Effective Home Remedies for Snoring
Snoring Can Be Harmful
Snoring is often joked about and portrayed comically in movies, but it can be a serious matter. Snoring can have long-term health consequences, and it could also be a symptom of an underlying health problem. Additionally, it can affect not only the snorer, but also anyone else who is in the same bed or room. That person may be awakened by the noise, or prevented from going to sleep at all. Fortunately, there are many home remedies available to help treat this condition. The optimal solution for you is highly dependent on the cause of the snoring.
You Might be Sleeping in a Bad Position
Sleeping on your back can put the positioning of the throat muscles in a compromised position, leading to snoring. Learning to sleep in the side position can remedy this problem. For most people, sleeping on your side is also the best position for a number of other reasons. It is superior to the stomach position for the back. With pillows positioned at the proper height, it maintains the natural curvature of the spine all the way up to the neck, whereas stomach sleeping requires turning your head to the side in order to breathe.
Learning to sleep in a different position can be difficult, with many enduring several nights of restless sleep before their body is retrained. Some eventually find that despite their efforts, they are unable to fall asleep on their side. If back sleeping is a must, the muscles of the throat can be better positioned either by raising the head part of your bed a few inches if it is adjustable. If it is not, you can use an extra pillow to shift the position of your neck and head, and the gravity is angled slightly downward instead of straight back.
Is Your Blood Pressure too High?
There is a connection between snoring and high blood pressure. This especially holds true in middle-aged and older people. If you have prehypertension or hypertension, it is important to not aggravate the condition before going to sleep. A known aggravator of hypertension is alcohol. In addition, alcohol also causes temporary weakness of the throat muscles. If you have three or more drinks in the evening, it can considerably affect your breathing at night. If you normally have a couple of glasses of wine at dinner, skip the nightcap.
On the other hand, very light consumption of alcohol has been associated with a slight drop in blood pressure. Having one, possibly two servings depending on your body size could actually be helpful in alleviating a snoring problem. However, it is preferable to have your drink either at or before dinner, due to the fact that any alcohol consumption right before bed can affect rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, with heavy drinking being proven to cause people to skip that stage entirely. Having your drink no later than dinner, or immediately afterward, will preserve the overall quality of your sleep.
After eating, the blood is required to become more active in order to facilitate digestion. Hence, it is another factor in raising blood pressure, which is not what you want to do before bedtime. This situation is made even worse if you are eating the typical salty or sugary snacks before you retire for the night. Putting the type of demand on your stomach of fresh food before you sleep can exacerbate an existing snoring problem. Try and refrain from eating less than three hours before bedtime, if possible.
Reduce the Allergens in Your Home
You are far more likely to snore if you have to rely excessively or exclusively on your mouth for breathing during sleep. This is only one of the reasons it is important to attempt to reduce or eliminate nasal congestion. A common cause of congestion is allergens. If you do not clean your house often enough, or effectively enough, dust, dead skin, pollen from the outside, and other allergy causing compounds will fester within your carpets, other surfaces, and the air within your home. Keeping a clean house is favorable to your sinuses.
If you shower in the morning, you may accumulate specks and other particulates throughout the day, and transfer that to your sheets at night. The standard period of washing of bed sheets is once per week. Over a period of a week, that can really add up to a lot of allergens directly onto the surface on which you sleep, as well as the fabric that covers you. Two alternatives to minimizing allergens on your sheets are showering at night instead of the morning, or if you strongly prefer the morning shower, changing your bed sheets more frequently.
Try a Humidifier
The thin membranes in the throat and the nose can be sensitive to irritation by certain conditions, one of them being dryness. Dry air has been known to go so far as to cause nose bleeding in some individuals. When these membranes become inflamed or irritated, they can often swell, which narrows the free space in the nasal passages. If the air in your home is excessively dry, a humidifier in your bedroom will moisten the atmosphere, and rehydrate the irritated nasal and throat membranes. Humidifiers are also helpful if you are having sinus problems.
Strengthen Those Respiratory Assistors
A potential contributing factor to a snoring problem are weak neck and throat muscles. With the majority of Americans not getting enough physical activity, it could be what is causing your snoring. What more effective way to eliminate muscle weakness than an exercise program? An overall exercise program will lead to improved breathing, and with the inclusion of direct neck and throat exercises, even better results can be made in relation to your snoring problem. Exercise also eliminates obesity, which is also a known contributing factor to snoring, as well as sleep apnea.
Sometimes, keeping a clean house or regularly washing bed sheets will still not save certain people from the wrath of seasonal allergies. Many people are allergic to various natural outdoor floral components, such as pollen, ragweed, and various types of mold. Some are more sensitive than others, and no amount of indoor cleanliness is enough to protect them from the effects when they eventually have to go outside the house to run errands. Applying a nasal strip or a saline rinse before bedtime can help keep those nasal passages open every night until the allergen levels in the air subside.
Apply Essential Oils
Many essential oils can act as remedies or co-remedies to several undesirable ailments or conditions. Fortunately, this also applies to snoring. There are several options available, depending on your scent or flavor preferences. Lavender, thyme, peppermint, and eucalyptus are all effective. They can be applied topically when diluted in a carrier oil by massaging a few drops into your chest or neck. Additionally, they can be added to your humidifier, or applied diluted with a q-tip directly underneath the nose in a carrier oil.
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Ledford, Dennis. "Snoring and Allergies." Sylvane Indoor Health Matters. July 28, 2008. https://www.sylvane.com/blog/snoring-and-allergies/
Seward, Marc. "Proven Essential Oils for Snoring." Healthy Focus. June 16, 2015. https://healthyfocus.org/proven-essential-oils-for-snoring/
Truitt, John. "Can Throat Exercises Help Sleep Apnea and Snoring?" Simple Sleep Snoring and Apnea Center. April 15, 2015. http://www.simplesleepservices.com/can-throat-exercises-help-sleep-apnea-snoring/
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.