Are there any such things as natural remedies for snoring?
Snoring is a complex, yet all-too-common problem. In some cases, it is mostly harmless… except for the noise it causes. Most of us would like to block out the snoring noise completely.
But in others, it can actually be quite dangerous and damaging.
A lot of people struggle with snoring because there is also a stigma about it.
It can be embarrassing and frustrating to deal with… and it is not so uncommon for it to cause relational/marital problems, either!
It is also not so uncommon to see married couples sleeping in separate beds because of snoring.
Are there any natural remedies for snoring? Is there any way to help reduce the problems without getting a snoring surgery?
Thankfully there are many effective snoring remedies – both natural and commercially designed.
Let’s talk about it.
What Will I Learn?
Why Do I Snore So Loudly?
Snoring is a relatively complex problem, and there can be several causes for it.
Most snoring is caused by a problem called ‘soft palate vibration.’
This is a problem where the loose tissues in the throat ‘close-in’ on the airway during sleep.
When you slip into unconsciousness, all of the muscles in the body tend to relax… including the muscles in the throat.
This does two things.
- It reduces the amount of room that the air has to move through when you breathe
- It causes the air moving through the airway to ‘vibrate’ the loose tissue, which is where the ‘snoring’ sound comes from
If your snoring problem is bad enough, the loose tissue in the throat might actually completely close off the airway.
This leads to a problem known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
What Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive Sleep Apnea, also known as OSA, is a sleep disorder characterized by pauses in breathing.
These pauses are caused by the loose tissue in the throat closing in and ‘blocking the airway.’
But after the brain realizes that carbon dioxide levels in the body are increasing, it comes out of REM sleep and partially ‘wakes you up,’ which causes the muscles in your throat to constrict and tighten… thereby allowing the air to move through it again.
There are two major problems with OSA.
- It kicks you out of REM sleep, which can very easily leave you sleep deprived
- If it happens once, it is probably going to happen many times… which does not bode well for getting a good night’s sleep
In the end, OSA can lead to a lot of dangerous problems. It can increase your risk for a number of diseases and conditions, including…
- High blood pressure
- Type 2 diabetes
- Heart disease
- Weight gain
- Adult Asthma
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Acid reflux
Are Snoring and Sleep Apnea the Same Thing?
Snoring is often a symptom of Sleep Apnea when it is present, but it is also possible to have snoring without sleep apnea.
The only way to be sure whether or not you have sleep apnea is to go to your doctor and have him/her do a sleep study, to find out exactly what is going on.
If you suspect that you might be suffering from OSA, then it is highly advisable that you visit your doctor, as it is considered a pretty dangerous sleeping disorder.
What is Snoring a Sign of?
If you are not suffering from OSA, and are, in fact, just suffering from regular snoring… then there are several possible causes.
Age is one factor. As you get older, you are more likely to snore.
Your body weight is another factor. The more fatty tissue you have around your throat, the more likely you are to snore.
Your genetics can also play a role. If, for example, you inherited a narrow airway as a result of your hereditary genetics, then you will obviously have a higher risk of suffering from snoring than someone who didn’t.
Congestion and other nasal and/or sinus problems and allergies can also contribute to snoring.
Do you suffer from asthma? Do you get allergies? Are you afflicted with a common cold or a runny nose?
Any of these factors can contribute to your snoring risk.
Smoking, drinking alcohol, and taking medications can also significantly increase your snoring risk.
And finally, never underestimate the role that sleeping posture can play in your quality of sleep.
Sometimes, curing snoring is as simple as rolling over onto your side.
In fact… sleeping on your back is probably one of the most common ways to develop a snoring habit.
When you sleep on your back, the fatty tissues in the throat can easily collapse due to gravity… making you much more likely to snore.
Why Would Someone Want Natural Remedies for Snoring, as Opposed to Surgery or CPAP?
And if you are suffering from obstructive sleep apnea, CPAP is usually the preferred method used by doctors as treatment.
But there are a number of reasons for why these may be undesirable.
Surgery can be expensive and invasive. Plus, it doesn’t always work!
And CPAP therapy, while quite effective, is cumbersome and labor-intensive.
It requires you to wear a face mask every night while you sleep, can be difficult to dial-in, and is hard to take with you if you go camping or travel.
It is little wonder, then, that someone would be more interested in natural remedies for snoring.
How Can I Stop Snoring Naturally?
Thankfully, there are plenty of natural options to help you stop snoring.
Let’s take a quick look and examine some of the more popular naturalistic remedies.
Here at Dawn Study, we really endorse healthy lifestyle changes as a means to correcting unhealthy problems.
And snoring is no exception.
As it turns out, there are quite a few things you can do to help mitigate your snoring risk with some basic lifestyle changes.
Losing weight is probably the number-one best thing you can do in the long term to reduce your snoring risk.
As you burn off extra fat and slim down, you will make extra room in your airway for breathing. The more overweight you are the more likely you are to snore.
Quitting smoking is another fantastic lifestyle choice that can really increase your odds of ending your snoring problem.
Studies have shown that the more people smoke, the more frequently they tend to snore.
Even secondhand smokers can be afflicted by this problem!
Stop Drinking Alcohol
A drink or two several hours before bed is rarely an issue.
But if you go to bed still drunk or under the influence, then it is very possible that you’re going to increase your snoring risk.
Simple. Alcohol is a depressant, and it causes your muscles to relax. Alcohol is one of the main causes of snoring in both men and women
Go to bed drunk or tipsy, and you’re going to end up with a more relaxed airway than usual… which is the perfect environment for soft-palate vibration and snoring!
There are are also several homeopathic remedies for snoring that have shown some promise.
Use Anti-Snoring Products
There are all kinds of different snoring aids on the market nowadays. Here are some of the most common and useful options to look into.
Mandibular Advancement Devices
MADs are basically mouth-guard-looking products that, when inserted into the mouth, help to pull the lower jaw forward.
This creates more air in the upper airway, which helps to eliminate constriction and open up the breathing passages.
Tongue Retention Devices
TRDs, or ‘Tongue Stabilization Devices’ as they are sometimes called, are similar to MADs, except that they are smaller, and are only designed to hold the tongue forward instead of the entire lower jaw.
They actually work really well, and are a lot smaller and less-bulky than MADs.
Nasal strips can be applied to the outside of the nose before going to bed.
Once applied, they pull outward to help open up the nasal passages.
They are super helpful if your snoring is caused by a problem in the nasal passages… but they tend not to work as well if soft-palate-vibration is your main problem.
Still, they are inexpensive and easy to use. A lot of people use them and like them!
‘Smart’ Anti-Snoring Devices
Smart devices like the Smart Nora are becoming more and more useful for snoring… and they actually work!
We tested the Smart Nora in particular… and found it to work wonders!
It is a more expensive option. But once you get the hang of using it, you might be amazed at how good of a job it does.
It basically consists of an ‘inflatable pillow’ that slips under your regular pillow. When the device detects you snoring via the embedded pebble microphone, it inflates and deflates the pillow… which causes your throat muscles to tense up without kicking you out of REM sleep.
Can Drinking Water Help With Snoring?
Actually, it can! But only to a certain point.
If your throat dries out too much, you will be much more likely to snore… because the soft-tissues in the back of your throat will be that much more likely to vibrate with the friction of the air passing through.
Making sure to drink enough water, and laying on your side to avoid mouth-breathing and snoring with an open mouth during sleep, can both help to keep your soft palate from drying out.
There are also more than a few essential oils that can help to mitigate your risk of snoring.
Here are some of the most popular ones.
Thyme is a well-known herb that is available in about 350 different varieties!
It is known for having a strong odor and a unique taste.
But as it turns out, this tasty plant can also help to defeat snoring problems!
It is commonly used for respiratory problems, and can be used to help combat asthma, bronchitis, sinusitis, etc.
For best results, mix some Thyme with a bit of olive or grapeseed oil, and apply the mixture to the wrists.
Some say that applying it to the underside of the big toe also works… as this is said to be a reflex-area for the neck!
This is one of the most well-known essential snoring remedies on earth… and for good reason.
Eucalyptus oil comes from a tree… and it has always been used for medicinal purposes.
It basically works by helping to treat inflammation, kill bacteria, and eliminate fungus. It is also a powerful anti-asthma agent.
This essential oil has long been used as a traditional medicinal treatment for snoring.
Not only does it help to clear the sinuses, but it is also an antioxidant.
One of the best ways to use Marjoram is through a nebulizing essential oil diffuser.
What If a Snorer is Keeping You Awake at Night?
What if you are not the snorer?
How do you cope when someone else’s snoring is keeping you awake?
In all honesty, this can be almost as bad as snoring yourself… if not even more so.
In fact, one study showed that bed-partners of people who snore lose up to an hour of sleep per night due to the problem… if not more.
Here are some tips to help deal with snoring when it isn’t you who is the one making all the noise!
You Can Sleep In a Separate Room
This is not usually a very desirable option, because partners who utilize it end up missing out on the many benefits of co-sleeping.
But… if the snoring is bad enough, this might be the best way to help mitigate the issue.
You cannot force someone to seek help for their snoring problems. And sometimes, sleeping in a separate room is just the best way to isolate yourself from the noise.
You Can Wear Earplugs
This is perhaps a more common, less-drastic coping mechanism, but it still isn’t perfect.
Wearing earplugs all night can make the ear canal sore and irritated.
It can also keep you from waking up for a fire alarm, a noise in the baby monitor, a tornado siren, etc.
Earplugs can help, but they are not a perfect option.
You Can Put on Some Music or Turn on a Fan for Background Noise
If the snoring is just too distracting, and if you don’t want to sleep in a separate room or wear earplugs, then you might be able to disrupt the snoring sounds through the use of background noise.
Turning on a fan, or putting on some nice ambient music, are two options for this.
The only downside to this is that it may not be enough.
If you end up with too much noise going on, you will simply not be able to sleep anyway.
And there is always a chance that you won’t even be able to drown out the snoring sounds if they are too loud.
Try Talking to Your Partner About Their Snoring Issue
Snoring can be an embarrassing topic to talk about… so it is important that you approach this conversation carefully.
Try to let your partner know that you care about them, that their snoring is disrupting not only their sleep, but also yours… and that there are plenty of natural remedies that can help.
And of course, if you suspect that sleep apnea may be to blame for the high-volume snoozing sounds, you may want to consult a doctor… as it can be dangerous if left untreated.
How to Stop Snoring Permanently
The best natural remedy to stop snoring permanently is to lose weight and make other positive lifestyle changes, such as removing alcohol and cigarettes from your daily routine.
Most snoring remedies only really help while the remedy is in use.
MADs, TSDs, and essential oils, for example, really only work while they are being used.
If you discontinue their use, you will end up suffering from the symptoms once again.
Lifestyle changes, then, offer you a more permanent solution… even if they take a bit longer to achieve.
We here at Dawn Study want to help you find the best information on each given topic possible.
Hopefully this post has helped to answer your most pressing questions about how to stop snoring naturally.
Snoring is honestly a pretty big issue. And if you don’t get it taken care of, it can take a toll.
Also be aware of the signs and symptoms of sleep apnea, and make sure that your partner visits the doctor if they are displaying them.
The most common symptoms for OSA include…
- Waking up with a dry throat
- Occasionally waking up with a ‘choking’ or ‘gasping’ feeling
- Snoring loudly
- Feeling a lack of energy or excessive sleepiness during the day
- Waking up with headaches
- Sleeping restlessly
- Mood changes
- Decreased libido
At the end of the day, natural remedies for snoring tend to be very effective… as long as you find the right remedy for you.
This may take some trial and error. But sleeping well is well worth the effort.
The most important thing, however, is to start looking for a solution. Don’t let snoring take over your life!