Snoring happens when you can't move air freely through your nose and throat during sleep. Because, it is a disease that is not noticeable, it is not taken so seriously as to take measures to stop it. But snoring is a risky habit! Seventy five percent of people who snore suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. It means their breathing gets disrupted for short periods when they sleep. This increases their risk of developing heart disease.
If your snoring keeps your partner awake, it can also create major relationship problems. Thankfully, sleeping in separate bedrooms isn’t the remedy for snoring but by applying these home remedies below.
Common causes of snoring
- Being overweight or out of shape. Fatty tissue and poor muscle tone contribute to snoring. Even if you’re not overweight in general, carrying excess weight just around your neck or throat can cause snoring.
- Age. As you reach middle age and beyond, your throat becomes narrower, and the muscle tone in your throat decreases.
- The way you’re built. Men have narrower air passages than women and are more likely to snore. A narrow throat, a cleft palate, enlarged adenoids, and other physical attributes that contribute to snoring are often hereditary.
- Nasal and sinus problems. Blocked airways or a stuffy nose make inhalation difficult and create a vacuum in the throat, leading to snoring.
- Alcohol, smoking, and medications. Alcohol intake, smoking, and certain medications, such as tranquilizers like lorazepam (Ativan) and diazepam (Valium), can increase muscle relaxation leading to more snoring.
- Sleep posture. Sleeping flat on your back causes the flesh of your throat to relax and block the airway there by causing snoring.
9 Home Remedies
A. Peppermint Oil Remedy
The anti-inflammatory properties of peppermint oil can help in reducing inflammation in the membranes of the inner lining of your nostrils. This is enough to stop snoring if it happens due to nasal congestion.
Methods to use peppermint oil
- Pour a few drops of peppermint oil on your finger and rub this onto the lower portions on both the sides of your nose.
- Steam inhalation using peppermint oil may also reduce swelling in your nostrils. Pour few drops of peppermint oil in hot water and inhale its steam.
- Mix one drop of peppermint oil with a glass of water. Gargle with this water. Ensure that you do not swallow the water with peppermint oil, just gargle with it.
B. Ayurvedic Ghee Remedy
According to Ayurveda, the ancient Indian medicine, ghee or clarified butter has many medicinal properties. It is used for curing many diseases including snoring. Not only plain ghee but Brahmi ghee too is used for the purpose. For making this ghee, Brahmi herb is boiled along with pure ghee made from cow’s milk. Some other herbs are also mixed to this. Traditional way of using it is apply Brahmi ghee lightly to the inside of the nose.
- Ghee OR Brahmi ghee OR Brahmi oil- 2 drops
- Heat the ghee to warm it up a little.
- Pour two drops of lukewarm clarified butter or Brahmi ghee in each nostril.
- Repeat this every night before going to bed and also in the morning.
(C). Olive Oil Remedy
Apart from its many health benefits, olive oil can also get you rid of snoring. Sometimes a person snores because there are excessive tissues at the back of his nose or throat. These tissues can partially block the airway which causes the sound of snoring. Here is one traditional remedy for snoring where it is recommended to sip a little olive oil. If thought logically, it can be said that when tissues remain moistened, there will be less friction due to their contact with each other. This will make the air move through smoothly reducing the chances of snoring. Oils are also said to tighten the muscles under the palate to keep the airways open. Olive oil therapy is also recommended even by Homeopathy.
- Olive oil- 1-2 tbsp
- Take the olive oil and take 2-3 sips of it.
- Do it every day in the evening or some time before going to bed.
D. Nettle Leaf Tea Remedy
Sometimes when your sinus passage gets inflamed due to allergies of upper respiratory tract infections such as cold or sinusitis, you may snore a lot. Nettle leaf tea can prove to be one of the best home remedies for snoring of such type. Nettle leaves are a known antihistamine. They may help reduce congestion by inhibiting the release of histamines. Histamines are the inflammatory substance that are triggered by allergens. Nettle leaf tea has bioflavonoids in it which opens up the sinuses and stabilize white blood cells that make histamine. Just ensure to have dried nettle leaves for your tea.
Make Nettle leaf tea for snoring
- Dried nettle leaf- 1 tsp
- Boiling water- 1 cup
- Place the dried nettle leaves in a pot.
- Pour boiling water over it.
- Steep for 5 minutes.
- Strain and have this tea.
- Have 3 cups of nettle leaf tea daily.
Precaution: Nettle is diuretic in nature. You may have to get up in the middle of night for urinating.
E. Thyme Essential Oil Remedy
If you are too exhausted and tired, your snoring may get worse. There is this one traditional remedies for snoring which uses thyme essential oil, neat or diluted, for relief from snoring. While thyme oil is has anti-aging, antimicrobial, anti-fungal, antiviral, and anti-parasitic properties, what seems to mostly effect you, the snorer, is its calming effect on your mind which helps in giving you a restful sleep. Here is how to use thyme oil for snoring.
- Thyme essential oil- 2 drops if using neat and 4-6 drops if using diluted
- Carrier oil (any vegetable oil like olive oil or coconut oil)- 4-6 drops
- Take the thyme oil and rub on the bottom of bot the feet before going to sleep.
- If rubbing neat without diluting, use only 2 drops of thyme oil.
- If diluting with a carrier oil, keep a 50:50 ratio. This means, you should dilute 4-6 drops of thyme oil with 4-6 drops of vegetable oil and then rub the bottom of your feet.
Thyme oil can also be added to humidifiers. Thyme tea can also help soothe nerves for restful sleep.
Precaution: If you suffer from high blood pressure, use thyme oil cautiously. Pregnant and breast feeding women as well as kids below six years of age should not be treated with thyme oil.
Ginger has been known for its various properties along with its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial effects. It also increases secretion of saliva which then coats the throat to provide you with a soothing effect. When honey is used with ginger, it further lubricates the tissues and also opens up nasal cavity as well as throat by reducing the swelling therein. All this helps in reducing snoring incidence. The best way to use ginger for snoring is to make fresh ginger tea.
- Fresh ginger root- 1-2 inch piece
- Water- a little more than 1 cup
- Honey- 1-2 tsp
- Wash, peel, cut and crush the ginger.
- Put the crushed ginger into a pan and add water.
- Heat the mixture and bring it to boil.
- Let the water boil for about 3-4 minutes.
- Put off the flame, cover and let it steep for another 5 minutes.
- Strain and add honey to the ginger tea.
- Mix well and have it.
- You may have 3-4 cups of ginger tea in a day.
G. Garlic Remedies
Hot foods such as garlic, onions and horseradish are said to reduce snoring. The probable reason for this may be that these foods help dry up nasal passages and airways which in turn, reduces mucus build-up that blocks your sinus. If sinus blockage is the cause for your snoring, you might get relief by using garlic. Some of the herbalists, however, say that garlic can even treat snoring due to sleep apnea as it helps soothe and reduce enlarged tonsils as well as inflammation in the respiratory system. Anyway, garlic is good for health and having this food would not do any harm.
Ways to use garlic for snoring
- Chew on raw garlic, preferably before bedtime. However, this may be unacceptable as it will not only disturb your but your partner’s sleep as well!
- The better way to use garlic is to add it in your dinner menu. For example, crush raw garlic and mix it with butter to make a toast spread or add raw garlic to your salad dressing!
H. Sleep Pattern Remedies
Sleeping in a wrong position can also block your air passageways and sometimes make the tissues at the back of your tongue collapse leading to snoring. Here are some tips on how you can improve your sleeping style and pattern to get rid of snoring.
- Do not sleep on your back: In this position, your tongue and soft palate will collapse to the back portion of your throat which will give rise to vibrations. If you snore, it’s better to sleep on your side. You may take help of a body pillow to keep sleeping on your side. You may also use the traditional way of sewing tennis balls to your pajama back so that whenever you try to lie on your back, it makes you shift to sides.
- Raise your head: Take some extra pillows under your head your elevate the bed in such a manner that your head remains elevated so that you do not get nasal blockage. These measures, however, may give you neck pain.
- Use humidifier: Dry air too can cause snoring. A humidifier or steam vaporizer in your bedroom will help you keep your air passages moist.
- Check your medicines: certain medicines increase muscle relaxation which leads to snoring. If you have noticed that you snore after taking certain medication, talk to your doctor for substitutes or alternatives.
(I). Lifestyle Remedies
Some of our habits too lead us towards snoring. So, you need to omit some habits and accept others to get rid of your snoring.
- Lose weight: It is not that slim people do not snore but if you have started snoring after you gained weight, you need to lose weight. More weight or fat around your neck squeezes the internal diameter of your throat. Thus, it is more likely to collapse when you sleep. Losing even just ten percent of your body weight can help you as this will ease constriction of your upper airway.
- Avoid alcohol: Alcohol and sedatives relax the throat muscles interfering with breathing.
- Clean your bedroom often: Dust mites in your bed, pillows, curtains etc. may give you allergies that too lead to snoring by making your throat and nose tissues swollen. Pets on your bed may do the same. Dusting regularly helps.
- Stay hydrated: When your body is dehydrated, the secretions in your nose as well as soft palate turn stickier leading to snoring. Drink more water and other healthy fluids.
- Don’t smoke: Smoking irritates mucous membranes leading to throat inflammation. It narrows down your airway. Smoking also causes nasal congestion.
- Exercise regularly: When you exercise, not only your arms, legs, abs get toned, the muscles in your throat too get toned. This means lesser snoring.
You need to identify what is causing your snoring. Whether it is nasal congestion, blocked air passage, weak muscles of your throat, alcohol, medicines, your sleeping habits or just exhaustion and not getting enough sleep! Once you identify the cause, apply one or more home remedies for snoring to eliminate that cause.