What causes snoring?
Snores are the result of obstructed airways during sleep, but not all snores are created equal, and it’s important to differentiate between the 2 major types of snores:
Snores caused by congestion
This is the most common cause of snoring and can affect even those who don’t regularly snore. It happens when your airways are obstructed by mucus or phlegm.
Snores caused by Sleep Apnea
In some cases, snoring can be beneficial by warning us of potential sleep apnea (when you stop breathing temporarily during your sleep). In these cases, the snore is the body’s reflexive gagging for air it is being deprived of.
What can be done to stop the snoring?
There are various treatments meant to stop snoring, from medication, through devices worn during your sleep and even, in extreme cases, surgery. But instead of running to your doctor, you can try these 12 natural remedies that might be able to stop or reduce the severity of the problem:
1. Natural nasal spray
One of the most effective ways to prevent snoring is by keeping your airways clear. This spray is a great substitute for the one you buy at the store and it contains only natural ingredients.You’re going to need:
¼ tsp of salt
½ cup of boiling water
1 clean drip bottle
Mix salt in boiled water and allow to cool.
Use 2-3 drops in each nostril before bed.
Important: Replace the content of the bottle every 5 days. Using old solvent can damage your nose.
2. Mint oil
Mint oil has many anti-inflammatory properties which help soothe inflamed nose tissues which cause increased production of mucus. This remedy is only relevant for congestion-related snoring.You will need:
Drip 2-3 drops on your finger and rub along the sides of your nostrils.
If you’re very congested, put 4-5 drops of mint oil into a bowl of hot water and inhale the steam.
3. Green tea
Recent research showes that green tea has a positive effect on people who suffer from sleep apnea.
You will need:
Natural green tea Boiling Water
Prepare a cup of green tea - allow the tea bag or infuser to remain in the water for at least 7 minutes.
Drink the tea before you go to bed to help reduce snoring and improve the quality of your sleep.
4. Olive oil
In some cases, snoring occurs due to excess tissue at the back of the nose or throat. That tissue creates minor blockage in the airways, causing the snores. Olive oil serves as lubricant, reducing the obstruction, leading to a reduction snoring.
You will need:
Extra virgin olive oil
Take 3 small sips of olive oil before bed.
5. Sage leaves
Sage has many medicina
L benefits, including natural anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. By reducing nasal inflammation, sage helps reduce nasal blockage and its antibacterial properties help prevent future inflammation.You will need:
Small handful of fresh sage leaves
2 cups of boiling water
1 tsp apple vinegar (recommended)
Place the sage leaves in the boiling water and let sit for 7 minutes.
Remove leaves and allow water to cool.
Add apple vinegar.
Gargle the water for 30 seconds before bed.
6. Thyme oil
When we’re sleep-deprived or just exhausted, our muscles become more lax, which causes increased snoring. Thyme oil can be beneficial in such cases, through a treatment known in eastern medicine for hundreds of years.
You will need:
4-6 drops of thyme oil
4-6 vegetable oil (olive / canola will suffice)
Mix the thyme and vegetable oils together.
Apply the oil mixture on your feet before bed.
7. Eucalyptus oil
Eucalyptus oil is fantastic at decongesting, clearing your nasal pathways and giving you a snore-free sleep.
You will need:
2-4 drops of eucalyptus oil
1 pot of boiling water
Boil water in a pot
Add eucalyptus oil to pot
Place your head above the pot and use the towel to create a “tent” over it.
Inhale the steam through your mouth and nose for instant nasal decongestion.
8. Exercise your tongue and throat
Making the muscles in your tongue and throat stronger can help reduce snoring because it decreases the chance of them slipping limply backwards when you rest. As we age we tend to snore more as well, because our tissues are losing strength and elasticity, which means they Fill up your airways more than they once did. There are a number of different exercises you can try, many being adopted from speech pathologists or doctors who use them to help patients who have trouble swallowing.
Ideas for exercises
-Try to protrude the lower jaw over the upper jaw with your teeth showing while you count slowly to ten. Repeat 5-10 times a day.
-Give your tongue a work out by saying this phrase at least 10-20 times before going to sleep “The lips, the teeth, the tip of the tongue.”
-Put your tongue out perfectly straight as far as you can. Move it left, then right, touching the corner of your lips but making sure it stays straight. Do this in front of a mirror twice a day.
9. Ginger tea
Ginger is fantastic at preventing a cacophonous night. Aside from its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, ginger also increases saliva production which provides lubrication for the nasal pathways and your throat, allowing air to pass unobstructed
You will need:
1 inch-long fresh ginger root, peeled and thinly sliced
2 tsp honey
Boil water in a pot.
Add the ginger and let the pot simmer for about 5 minutes.
Turn the heat off, cover the pot and wait for 5 minutes.
Remove the ginger, add the honey and stir will.
Drink the tea before bed.
10. Passion fruit tea
Research shows that passion fruit flowers have calming effects, aiding in a deeper, more relaxed sleep, which in turn reduces the likeliness of sleep apnea.You will need:
Natural passion fruit tea
Boil the water and add the tea bag.
Allow to sit for 7 minutes.
Drink the tea before bed to enjoy a calm, quiet sleep.
11. Fresh garlic, onion or horseradish
Strong, aromatic foods like garlic, onion and horseradish can help prevent snoring by drying out your nose, reducing congestion. Some claim that these foods also reduce swelling in your tonsils, preventing sleep apnea.
You will need:
Fresh garlic clove / ¼ onion / 1 square inch of peeled horseradish
Chew the garlic/onion/horseradish before bed (if you don’t mind the smell), or add it to your dinner.
12. Pineapple, bananas and oranges
One of the best ways to prevent sleep apnea is by improving the quality of your sleep – this can be achieved by increasing the amount of melatonin (the hormone which makes us sleepy) your body produces. One of the most effective and recommended ways to increase melatonin production is by eating foods that are rich in it:
Fresh pineapples increases melatonin levels by 266%.
Bananas increase melatonin levels by 180%
Oranges increase melatonin levels by 47%
BONUS TIP: Strengthen your swallowing muscles
In many cases, snoring is caused by the tongue dropping back into the throat, blocking the airways (which is very dangerous). To prevent this from happening, you might want to consider a short, daily exercise to strengthen the swallowing muscles.What do you do:
Keep your mouth closed, push your tongue against your lower teeth for 30 seconds. (Repeat 5 times)Open your mouth, move your jaw to the right and hold it in place for 30 seconds, then do the same action to the left.
Face a mirror and open your mouth. Work the swallowing muscles for 30 seconds. If you see the uvula moving – you’re working the right muscles.