Snoring, noisy breathing during sleep, affects millions of people. If you don’t yourself suffer from snoring occasionally, you likely know someone who does. Snoring can affect men and women, increases with age and weight gain and can lead to restless, un-refreshing sleep for both the sufferer and his/her bed partner. It can result in a cycle of poor sleep, and poor daytime function, and can eventually lead to separate bedrooms and strains on a marriage, or roommate relationship. Surprisingly, about half of the people suffering from chronic snoring have a condition called sleep apnea, meaning that breathing is frequently interrupted for brief periods during sleep. Sometimes the solution to a good night’s sleep is a simple health or life-style change. Here are seven ways to help you or your partner stop snoring.
1. Sleep position
A simple change of sleeping position from your back to your side may be all that’s required to help a person stop snoring. Sleeping on your back may result in your tongue and soft palate falling back to block your airway, causing you to snore. If you have trouble staying on your side while you sleep, trying pinning a sock with a tennis ball inside to the back of your sleep-shirt. The tennis ball under your back should be uncomfortable enough to keep you snore-free on your side.
2. Life-style change
Life-style changes can also help ease snoring, and among them are avoiding alcohol before bed, and losing weight. Many people enjoy a glass of wine, or other drink before bed, and this may be the cause of some snoring. Alcohol acts as a muscle relaxant, allowing the soft tissues at the back of your mouth and throat to collapse inwards. There is also a positive relationship between obesity and snoring. It is believed that extra weight put on around the neck puts pressure on the soft tissues in the throat and can case them to collapse in during sleep
3. Reduce bedroom allergens
Snoring can occasionally be due to allergens in the bedroom. Changing your pillows and keeping your mattress and bedding covered with allergen covers can help to prevent dust mites, dust and other allergens from settling on your bed. If allergens are the reason for snoring, an air purifier in the home may also help reduce snoring.
4. Nettle-leaf tea
If snoring is due to seasonal allergies, rather than allergens in the bedroom, the severity can be eased by drinking nettle-leaf tea before bed. Stinging nettle, a common garden scourge, has a long history of being used medicinally. Nettle-leaf tea, without any of the stinging properties, works as an antihistamine and soothes the inflamed air passages responsible for snoring
5. Increase room humidity
Dry air, particularly in winter, can cause the membranes in your nose to become irritated, resulting in congestion that can ultimately lead to snoring. Breathing through your mouth in a dry room can irritate your throat, causing it to constrict and the natural moisture in your throat to become stickier, magnifying snoring. A simple solution is to increase room humidity using a portable humidifier
6. Thyme oil
Snoring can be made worse by exhaustion. To aid in relaxation for a good night’s sleep, and in this way stop snoring, some people have found great success using essential oils. Thyme oil in particular has been identified as being useful. Drops of diluted thyme oil are typically applied to the feet before bed, although care must be taken for those suffering from high blood pressure, pregnant women, and small children.
Occasionally, after prolonged irritation of the sinuses and air passages, fluid can build up in the lining tissues. This is called edema, and can constrict the airflow through the passages, leading to snoring. Acupuncture can help in these cases, by increasing the blood flow to these tissues, and helping drain away excess fluid.