Most of you probably associate snoring with memories of Grandpa sleeping in the recliner. It is true that 40 to 50 percent of grown men snore, but they aren’t the only ones. On average about 20 to 30 percent of grown women also snore. Studies also show that about 59 percent of people deal with a partner or spouse that snores. You may not even know that you snore, but it’s more than likely your roommate or significant other knows! The cause of snoring is usually obstructed air flow. When air can’t travel freely through your nose and throat, it causes your soft tissues to reverberate. This causes the sound we associate with snoring.
Typically snoring can reach up to 60-90 decibels. To put those numbers into perspective, the sounds of a chainsaw can reach 100 decibels. These levels can disrupt your partner’s sleep, and you may also snore so loudly that you even wake yourself up. Interrupted sleep can cause fatigue, mood swings and irritability in both you and those affected by your snoring. Some cases of bad snoring can lead to sleeping in separate rooms which might even put a strain on your relationship. Keeping that in mind, here are some natural ways that can help you to get your snoring under control.
Clear Your Airways
Poor air flow causes snoring. You can try to reduce obstruction of your nasal passages to keep you from snoring. Clearing your airways before lying down will produce healthy air flow and allow you to get a good night’s sleep. Using a neti pot is a very good way to clear your sinuses. Otherwise, use the old-fashioned way and blow your nose to clear your airways before bed. The steam from a warm shower can help open your sinuses and relax you before bed. You can also try using a humidifier to keep the air from getting too dry. Stale air can make it harder to breathe and can cause snoring. The humidifier will keep the air in your room moist and fresh; making it easier to breathe.
Studies show that over 50 percent of people who snore are overweight. Being overweight puts more strain on your diaphragm during sleep, especially while lying on your back. Heavier people are also more prone to suffer from sleep apnea. If you are on the heavy side, try to eat healthier, exercise, and get better sleep by shedding those extra pounds.
Limit Your Alcohol
Consumption of alcohol causes your throat muscles to relax more than they normally would. This causes you to have a lot of reverberation which means louder snoring. Studies show that even those who don’t usually snore are affected by alcohol and will snore under the influence. Say no to that evening nightcap. Try having your last drink at least 4-6 hours before you head to bed.
Switch Sleeping Positions
Try changing your sleeping position. Lying on your back can make snoring worse. Side sleeping is usually the best position to reduce snoring and for those with sleep apnea. If you do sleep on your back, try elevating your head. Most doctors recommend sleeping on your back with your head elevated, at least 4 inches, to reduce snoring. Elevating your head and torso stops gravity from pulling down on the soft tissue of your airways. You can purchase wedge pillows that vary in height to support your head and torso, use an adjustable bed or just use extra pillows to prop up your head.
Keep Yourself Hydrated
About 60-65 percent of your body is made of water. Your lungs are about 83% water; while your heart and brain come in at a close second of about 73% water. Your body needs about eight, 8-ounce glasses of water each day to remain hydrated. Staying hydrated helps to transport nutrients throughout your body which keeps you energized and healthy. Being dehydrated during the day causes fatigue and will cause anxiety at night; it can also cause dizziness, mood swings, and muscle cramps. When you are dehydrated, it will also lower your body’s ability to produce natural melatonin, which has been proven to cause insomnia. Melatonin is naturally produced by the tissues of your pineal gland, located in your brain. Low melatonin levels can lead to irregular sleep cycles and throw off your body’s internal clock.
If you snore, do your partner and yourself a favor. Use these natural ways to prevent snoring. You deserve a good night’s sleep, and so do they. Find what works for you and stick with it. If you can’t get your snoring under control, you may want to consult a doctor.