Snoring is seldom recognized as a sickness and is hardly taken as more than a nuisance. Three-fourths of those who have this habit have obstructive sleep apnea. Their breathing is disrupted in their sleep, which can ultimately lead to heart disease. Treatment is important since people with sleep apnea often wake up feeling tired. It also affects marriages because those who snore often sleep in a different room from their spouses. We have however, ways to remedy snoring. All of these remedies can be done and found at home.
1. Saline Nasal Spray
Sometimes, it isn’t sleep apnea that’s causing the snoring. Sometimes it’s because your nasal pathways are congested. Allergies or sinus problems or infections like colds can cause inflammation inside your nose. This cause vibrations in the soft palate, thus creating the snore sound. Saline sprays are great against inflammation, but sometimes cannot be tolerated by people because of the preservatives in them. But you can try creating your own spray at home.
You’ll need one-fourth teaspoon of salt, half a cup of distilled or boiled water, and a clean and empty nasal spray bottle or a bottle with a dropper.
Mix the salt in the water until the salt dissolves entirely. Put the mixture in the bottle. Drop or spray two to three drops of the water into each of the nostrils before sleeping at night. Do this for five days. After five days, throw away the water and make a new mixture.
2. Peppermint Oil
Peppermint oil is great against inflammation of the membranes in the nose. If snoring is due to congestion, then peppermint oil can stop it.
You can try applying a few drops on a finger before rubbing it on the lower parts of the sides of the nose.
You can also try inhaling steam with peppermint oil to lessen the inflammation in the nostrils. A few drops of the oil in steaming water should do the trick.
One more way is to add a single drop into a glass of water and gargle the mixture.
3. Ayurvedic Ghee
There is an old Indian remedy called ghee, otherwise known as clarified butter, which has a lot of healing properties. It is known to be effective against many illnesses, snoring included. Whether it’s plain or the Brahmi kind, ghee is very useful.
To make Brahmi ghee, just boil ghee from the milk of cows with Brahmi herbs. You can rub this on the insides of your nose. But before doing that, first heat the clarified butter a bit. Do this nightly before sleeping and after waking up.
4. Olive Oil
Olive oil moistens the tissues at the back of the nose and throat reducing the friction thus making air move smoothly. This will lead to less snoring. It also helps tighten muscles underneath your palate, keeping the airways open.
Take a tablespoon or two of olive oil and sip it twice or thrice. Doing this every before you go to sleep.
This herb is great against hypertension, diabetes and inflammation. It can also help decrease congestion caused by mucus in the air passages, thus decreasing your snoring. There are a couple of ways to use this herb.
You can inhale the steam with sage leaves. You can choose to mix in apple cider vinegar, around a tablespoon or two with the water.
You can also gargle a mixture of boiled sage leaves and water. All you need to do is wait for the mixture to cool down after boiling. You should do this nightly before sleeping.
It is very important to note that you shouldn’t use sage if you experience seizures.
These leaves are great against snoring caused by infections in the respiratory tracts. They are antihistamines and are great against allergies as well. When made into a tea, nettle leaves can open up sinuses and balance the number of white blood cells creating histamine.
Put a teaspoon of dried leaves in a pot with boiling water. Wait five minutes before straining and drinking. Drink three cups of this tea a day.
A reminder though: nettle leaves are diuretic so you might need to wake up and urinate at night.
7. Thyme Essential Oil
Thyme essential oil relieves one from snoring. It delays aging, as well as fights fungi, viruses and parasites, but for snorers, what’s important is how it calms people down. This is important since you get a lot of rest.
Apply the oil at the bottom of your feet before sleeping at night. Use two drops if you’re not diluting it. If you’re diluting it, use four to six drops. For those who are diluting thyme essential oil, the carrier oil should be of equal amount to the thyme essential.
You can also put the oil in humidifiers.
Be sure to keep this away from pregnant or nursing women, and children under six. For those with high blood pressure, be cautious when using this.
8. Eucalyptus Oil
This oil can liquefy mucus and help your breathing a lot. It’s great against inflammation once you rub it in your nose. But it’s best used for inhalation.
Add two to four drops of the oil into a pot of hot water and inhale the steam.
9. Mint Tea
The menthol in mint decreases the amount of mucous in our lungs and inflammation of airways. A cup of mint tea before you go to sleep every night is recommended. It’s also very nutritious.
Add hot water in a cup with eight to ten mint leaves. Wait five to ten minutes. You can drink as is or you can steep. You can also add honey for flavor. Also be sure to inhale the steam.
10. Neti Pot
If your airways are congested, look for a neti pot. Fill it with water. It has a long mouth which takes in and out the water from the nose.
You’ll need to fill the pot with water (plain or saline). Tilt your head and pour water into a nostril. Be careful that the water doesn’t flow down your throat. After pouring water into a nostril, try tilting the other way so the water flows out the other nostril. Repeat this but go in the opposite direction. If you poured into your left nostril first and let the water flow out of your right nostril, pour into your right and let the water flow out of your left.
This is a popular decongestant which is used for soothing inflammation and infection in the mucous membranes. It’s often mixed with other herbs and great against flu and respiratory infections.
For making the tea, you need two teaspoons of the dried goldenseal herb. Mix it in with hot water before covering it. Wait fifteen minutes before straining and consuming. You can add a teaspoon or two of honey if desired.
You can also use this with water in a neti pot. Just add either half a teaspoon of the extract or tincture. Do the neti pot procedure. Do this once or twice each day.
Finally, try gargling with a teaspoon of the tincture mixed in a cup of warm water.
Limit you usage of goldenseal to a maximum of twenty-one days. If you need to use it again, wait fourteen days. It is not recommended for those with high blood pressure, diabetics, or people suffering from glaucoma. Pregnant or nursing women should stay away from goldenseal.
Ginger is potent against inflammation and bacteria. It can also increase saliva to coat the throat and provide relief. Mixed with honey, it lubricates the throat more and helps in the reduction of swelling within the nasal cavity and throat. All these aid in the reduction of snoring. Ginger tea is highly recommended.
Wash an inch or two of fresh ginger root before peeling, cutting and crushing it. Put it in a pan before adding water. Boil it for three to four minutes. After this, turn off the flame before covering and letting it steep. Wait five minutes for this, then strain. You may mix in honey if desired. Consume three to four cups of this tea daily.
Some people believe that garlic, onions and horseradish can decrease the instances of snoring. Perhaps it’s because they cause nasal passages to dry, therefore decreasing the amount of mucus that builds up which blocks the sinus. Experts even believe that garlic is effective against snoring caused by sleep apnea because it soothes swollen tonsils and swollen parts of the respiratory system.
You can chew raw garlic or mix it in with your dinner.
14. Essential Oils
Blend If you don’t go into a deep sleep, snoring occurs. Blending essential oils and using that blend can help you achieve a truly restful sleep.
You’re going to need a mixing bottle for this, approximately thirty milliliters. There are several oils you can use. Take five drops each of lavender, rose, eucalyptus, cinnamon bark, and clove bud. Then take two drops each of basil and myrtle oils and cary sage. Don’t forget your carrier oil. You can choose between wheat germ, sweet almond or avocado. For those with sensitive skin, we recommend adding argan or rose hip oils.
Mix all the essential oils in the bottle and fill it with the carrier oil of your choosing, before shaking the bottle well. Use a bit of this blend to rub on your chest before sleeping at night.
This blend (minus the carrier oil) can also be put in an oil vaporizer.
For flame vaporizers, do go sleeping while the fire is on. Wait twenty to thirty minutes, before putting it out. That’s enough time for the vapor to go around the room.
15. Exercise the Tongue/Throat
When the muscles in the throat and tongue are tight and strong, they won’t collapse back as you lie in your bed at night. This reduces snoring. Here are a few ways to do this:
- Try pronouncing vowels loudly for stretches of three minutes, three to four times daily.
- Try sliding the tip of your tongue from the back of the top front teeth, back to the roof of the mouth, for three minutes daily.
- Try pursing your lips (mouth closed) and holding them in that position for half a minute.
- Try moving your jaw to the sides and holding it on each side for thirty seconds.
- Try contracting and relaxing (repeat this) the back of your throat for thirty seconds. You should see in the mirror the hanging ball moving upwards and downwards.
16. Sleep Patterns
How you sleep also plays a vital role when snoring. Sleep the wrong way and you naturally block the airways. You may also allow the tissues behind the tongue collapse, which leads to snoring. Check out the tips below on how to keep yourself from the snores.
- Avoid sleeping on your back since the tongue and soft palate will be prone to collapsing back. It’s better for snorers to sleep on their sides. Body pillows help, so do sewing a few tennis balls to the back of the clothes you sleep in.
- Position your head in an elevated manner. This will prevent blocking of your nasal pathways. It might lead to a bit of muscle pain in the neck area.
- Try a humidifier, which can keep your airways moist.
- Observe how your meds affect you. Some medicines might make you snore. Ask you physician if there are substitutes for them.
17. Lifestyle Changes A few of the habits we formed may cause us to snore. Changes in them may eliminate snoring.
- Losing weight may free up the neck and the airways in that area.
- Stay away from alcoholic beverages since they make the throat muscles relaxed which can get in the way of good breathing.
- A cleaner sleeping quarters/bedroom can eliminate things that give you allergic reactions which swell up your throat, such as dust mites.
- Keep yourself hydrated so the secretions don’t become too sticky. That too can cause you to snore.
- Avoid cigarettes since they can irritate mucous membranes that can cause swelling in the throat and congestion in the nasal pathways.
- Work out on a regular basis, and do the exercises we mentioned earlier so the muscles in your throat are strengthened.
Look for the things that cause you to snore. It can be that your nasal pathways are congested, you have something blocking your airways, the muscles in your throat are lacking in strength, or others. The more you know the causes, the more you can look for a remedy.