Snoring is one of the problems of many people today and it can affect other peoples life. It is the vibration of respiratory structures and the resulting sound, due to obstructed air movement during breathing while sleeping.
Snoring can lead to poor sleep, irritation, fatigue during the day, and increases the risk of many health issues. If it keeps your partner awake, it can even lead to major relationship issues. Some couples even sleep in different rooms.
Many doctors advice surgery to find relief. But let me tell you… my dad had one of those and guess what… the surgery was a very painful process and it didn’t work. Luckily there are some natural ways for you to try before you decide to have surgery.
1. Aromatherapy to Clear Congestion
If you suffer from nighttime congestion, try aromatherapy instead of antihistamines. Essential oils like peppermint and eucalyptus reduce mucus production and coughing. Other healing essential oils to reduce congestion are cedar-wood, bergamot, lavender and tea tree oil.
There are 2 option for you to try: a steam vaporizer or humidifier in the bedroom helps keeping your nasal passage open, improves airflow and clears mucus. If you don’t have one of those, you could fill a bowl with hot water and a few drops of essential oil. Place a towel over your head and inhale the steam for 5 minutes before going to bed.
2. Healthy Lifestyle Changes
Snoring can often be reduced through simple lifestyle changes. Many people who snore are overweight which can lead to constriction of the throat and apnea. Regular exercise and eating a clean and healthy diet can make a huge difference.
A few lifestyle tips to reduce snoring:
- Lose weight: losing only 10% of body weight can reduce the fatty tissue in the back of your neck and reduce the pressure on the airways. It improves air flow and reduces or even stops snoring.
- Exercise: will help you to lose weight and it tones the muscles around your throat and can reduce snoring as well.
- Quit smoking: smoking irritates the mucus membranes of your throat and nose, causing congestion and blocked sinuses.
- Avoid alcohol and sedatives: they relax the muscles around your throat and interfere with breathing, making it more likely to snore at night. Both alcohol and sleeping pills are associated with the development of apnea and cardiovascular diseases.
- Stay hydrated: the mucus in your throat and nose becomes thicker and stickier when you don’t drink enough fluids. Stay hydrated and avoid nasal congestion.
- Avoid caffeine, dairy, and soy milk: they increase mucus production which can block your throat and nose.
3. Change The Way You Sleep
For most people, changing the way they sleep can reduce and even stop snoring. Snoring occurs more often with people who sleep on their back, as the tongue falls back and blocks the throat and airway. So try to sleep on your side and see what happens.
Some people use the tennis ball trick to avoid rolling back to their backs while sleeping. Simply sleep with a tennis ball attached to the back of your pajama top or t-shirt or stuff some pillows behind your back. (Sew a little pouch or old sock on the back of your pajama and put the tennis ball in it)
Another thing you could try is to elevate your head by adding an extra pillow or elevate the head of your bed. Elevating your head only a few inches may help you the ease breathing and clear your airways.
Also keep your room clean, well ventilated, and make sure to have your 7 to 8 hours of sleep. Going overtired to bed makes you sleep deeper and softens your muscles which increases the risk of snoring.
4. Keep Your Nasal Passage Open And Reduce Allergies
Allergens or colds can block your airways and make inhalation difficult. Try to reduce bedroom allergens, such as dust, pet dander and mold), as much as possible. Change pillowcases often and make sure to regularly vacuum the floors and drapes.
If the snoring is caused by a cold or a seasonal allergy try gargling with peppermint before going to bed. Add one drop of peppermint oil to a glass of water and gargle for a few minutes to open your nasal passage and reduce snoring.
If you are allergic to pollen try stinging nettle tea to soothe the inflammation and clear your nasal passage. Add 1 teaspoon of dried nettle leaf to 1 cup of boiling water, steep for 5 minute and drink up to 3 cups a day. Make sure to drink one cup just before hitting the sack.
Another thing you could try to clear your nasal passage is take a hot shower before bedtime and rinse your nasal passage with a salt-water solution or use a diffuser or humidifier as discussed above.
5. Throat Exercises to Stop Snoring
Through those exercise you strengthen the muscles in your respiratory tract and can reduce snoring. Practice them every day for 15 to 30 minutes. Build your way up gradually.
Here are a few exercise you could try:
- Say all the vowels, a-e-i-o-o, out loud for 3 minutes. Repeat this exercise a few times a day.
- Press your tongue against your front teeth and slide it backwards for about 3 minutes a day to strengthen your tongue muscles.
- Strengthen your jaw by opening your mouth and moving your jaw to the right. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side. Repeat a few times during the day.
- Open your mouth and contract the muscles of your throat for 30 seconds. If you look in a mirror you should see the uvula moving up and down.
6. Mouth Guard
A mouth guard holds the teeth together and moves the lower jaw to the front. This widens the airways and reduces the sound of snoring effectively. Your dentist can fit you one, but they come at a high cost and only last for 3 years. Another, less expensive option is an OTC device, the snore guard. It works the same way as the more expensive device made by your dentist. They only thing you have to do is boil the device and then fit it into your mouth to open up your throat and reduce snoring.
7. Nasal Strip
Nasal strips keep your nostrils apart and clear your nasal passages while sleeping and can reduce snoring.
As you can see there are a few things you could try to find relief and stop or reduce snoring before you decided to have surgery or take medication like antihistamines over longer periods.