Ugh. Snoring. Have you had enough of dealing with a snoring spouse? Or even by waking yourself up in the night due to your own snoring? I am sure most people would try anything to get a peaceful night’s rest which is why I felt compelled to bring some wonderful natural remedies for snoring to your attention.
What Causes Snoring?
Snoring is what happens when some people go to sleep and their throat muscles over relax to the point that the air they breathe is no longer moving freely through their mouth and nose. This causes tissues surrounding the nasal passage and throat to vibrate and make the snoring sound. Some people may have more tissue or looser tissue than others, which may be the difference between people who snore and people who don’t.
An important thing to mention is that snoring may be caused from something more serious called sleep apnea, or most commonly, obstructive sleep apnea. This is a potentially very serious and life-threatening condition that needs to be medically assessed and treated. Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition in which a person either stops breathing or has very shallow breathing for a period of time due to an obstructed or collapsed airway.
Common signs of sleep apnea include extreme exhaustion and fatigue during the day, reduced mental or physical function and emotional issues. Often, but not always, it will be a person who is overweight. All of this is due to a lack of proper sleep.
A person may also suspect their partner has sleep apnea if they notice their partner stops breathing for a period of time and struggles to get a breath. Many times the person sleeping does not notice this is happening.
If you suspect sleep apnea, it is important to speak to your family doctor in which they can order some further testing.
What Type of Snorer Are You?
In order to figure out the best way to stop or reduce snoring, you may want to consider what type of snorer you are dealing with:
The Mouth Snorer
You will know if you are dealing with this type of snorer if you realize the snoring is only happening when their mouth is open. To test this out, simply get them to close their mouth and see if the snoring continues. If the snoring stops, then they are a mouth snorer. The good news is that there are anti-snore devices or chin straps that can be used to help keep a person’s mouth closed during sleep.
The Tongue Snorer
This type of snorer is identified by snoring due to their tongue slipping back into their throat while they sleep. An easy way to spot this type of snorer is to have them test out how they breathe by first sticking their tongue out and holding it with their teeth. This will clear the airway of the tongue. If snoring is reduced by this action, you most likely have a tongue snorer on your hands. If you want to reduce the snoring, try side sleeping or using a Mandibular Advancement Device which will assist in keeping the jaw and tongue forward away from the throat.
The Throat Snorer
throat snoring is caused by the vibration of the soft tissue in the throat. Every person is different and some people may have more or looser tissue that hangs, causing the snoring to worsen. It is hard to tell if a person is this type of snorer unless extra testing is done. A good indication may be if a person has tested all the other types of snoring techniques and none of them seem to fit. That may mean throat snoring is the issue.
The Nose Snorer
Congestion in the nasal passages or even collapsing of the nasal passage indicates a nose snorer. A person can put this to the test by simply closing one nostril by pressing it with their finger and breathe with their mouth closed. If the nasal passage collapses or seems blocked by congestion, then this may be an indication of a nose snorer. Sometimes allergies are due to this cause.
How To Stop Snoring Naturally
Outside of any serious health issues such as sleep apnea, if your problem is just related to simple snoring, there are some things worth trying so that everyone can sleep again;
1. Avoid Alcohol and Sedative Drugs (if Possible)
OK, so this may be not the greatest news for some people who enjoy the odd nightcap, but guess what? Alcohol causes all the muscles in your throat and tongue to relax even more, which creates an even bigger reason to make that annoying sound that shakes the room. So if you really have a problem with a snorer you may want to think twice about alcohol for a while to see if that solves the issue.
If you are on any type of sedative, speak to your doctor before considering a change but be aware that a sedative will enhance the relaxing effect on your throat and tongue muscles which will increase snoring.
2. Avoid Dairy Before Sleep
Milk and other dairy products tend to be very mucousy foods. Having extra mucous sitting on your throat and tongue will cause extra blockage of your airways. Try to avoid these types of foods before going to sleep.
3. Sleep Position
The best way to sleep to help reduce the chances of snoring is side sleeping. Side sleeping makes it so that the tongue does not fall back into the throat. It is easy to train yourself to fall asleep on your side but rolling over is quite easy to do. A good suggestion is to use pillows to prevent rolling back over onto your back.
4. Try a Humidifier
Do you have a bedroom that is really dry? If so, you might want to consider buying a humidifier. Dry air circulating while you sleep will play a role in drying out your throat and nasal membranes, creating congestion. Being congested will increase the chances and severity of snoring by causing nasal and throat tissues to vibrate. Having slight moisture in your bedroom air will improve your general well-being after a long night’s rest.
5. Try Eucalyptus and Peppermint Essential Oils
Eucalyptus and Peppermint are known for helping to fight the symptoms of chest colds and congestion. Breathing these in will help to clear your airways and eliminate snoring.
Try a homemade vapor rub and put it on your chest, neck, upper back and swipe it across your nostril area. You will also benefit from adding about 10 drops of either eucalyptus or peppermint or 5 drops of each to your humidifier or steam inhaler.
6. Keep Extra Pounds Off
Having extra weight, especially around the neck area, increases the chances and severity of the snoring problem. When a person carries extra weight and has a larger than optimal neck circumference because of the weight, fat is pushed down causing the throat to be more closed. In general (but not always) people who snore are often people who are also overweight.
Keeping a good diet and exercise program is ideal and will help to keep extra fat tissue away from the neck area.
7. Throat and Tongue Exercises
Here is a quick video that will show you how to do some strengthening exercises for your throat and tongue. Toning these areas will help to eliminate the lazy tongue that easily over relaxes and falls back into your throat, blocking your airway.
8. Get an Oral Mouth Piece
An oral mouth piece is a lot like a mouth guard that athletes use and be helpful in combating the snoring problem. These mouth pieces are comfortable and are designed to help move your jaw forward while you sleep so that your upper airway is open and not blocked. Talk to your dentist or even your doctor about where to get one of these oral mouth pieces. They have been known to help eliminate the snoring problem all together.
Do you live with someone who affects your sleep due to snoring?
How do you deal with it?
Leave some comments below and share your ideas.