If your snoring drives your partner nuts— or if you’re victim of your loved one’s snoozing— this is for you. Snoring occurs when the flow of air through the mouth is obstructed. There are a few things that can trigger snoring like colds, allergies, drinking alcohol, smoking and certain medications.
Chronic snorers can be at risk for serious health problems like sleep apnea, so you should always see your doctor to rule this condition out first. Dr. Mark Hendricks, the medical director of sleep services at HCA’s Fairview Park Hospital in Georgia said there are several ways to test for sleep apnea. Patients can stay overnight at a special sleep observatory where doctors can measure the number of times they stop breathing or have shallow breathing per hour, also known as apnea-hypopnea index (AHI).
“We can also do home sleep tests as well. Typically it is a small portable device where the patient has a sensor under the nose and on the finger to monitor air flow,” Hendricks told FoxNews.com.
Although the market is flooded with anti-snoring gadgets that claim they can reduce snoring, there are also effective natural remedies the can help.
1. Proper sleep positioning
Instead of sleeping on your back, lying on your side may help to keep the base of your tongue from collapsing into the back of your throat, which can obstruct breathing.
“If she tends to only snore on her back, you can have her wear a pocket t-shirt on backwards and put a tennis ball in the back which will train her over the period of a few weeks to not sleep on her back anymore,” Shelby Harris, PsyD of the Sleep-Wake Disorders Center at Montefiore Medical Center in New York told FoxNews.com.
2. Clear nasal passages
“I recommend taking a hot shower before bed, this will help open the nasal passages,” Hendricks suggested. “Even keeping a bottle of salt water in the shower and using it to rinse the nose out while showering can help to keep the nasal passages moist.”
3. Allergen control
“Changing sheets and pillowcases frequently to reduce dust mites in the bed can help and keep the ceiling fans dusted frequently if there is one over the bed. Keep pets out of the bedroom,” Hendricks said.
4. Reduce inflammation
Inflammation can narrow the breathing passages in the throat and nasal cavities. Dr. Gabrielle Francis, a naturopathic doctor based in New York City recommends infrared sauna sessions to sweat out excess water retention as well as some specific herbs known to clear inflammation.
“Herbs like turmeric, ginger, and Boswellia– also known as Frankincense, are good to use. They can add them to their diet but they can be found in supplement form. One I like is called Inflammatone,” Francis told FoxNews.com.
5. Realignment of the neck
Dr. Francis, who is also a chiropractor, said if people have a misaligned neck it can block the tube that allows fluids to be drained out of the head, making them more congested and mucousy.
“You can do chiropractic adjustments to realign the neck, they also have special pillows called cervical pillows that help support the curve in the neck,” Francis said. “I also have a cervical traction block that I give to people that helps to realign the curve of the neck.”