Despite what you may think about yourself, everyone snores occasionally. It’s a natural occurrence due to the relaxed state your throat moves into during sleep. But if it’s severe, it can disrupt sleep patterns, cause insomnia, and lead to irritability in both the snorer and the one lying awake because of the snoring.
Snoring could also be an indication of sleep apnea, a potentially life-threatening condition that should receive medical attention. Sleep apnea is typically caused by a breathing obstruction, which awakens the sleeper, at which point the person begins breathing again. Normal snoring usually does not affect the quality of sleep as much as sleep apnea. If you suffer from extreme fatigue, sleepiness and exhaustion during the day, your problem may be more than just snoring, and you should get it checked out by a doctor.
How to Stop Snoring Naturally
What is snoring anyway? Snoring is due to the lack of freely moving air through the nose and throat during sleep. When this happens, the surrounding tissues vibrate, which produces the annoying snoring sound.
While we all need a good night’s sleep, including the non-snoring partner, if you can’t sleep due to snoring, it can lead to some serious health problems, such as weight gain, depression, brain damage, hormonal issues, risk of heart disease and stroke, increased blood pressure, increased risk of diabetes, and accelerated aging, to name a few.
Here’s how to stop snoring naturally.
1. Side Sleeping
If your snoring problem is minor, this just might do the trick. The biggest difficulty may become how to keep you on your side. Using a body pillow could be useful in maintaining the position.
Ultimately, this position can prevent the relaxed and untoned muscles in the the throat from blocking the breathing passageways. An old remedy that could be useful is to tape a tennis ball to the back of your pajamas so you don’t roll onto your back. If you have a bed with a recline control, you can set the bed in an angled head-up position, which may open the nasal airway passages.
2. Peppermint Oil and Goldenseal
If your snoring occurs because of nasal or chest congestion, pure peppermint oil can relieve the congestion. It’s been shown to be a great essential oil sore throat relief and congestion in the nasal passageways, which in turn could be how to stop snoring for congestion issues.
Goldenseal is another supplement you can use to help relieve congestion in your chest and nasal passages and is typically found in powder, liquid or capsule form. You can even have a cup of herbal tea that contains peppermint or goldenseal. Just make sure you don’t have a tea with caffeine, as that can greatly interrupt your sleep.
3. Spearmint and Fenugreek
Digestion plays a big role in our sleep patterns and can cause snoring. Fenugreek and spearmint are amazing herbs that can cure snoring from digestive issues, in particular caused by indigestion — an acid problem in the digestive system. These herbs can help rid your body of this acid and decrease your chances of snoring while you sleep.
Fenugreek has been shown to fight sleep apnea and improve digestive issues that lead to snoring, while spearmint also relieves indigestion and acid reflux symptoms that can also contribute to snoring.
4. Vitamin C
The sinuses can obstruct the airways, causing the mouth to open and the uvula, the fleshy extension at the back of the soft palate that hangs above the throat, to vibrate and create the annoy of an all-night snore. Vitamin C may help prevent this because we know it helps promote a healthy immune system. That healthy immune system can clear the sinuses.
Papaya, pineapple, which also contains sinus-fighting bromelain, broccoli and red bell pepper, to name a few, are the some of the best vitamin C foods.
5. Eucalyptus and Peppermint
Eucalyptus has long been around to help with chest colds. There are a few ways that you can apply eucalyptus oil to provide a snore-free night of sleep. Putting eucalyptus leaves in a steam inhaler and breathing it through your mouth or nose can help clear your sinuses.
You also could try using a steam bowl by putting your head over a bowl of pure hot water and covering it with a towel so you can inhale the steam. Add five drops of eucalyptus and five drops peppermint essential oils to the bowl. Don’t forget that steam is hot and can burn you, so be careful. Do this just before bed to help clear out your airways and reduce inflammation in your nasal passages that may be a contribute to the snoring problem.
If you’re not a fan of the steam, a neti pot using the right solution of salts and pure water can do wonders, too, but don’t put essential oils in the neti pot, as this can burn the membranes of the nasal passages!
6. Oral Appliance
You may want to talk to your dentist about getting a dental appliance that can help change the opening of your airway so your tongue has enough room, avoiding an obstruction when you sleep. The American Dental Association reports that devices worn only during sleep may be an effective treatment option and can help eliminate snoring altogether. An oral appliance fits like a sports mouth guard or an orthodontic retainer. It supports the jaw in a forward position to help maintain an open upper airway.
7. Get Your Bodyweight Back to Normal
If you carrying around extra body weight, this excess weight, especially around the neck, can cause the throat to narrow when you lay down. This creates a higher incidence of snoring. For instance, in a study published in Lung India, “neck circumference of snorers was significantly more than the neck circumference of non-snorers in all BMI groups.” This shows the greater the neck circumference, which is more typical in those who are overweight, plays a pivotal role in snoring.
Reducing your weight can lead to healthier sleep in addition to other health benefits, and it’s one of the best solutions for people wondering how to stop snoring.
8. Consider Getting a Humidifier
Dry air can contribute to your snoring problem because dry air dries out the throat and nasal membranes, creating congestion. Congestion can restrict the natural breathing pattern and cause the tissues to vibrate. A humidifier could help by eliminating the dry air and creating more comfort for the body, ultimately allowing for more natural breathing. You can even add essentials oils to the humidifier.
9. Limit or Avoid Alcohol
Alcohol relaxes most people, and because snoring occurs when the throat and tongue is relaxed, alcohol can add to the problem due to the extreme relaxed state it may cause. This could actually make your snoring worse. Limit your alcohol consumption or avoid it altogether to get a much better night’s sleep.
10. Try Regular Throat and Tongue Exercises
A stronger throat and tongue may help avoid over-relaxation of the throat area. Try putting your upper and lower molars gently together. Open your mouth, focusing on pressing your molars wide apart but not to the point of overstretching. Repeat this 10–15 times, and you will start to feel the back of your mouth opening up.
11. Avoid Dairy Products and Big Meals Late at Night
Drinking milk or having other dairy products can make snoring much worse because it leaves a layer of mucus in your mouth and throat. This mucous adds to the blockage of the airways.
Also, try to avoid eating a big meal just before bedtime. When your stomach is full, it can push up against your diaphragm and affect your rhythmic breathing.
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