Snoring often goes completely unnoticed as a disease. It’s easy to dismiss it but it is in fact a problem worth taking action to cure. Do you snore? Do you feel tired when you wake up, or wake up regularly during the night, so that it seems almost impossible to get a good night’s rest? If so, you might be in need of some good natural remedies.
Change your pillows
For those that are sick of struggling night after night with snoring problems, there are many different pillow options to choose from, including “snoring pillows“. This is a type of “anti-snoring device” made to help people with mild to moderate snoring issues and sleep apnea (waking up because you can’t breathe).
Some snoring pillows make it uncomfortable for you to sleep on your back, whereas others have a wedge-like design which keeps the head at an angle, reducing blockages of the airways at the back of the throat and the nose.
Some pillows may need to be replaced regularly, so check your pillow for changes.
Sleep on your side
Snorers are often told to sleep on their sides and not their backs, because the base of the tongue cannot collapse into the back of your throat when you are on your side and obstruct the airway. Go to sleep on your side, and try to consciously turn onto your side when you wake up in the night.
Peppermint oil has been found to be a great remedy for snoring, as it helps reduce inflammation in the membranes in the inner lining of the nostrils. So if you’re suffering from nasal congestion, this is a great choice. Here are some different methods you can use:
- Pour a few drops of peppermint oil on your finger and rub it onto the power portions of your nose on both sides.
- Steam inhalation using peppermint oil may also reduce swelling in the nostrils. Pop a few drops into hot water and inhale the steam that rises from it.
- Mix one drop of the oil with water in a glass, then gargle with it! Ensure that you don’t swallow the water, though!
Nettle tea is great if you snore because your sinuses are inflamed, as nettle is an antihistamine, so it helps reduce congestion by inhibiting the release of histamines, the inflammatory substance triggered by allergens. Nettle leaf tea has bioflavonoids in it, which open up your sinuses and stabilise the white blood cells. Here’s how to make the tea:
- Buy some dried nettle leaf, and add around 1 tsp per cup of boiling water.
- Place the nettle leaves in a pot.
- Pour the boiling water over it.
- Steep for 5 minutes.
- Strain, and drink!
You can have up to 3 cups per day, but take note that nettle is a diuretic, so if you drink it at night you may have to get up in the night to go to the toilet.
Being overweight can exacerbate snoring, because one of the reasons why turbulence occurs in the throat is a narrowing of the airway, and in this case, it’s the extra weight around the neck area that causes this effect.
Losing weight can help alleviate this, and improve airflow from the mouth to the lungs.
Smoking has been found to be one of the mayor contributors to snoring problems. A study was carried out in European countries, and it showed that snoring affected 24% of smokers, 20% of ex-smokers and 14% of people who had never smoked. The more these people smoked, the more frequently they snored.
Even people who were exposed to second-hand smoke in their homes were more likely to snore! And though men tend to snore more than women, female smokers were slightly more likely to snore than male smokers.
Why, might you ask? One theory is that smoking irritates and inflames the upper airways, while another is that smokers with overnight nicotine withdrawal have more sleep instability, raising the chances of upper airway obstruction.
People that don’t snore may begin to snore when they’ve had a few too many to drink. This is because alcohol relaxes throat muscles and decreases your natural defences against airway obstruction. Drinking affects your sleep patterns, and your health, so drink wisely and contact a professional if you think you might have a problem.
Even if you haven’t eaten straight before bed, if you suffer from acid reflux the backup of acid can impair breathing and cause snoring! Dietary and lifestyle changes may improve the condition, but seek out the advice of a health professional when in doubt.