases touting the plant as the newest natural remedy for snoring.
The news sounds almost too good to be true. Verifying the data is difficult, however, particularly with natural materials (such as plants) which may grow at different levels, be at different health states at different times, and can have other extenuating factors at play.
It’s unlikely that official statements will be made in light of these issues, but since the plant is natural, looks elegant and probably can’t hurt, it may be worth a try, according to promoters of this newest potential anti-snoring treatment.
Of course, the best and most medically-backed way to combat oxygen deprivation due to snoring, particularly if the diagnosis is OSA, is a CPAP machine or other direct oxygen-delivery device. But if you’d like to boost results with your own efforts, try these methods:
According to studies, other plants that can help purify the air and improve air quality include:
It isn’t easy to admit you’re a snorer. And it can be surprisingly tough to open up to a physician, even if you have a great relationship with him or her. Why? Because snoring is an embarrassing problem many don’t want to own up to.
The truth is, speaking HONESTLY with your doctor is key to addressing exactly what the issues are, whether you’re in danger, and what you can do. Here’s your checklist for bringing up the subject – and what you can expect once you do.
It’s amazing how much we forget we wanted to ask once we’re on that cold table wearing an oversize paper napkin. Because of this phenomenon (you’re not the only one!), we recommend you prepare for your appointment by taking these steps.
Go on any snoring site and you’ll see all sorts of advice for snorers.
What you might not see is what the non-snoring partner can do, what’s a no-go – and whether he or she should do anything at all.
Being the non-snorer in a noisy bed can be difficult, may build resentment over time and results in a lack of sleep and difficult mornings for both parties. Some experts go so far as to warn of potential damage to a person exposed regularly to another’s snoring.
What’s a partner to do? Let’s explore the options of the non-snorer.
A method that goes back as far as written history (and almost certainly before) is to elbow, push or otherwise physically bring the snorer to wakefulness.
Actually, for very occasional snoring and if done gently, this can work, at least temporarily. The snorer comes to near-consciousness, takes in a quick gasp, and with oxygen now in his or her system, falls back asleep more comfortably.
Unfortunately, there are drawbacks to this method. For one, if the partner is a chronic snorer, the partner may be waking the snorer eight, ten or even more times a night, interrupting the sleep of both. For another, being jarred awake could place stress on the snorer’s body and mental health. At best, it’s a temporary fix; at worst, you may actually harm the snorer.
By the way, we’ve seen references to pinching the partner’s nose closed to stop snoring. NEVER do this. Your partner’s breathing is already compromised; the nose-pinching method can only make things worse and will force the snorer to wake up gasping desperately for breath. This may disturb sleep further on subsequent nights due to the subconscious fear of suffocation. Disturbed, fearful sleep means erratic breathing and may mean more snoring. There’s no upside. Just don’t do it.
Our Vote: No
Interestingly, the prim trend of days gone by of separate beds or even maintaining separate bedrooms seems to be making a comeback. And a surprising number of couples already sleep separately (about one couple in four), though they’re often embarrassed to admit it.
If both rooms (or beds) are equally spacious and comfortable and if both individuals are happy with the arrangement, this can work well, experts say. Beware, though: some non-snoring partners will feel resentful that they have been forced apart at nighttime, and both individuals may suffer loneliness and a disconnect in the marriage. Make sure you’re on the same page and maintain closeness throughout the day if you choose this option.
Our Vote: Possibly
You’re only human, and in your sleep-deprived state you’ve probably already said more than once, “If you don’t stop you need to go on the couch!”, “Do something about this or we’re sleeping in separate rooms” or for the truly desperate, “I can’t take one more sleep-deprived day…go to the doctor about this or I’m leaving you!”
But are ultimatums the answer?
Believe us when we say we commiserate. You really CAN be that desperate for a good night’s sleep – and over months or years, resentment can get that big. Sleep deprivation is real; so is feeling, rightfully or not, that your partner just doesn’t care about your happiness or that he refuses to seek help.
But because snoring can rarely be controlled by the snorer without external help such as medication, chin straps, mouth guards or for some, surgery, an ultimatum won’t do anything except frighten the snorer and make her resent you in return.
Our Vote: No
Believe it or not, some partners of snorers do resort to earplugs, ear buds or other ways of muffling sound externally.
We NEVER recommend that a snorer put off getting professional help for a chronic issue, but as a temporary fix, you may wish to muffle your partner’s sleep sounds with earplugs while you’re both seeking help for his/her condition.
Be careful: DO NOT use this method if anyone in the house, including the snorer, has a medical issue which sound would prompt you to help with (for example, choking issues or medical alarms), or if you have a small child in the house who may wake and need help during the night. You may muffle too much sound to be of help if you wear earplugs in this case. Also be sure to use safe, retrievable plugs that won’t scratch or otherwise damage the ear canal and won’t get lost inside.
Our Vote: Possibly, With Correct and Careful Use
We always recommend that a snorer see his/her doctor for a chronic or severe snoring issue. A supportive partner can be a great help at the doctor’s office. Using sensitivity, she can help the doctor get a better picture of how loud and frequent the snoring is, for example (the snorer won’t be able to accurately relay this information and may underestimate or may be embarrassed to fully reveal the issue).
Another way going to the doctor with your partner may help is that you’ll be showing your support. This can be a tremendous comfort to your partner and may help him/her to open up more, too, which could aid the doctor in getting a better picture of what’s going on. You both benefit.
DON’T demand or insist, but do make the offer to go with your partner to the doctor’s office. Once inside the office, make sure not to dominate the conversation. Allow your partner to speak for him/herself and wait until s/he is done speaking to sensitively add your input.
Our Vote: Yes, With the Partner’s Permission
If the doctor has advised the snorer to make certain changes such as losing weight, getting more exercise or cutting down on alcohol consumption at night, you don’t have to make the changes with him, but doing so could play a part in his staying on-track with the new lifestyle. You’re showing solidarity and preventing him from feeling he’s been singled out as “punished” for something he didn’t want to cause in the first place.
This is entirely up to you and is also dependent upon what the actual changes are, but even making that effort could boost your partner’s morale and help her be more likely to comply with the treatment, which means you’ll both benefit.
Our Vote: Yes, Whenever Possible and Comfortable
As mentioned earlier in this article, snoring can negatively impact a partnership. Resentment can build, as can helplessness (you can’t MAKE your partner see the doctor, for example).
If snoring or another physical issue is present in your marriage, make sure to treat the partnership, not just the medical issue. If things have gotten severe, some form of counseling may even be in order. Don’t hesitate to take this step if you feel you need it. That way you can both have your happily ever after – in bed and out of it.
Our Vote: Yes
We’ve touched before on young children and snoring.
Now a claim from Babies Today is that 12% of all U.S. toddlers snore, and as many as 3% of these will go on to be diagnosed with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).
A distinction was not given between heavy and light snoring or the frequency of the snoring, but the numbers are a wake-up call for parents concerned about their children’s sleep and overall health.
An infant or toddler lightly snoring as she cuddles in her crib in bliss is iconically cute. The likely reason is that we expect older people to snore (to be specific, we generally expect these older people to be men). When a baby does it, it’s meme-worthy.
But the suppositions about who snores, and when and how deeply, are urban mythology, according to researchers.
Though older men do have the highest snoring numbers, younger men, women and children – yes, even infants and toddlers – snore more than we’d like to think.
And it’s not always cute. According to sleepfoundation.org, while some snoring may be normal, other forms and frequency could indicate something more serious, such as:
While these statistics are daunting, SOME snoring, if occasional and very light, can be normal, experts say.
How do you know when to worry?
Here are 10 signs your toddler’s snoring needs to be evaluated, according to Robert Rosenberg, DO:
See your child’s pediatrician. She will be able to determine whether your child’s snoring warrants follow-up testing. If not, she should be able to put your fears to rest.
However, it’s a good idea to maintain, or better, your child’s health whether she is diagnosed with a sleep disorder/sleep issue or not. Preventatively or to better your child’s health, you should:
People snore for all sorts of different reasons. These can include genetics, gender (males snore more than females), age (the older you are, the more likely you are to snore), certain health conditions, mouth or throat polyps/obstructions, sleep position and body fat percentage, among other possibilities.
For those who experience overly-lax muscles during sleep (some laxness is to be expected, but this effect will vary from sleeper to sleeper) or who lack overall muscle tone, some exercises could help, experts are now saying.
Mouth exercises for snoring aren’t exactly new. Evidence of sometimes ineffective, often odd, and generally dubious mouth and throat “workouts” can be found going back centuries into the past.
However, today we’re closer than ever to scientifically-backed exercises to help alleviate snoring, sleep experts say.
Here are six exercises from huffingtonpost.com that just might make the difference between sleepless nights and snore-no-more. (For complete info and for a picture of each exercise, look here.)
With all this said: should you do oral exercises in order to lessen snoring?
Some professionals, as well as individuals who have attempted such programs, state that they are uncomfortable to do and aren’t sustainable over time.
On the other hand, if you’ve been unsuccessful so far in other ways to attempt to reduce your snoring, and are looking to avoid expensive surgeries or appliances, they may be worth a try.
Have you tried mouth exercises for snoring? Did you see an improvement? If so, which exercises did you perform, how often, and how long was it before you saw success? Contact us and let us know your experiences, or leave a Comment below.
It sounds simple – maybe too simple. But it’s a fact: for a percentage of snorers, a humidifier may just be the ticket to a better night’s rest. Here’s what you need to know.
We’ve touched before on various ways you can make your sleeping area more productive to a good night’s rest and in particular, to helping alleviate snoring.
One notable fix is to add humidity if the room is too dry.
The reason is simple: when the air is too dry, your throat and mouth may become irritated. This can lead to swelling, which narrows the airway during sleep. Some types of snoring can be either caused or made worse by this narrowing of the airway.
Allergies can also be worse in a too-dry environment (though too wet isn’t good either, so be careful and find your sweet spot). That’s because with allergies, irritation already exists. Adding dryness only compounds this problem.
Humidifiers have different capabilities and, of course, different price tags.
But for most people, a good humidifier should:
If dryness is your snoring problem (or is at least part of the equation), positive results from adding humidity to your bedroom during sleep time should begin to show up in one to two weeks.
If you notice other positive changes, such as a switch from dry, itchy skin to a supple and comfortable texture, then your humidifier is at the very least doing its job: getting humidity into the air.
Many snorers don’t realize they’re snoring. If you sleep with a mate, ask him/her whether your snoring has improved since installing the humidifier.
If the humidifier isn’t addressing your problem, you should look into other possibilities. However, don’t overlook this crucial step. Making sure your room isn’t dry could mean a big difference in your sleep, and in your snoring.
We came across something interesting and we thought we’d share it with our readers, who are always asking us what’s new in the world of sleep and sleep aids.
Please note: we haven’t tested the following product. If you try it, drop us a line and let us know what you think.
And with that, we give you…
A little sensor (only the size of a tennis ball) may help you get better sleep, one business entrepreneur claims.
The product, called “Sense,” uses your smartphone and connects to your home’s technology and was introduced by Hello store founder James Proud, who says, “[Sense is] your alarm clock.”
But it’s also “…meditative sounds to help you fall asleep,” such as falling rain or white noise.
What’s even better? Sense tracks your sleep, Proud says.
When conditions fall outside the ideal – for instance, if it’s too warm in your bedroom – Sense communicates with your home’s mechanics (in this case, the thermostat) to return things to prime sleep condition.
What makes this possible is a state-of-the-art network of sensors that track humidity, temperature, light and sound.
Sense begins tracking conditions to improve your sleep as soon as your head hits the pillow, Proud told Squawk Box in an interview.
Proud told interviewers that the premise is to prevent sleep problems, rather than dealing with issues after they’re at the point of interfering with one’s quality of life.
Sense also monitors your sleep cycles and sleep events, according to the website.
In the morning, a report is available on your phone to alert you to possible issues and show you what went well (and what went not so swimmingly) the night before so you know about issues before they get bigger.
Sense currently retails at $149.
Now here’s something REALLY cool: you can listen to the ambient sounds on the company’s site. Scroll down to the bottom of the page (“Sleep Sounds”) and arrow down on Play Now. (We loved Autumn Wind!)
From all appearances, Sense works very similarly to sleep apps which are already available on smartphones.
However, with its ability to communicate with and automatically alter your home’s temperature and other factors, Sense may be the next step in sleep monitoring that could help people experiencing issues with their sleep.
It also doubles as an alarm clock that wakens you gradually to bring you to the correct pre-wake levels beforehand so you don’t feel as groggy, the website claims.
Considering buying Sense? Already tried it? Let us know your experiences! Leave a comment below.
Snoring can have so many causes. We’ve covered quite a few in our Articles section, from sleep position to chronic conditions to electronics, dust or dryness in the bedroom.
We’ve even mentioned that some sleep-inducing medications may boomerang over time to make sleep worse, not better.
But can some medicines actually make you snore (or make an already existing snoring condition worse)?
Yes, experts say. Let’s dig a bit deeper into this issue.
Some antihistamines (both over-the-counter and prescription strength) could contribute to snoring if dryness is a contributing factor – and it can be for many people, according to experts. In fact, low humidity in the bedroom can, all by itself, cause reactive swelling inside the nose, sinuses and throat, create irritation, and contribute to snoring.
If you take antihistamines long-term to manage an allergy or other condition, ask your doctor for alternatives. (NOTE: DO NOT change this or any other medication regimen without your doctor’s say-so.)
Sedatives are a class, not a specific medication, and this group covers a large territory as far as the actual medication. But know that in general, any sedating medicine could over-relax your muscles, including those in your throat. This could mean your throat narrows more than it otherwise would, which means less air flow, more reverberation/vibration, and snoring.
If you are taking a sedative medication short-term, the condition should resolve once the course of taking the medication is over. If you require longer-term usage, and you are experiencing snoring, see your doctor.
Usually, it takes more than a teaspoon of alcohol to produce this effect, but in certain susceptible individuals, even small amounts of alcohol – such as may be found in tinctures, suspensions or certain liquid medicines – may produce quick, overly-deep sleep, followed by interrupted rest. This stop-and-start, unnatural sedation can produce snoring.
Ask your doctor for a non alcohol-containing preparation (or if you’re taking an OTC preparation, read the labels and find an alcohol-free version).
When narcotics are prescribed, they’re typically meant for pain management, though narcotics do have other medical uses. However, like sedatives in general, narcotics may over-relax the nose, throat and upper airway, restricting the flow of air into the body and causing snoring or making it worse.
Again, if the course of narcotic usage will be short-term, your snoring may get better once the medicine is stopped. Otherwise, ask about alternatives.
Oddly enough, any medication meant to PRODUCE sleep could actually make snoring worse. Used short-term, the benefits of less sleep deprivation may outweigh side effects (including snoring), but longer-term, the snoring could become a problem.
The issue here is that the induced sleep is not identical to a natural pattern of falling and staying asleep. Sleep becomes disordered and may involve over-relaxation or an opposite, stimulated effect, and in some people, both of these things may happen during any one sleep cycle in alternating fashion.
Try other methods of getting to sleep and staying that way (see our articles database for help with insomnia).
As always, if you need to take medication, your doctor will want to weigh the risks v. the benefits and make the decision whether or not you should be taking the particular medication. She may be able to offer you alternatives if your current regimen is causing you problems (whether those include snoring or other side effects). Don’t suffer – ask for help and, if necessary, a medication change so you can have a more restful night.
Sometimes, despite careful planning and three healthy meals (plus perhaps a snack or two), we get the munchies just before bedtime.
It happens to everyone.
Some people can fall asleep on a rumbling tummy, waiting the hunger out until morning. But others find they simply can’t nod off when they’re starving.
So it’s a mad midnight dash for the fridge, some cold leftovers…and then a night of interrupted, gassy, unhappy “rest.”
What’s a nighttime muncher to do?
Don’t worry – there are ways to take away that hunger edge that’s keeping you from Slumberland…and these great choices WON’T produce a backlash at 2AM that will have you tossing and turning. (NOTE: If you have any food allergies or intolerances, be careful of any food choices, before bed or at any other time. Everyone is different…and your mileage may vary, as they say. Experiment with healthy options to find what works well for you.)
Almonds are high in the mineral magnesium, which is sleep-promoting. Unlike magnesium in tablets (or another concentrated form), almonds do not generally have a laxative effect, so you won’t be bothered by intestinal disturbance if you consume them in small quantities. One ounce (about a quarter cup) is the perfect amount for taking off the nighttime hunger and promoting gentle, natural sleep.
Walnuts contain tryptophan, an amino acid associated with relaxation and sleep. The amount in walnuts won’t knock you out like a supplement or prescription strength version might, but that’s a good thing (being over-relaxed can be sleep-disruptive too, and may contribute to snoring). Again, a SMALL quantity is sufficient; try an ounce or two.
If you’re thirsty rather than hungry, sipping on some warm chamomile tea can help relax your body and mind at the same time. Chamomile is well-known (and has been for centuries) for its sleep-promotive properties. Besides its relaxation properties, the warmth itself will help you achieve a wonderful sense of calm (most non-caffeine containing teas and most clear broths will have the same effect in this regard). A bonus: if you’re watching your weight, drinking steeped chamomile won’t add more than two or three calories to your day, and will add no fat at all.
Aren’t you glad we suggested this? You’re welcome! Chocolate is rich in serotonin, which both lifts our mood and helps us achieve a sense of calm. (Go for dark chocolate, which contains more cocoa.) One or two small squares (one-half to one ounce) should be plenty. (We’d love to tell you to go ahead and have the entire brick, but at that point the caffeine in the cocoa might offset its quieting properties.)
It’s not a myth: a banana before bedtime helps you sleep better (and get there faster). Bananas pack an amazing bedtime punch by combining magnesium, tryphtophan and potassium, three wonderfully soothing ingredients. Have half a large banana or one small banana half an hour before bed.
MEANWHILE, AVOID THESE…
Just as there are foods and drinks that are great for nighttime, there are some things we should never consume before closing down and cashing it in. A few include:
Does your bed warm your lower half – and know exactly when to do it in preparation for your regular bedtime? Does it provide support for pressure points with space-age technology? How about your snoring – does it detect that…and even potentially fix the issue?
The Sleep Number 360 does, at least according to marketers of the item. A step up from the It Bed and due out this year, the Sleep Number 360 performs better than perhaps any bed to date, at least according to claims.
“The bed reborn,” according to its advertisements, some of the new bed’s amazing tricks include:
Pricing for the bed has not yet been made available. The It Bed queen mattress retails at $1099. Watch the information video here. Also see this fun and upbeat mini-review. Reviews on various Sleep Number beds can be accessed here.
Founded in 1987, Select Comfort markets the Sleep Number brand of beds and bedding as its top brand and currently holds or has applied for 23 patents, including the new bed.