Home Remedies for Snoring
Snoring is more than annoying: it is also a health issue and has threatened more than its share of intimate relationships. If your idea of a home remedy for snoring is jabbing your sleep partner in the ribs, then it’s time to look at some other options.
Why is snoring important to treat?
People who snore (and their sleep partners) often do not get a sufficient amount of sleep, which can have a negative impact on their ability to function efficiently throughout the day. Lack of sleep contributes to mood and memory problems as well as lack of concentration and a greater risk of vehicular accidents.
Snoring has even been associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer. And if you think snoring only affects adults, think again: in fact, research indicates that snoring toddlers may develop into aggressive or hyperactive children.
People who snore every night and/or are heavy snorers should consult their doctor to be sure they don’t have sleep apnea, a condition in which individuals experience prolonged intervals of not breathing. Sleep apnea should be evaluated by a medical professional.
A new study in the International Journal of Prosthodontics reports on the efficacy of an oral device individuals can wear while sleeping to help eliminate snoring. The device, called a mandibular repositioner appliance, was found to be helpful in reducing snoring and treating obstructive sleep apnea. Some people find the use of such devices to be uncomfortable or otherwise undesirable.
Obstructive sleep apnea is not the only cause of snoring. Other factors, such as being overweight, alcohol consumption, allergies, cold or flu, sleep positions, abnormal anatomy of the mouth and/or sinuses, or a combination of these options, may be involved.
Therefore, chances of successfully reducing or eliminating your snoring issue depend in large part on the cause(s). If you or a partner experience mild to moderate snoring and want to try natural methods to manage it, here are some home remedies to consider.
Home remedies for snoring
- Try pillow props: Most people snore when lying on their back and the back of the throat collapses, which results in snoring. If you prop your head up on several pillows (be sure to support your back as well), your airways are much less likely to collapse. You can also put several bricks under the legs at the head of your bed or get a bed that is adjustable so you can keep your head elevated.
- Have a ball: If you are among those who snore whenever you sleep on your back (and you’re tired of your mate elbowing you in the middle of the night), then place a tennis ball or similarly semi-firm ball into a small cloth sack or old shirt pocket. Sew the sack or pocket to the mid-back of a tight nightshirt or PJ top. When you roll over onto your back during the night, the ball will be uncomfortable and cause you to roll back to your side. This method may cause some people to wake up rather than just get more comfortable, but it’s worth a try.
- Consider Ayurvedic remedies: The Ayurvedic medicine tradition has several remedies that may help reduce snoring. (1) Place 1 to 2 drops of lukewarm clarified butter in each nostril before bedtime and every morning; (2) add ½ teaspoon cardamom powder to 4 ounces of warm water, mix well, and drink every night before bedtime; (3) mix 2 teaspoons turmeric powder in 8 ounces of warm milk and drink before bedtime
- Add humidity: If you are experiencing nasal and/or sinus congestion associated with allergies, cold, or flu, placing a humidifier in your room at night may help your sinuses drain and improve airflow. You can also add 5 to 10 drops of essential oil to the humidifier to help open up your airways. Suggested oils include eucalyptus, frankincense, marjoram, peppermint, rosemary, and sweet basil.
- Wear nasal strips: Adhesive strips designed to help open the nasal passages can be purchased over the counter. These strips look like small bandages that span the bridge of the nose.
- Spoon: Spooning is a position that requires you to be on your side, and thus much less likely to snore. If you do not have a spooning partner or this option is not comfortable for your mate, then spoon with a big stuffed animal!
- Do not drink alcohol 5 to 6 hours before going to bed
- Take a hot shower before going to bed to open up airways
- Use a neti pot and a salt-water solution to rinse your sinuses if you are experiencing sinus congestion
- Do not smoke, because it causes airways to become inflamed
Also Read: Pregnancy and Snoring, a Wakeup Call
Some cases of snoring can be remedied by making a few simple lifestyle changes, like those mentioned in this article. Here’s hoping the home remedies for snoring help you and your partner get much deserved sleep.
Giannasi LC et al. Efficacy of an oral appliance for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea. International Journal of Prosthodontics 2013 Jul-Aug; 26(4): 334-39