If you snore, then you are likely unaware of the racket you are making! If you are sleeping with a partner, our guess is they are aware! Snoring is your own personal version of noisy breathing that disturbs your sleep and the sleep of your partner. One side effect of snoring includes fragmented sleep that results in daytime drowsiness. Snoring is a common problem that affects about 90 million adults in the United States. What makes you snore? What can you do to help stop snoring?
The muscles of the throat relax when we sleep. The tongue falls back and the throat becomes narrow and soft. As we breathe, the walls of the throat vibrate, and that’s when some people make that “snnnnnnooore” sound. Aging causes the throat muscles to relax more, and this is why many older folks are more likely to snore. Obesity also contributes to snoring since there is more fatty tissue in the neck area. The way the nose and throat are structured, how much alcohol you’ve had, and even your sleep position can all play a role in how much you snore. Let’s not forget dry air, illness and even allergies.
If you are a chronic snoring offender, consult your healthcare provider immediately to make sure you don’t have obstructive sleep apnea or another health issue.
If you are just an amateur log sawer, below are some simple home remedies you can do to prevent snoring that just might help keep the peace – and quiet – in your household.
Use a humidifier to help with snoring.
Air conditioners and heating units dry out indoor air, and the delicate tissue in the nose and throat are sensitive to this condition. Using a cool air humidifier helps to replace some of that moisture in the air, making it more comfortable and easier to breathe through the nose. You may add a few drops of essential oil to the humidifier unit to get added benefits. Peppermint, tea tree oil and eucalyptus all help to open up the nasal passages naturally for snoring relief. If you’ve got a snoring dog, then a humidifier will help them, too!
Take a shower.
A hot, steamy shower before bed helps to reduce nasal congestion so you can breathe more easily. As an alternative, you can inhale steam by putting a bowl of boiled water on a table (add essential oil, if desired) and leaning over the bowl. Breathe in deeply. You may want to use a towel over your head to create a tent effect that directs the steam toward your face. Give it at least 5 to 10 minutes to see some results.
Lubricate the nasal passages.
Ayurveda, India’s 5,000-year-old Science of Life, recommends lubricating the nasal passages with sesame oil or ghee to help silence snoring. Ghee is also known as clarified butter. It is used in many Ayurvedic remedies for its medicinal properties. With clean hands, you can simply use your pinky finger to massage the inside of your nostrils with sesame oil or soft ghee. Close off one nostril at a time and breathe in the oil to moisturize further up the nose. Repeat before bed and upon awakening in the morning.
Lubricate the throat.
Olive oil is a strong anti-inflammatory agent and can decrease swelling in the respiratory passages. It also relieves soreness and reduces the vibration in the throat that causes snoring. Simply take a shot glass full of olive oil all by itself (two to three sips) right before you go to bed.
Honey also has anti-inflammatory properties and coats the throat, reducing snoring vibrations. Mix one teaspoon of honey in a cup of hot water, or a cup of chamomile or ginger tea, and drink sometime between after dinner and bedtime. Chamomile is famous as a muscle and nerve relaxant, which will help you sleep comfortably. Ginger has the benefit of antibacterial effects.
Consider using natural herbs to prevent snoring and promote a restful night of sleep. Peppermint has anti-inflammatory properties that can help open up the whole respiratory system. Take a drop or two of peppermint oil in a glass of warm water and gargle with it before bed.
Turmeric is a mighty antibiotic and antiseptic, and is one of the best herbs for snoring relief. Interestingly, these properties are amplified when turmeric is mixed with milk. This combination also makes it an amazing immune system booster! Mix two teaspoons of ground turmeric into a cup of hot milk to make “golden milk,” an ancient Ayurvedic recipe, as a natural remedy to silence snoring. Sip about half an hour before bedtime.
Sleep on your side.
Sleeping on your back can cause the tongue to move to the back of the throat and block some airflow, causing snoring. Sleep on your side instead to help with snoring. While on your side, air flows more easily, making this the best sleeping position to stop snoring. Pro tip: Your pillow can be your best ally or worst enemy. Make sure that your pillow is supporting your head and neck properly.