Although there is no panacea for snoring, in this article we will clarify the causes and offer you alternatives with home remedies to avoid it.
Lack of quality sleep leads to disturbances of all body functions, and as a “bonus” we are easily irritable and grumpy in the morning. Pissed off and irritated are also all those who sleep near the snorer – wives, children and even neighbors. To put an end to this unpleasant situation, you can try some (or all) of the tips against snoring that we have collected for you from people who have managed to overcome the deafening nocturnal growling.
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Why do we snore in our sleep?
In the development of snoring, the constriction of the airflow in the nasal area and especially in the back of the oral cavity plays a major role. Any process or phenomenon that leads to narrowing of these spaces can cause snoring. When we sleep, our muscles and airways relax, causing the latter to narrow. When we breathe in through such a narrow space, the surrounding tissues vibrate. This creates the typical sounds we call snoring.
Causes of snoring
Snoring can have many causes. Some of them can usually be prevented by a healthy lifestyle. The most common causes are the following:
- Breathing through the open mouth instead of the nose. Causes of nasal breathing problems can include allergies, nasal polyps, and congenital nasal obstructions.
- Anatomical causes. Enlarged tonsils are the most common cause of snoring in children. Very often, disturbed sleep in a child can be the cause of hyperactive behavior and attention deficits.
- Sleeping on the back with the tongue falling backwards.
- Alcohol consumption, especially in large quantities, is associated with the appearance of muscle relaxation. This favors relaxation and enlargement of the soft tissues in the oral cavity, which impede the flow of air.
- Obesity and pregnancy – increased weight gain often leads to fat accumulation in the neck and back of the mouth. This, in turn, restricts the airflow space during inhalation.
- Taking certain medications from the group of sleeping pills and antidepressants often leads to increased muscle relaxation and likelihood of snoring. Muscle relaxants prescribed for certain neurological disorders also have such an effect.
- Any acute inflammation in the nasal and paranasal sinus area leads to restriction of airflow. Swelling of the affected tissue is characteristic of the inflammatory process and inevitably causes snoring.
In which people does snoring occur most frequently at night?
About half of the population snores during their lifetime, for whatever reason. Both men and women are affected, with the male gender slightly outweighing the female.
Snoring can occur both in adulthood, which is related to the normal aging process and slackening of the tissues on the one hand, and in childhood, which is usually due to the presence of an enlarged third tonsil.
Some genetic predisposition has also been found, with snoring being more common in families than in the general population.
Snoring in women
One in five men snore. Women are less likely to be affected, except during pregnancy. Both men and women snore more frequently with age: after the age of 60, about 60% of men and 40% of women snore. This is due to the fact that the female body produces less estrogen during menopause and the muscles of the respiratory tract become weaker. In addition, the tissues become drier, which leads to snoring.
12 home remedies for snoring
There is no panacea for snoring. An individual assessment is required to determine a targeted treatment and therapy. However, the risk of a poor night’s sleep can be reduced with some simple home remedies and measures.
- Sleep on your side: make sure you sleep in a position that leaves your airway clear. Sleeping sideways is the best way to combat snoring. Sleeping on your back can cause your tongue to fall back and disrupt airflow.
- Optimize your bed: consult a specialty store for advice on buying a supportive mattress with slatted base and a suitable pillow. Place the head end one palm higher.
- Nasal rinsing: Blocked nose? For colds or allergies, nasal rinsing with saline solution (dissolve ½ teaspoon of table salt in a cup of lukewarm water) helps instead of nasal drops.
Important: If you have a chronically stuffy nose, be sure to get it checked out.
- Steam bath for the face: put a quart of boiling water with three to five drops of tea tree oil or eucalyptus oil in a bowl, bend over it and breathe in the essential oil vapors for 10 minutes. Place a towel over your head and the bowl to keep the vapor from escaping.
Alternative: place a small bowl of water and 20 drops of eucalyptus oil on your bedside table.
- Gargle with peppermint oil: gargling helps to decongest the mucous membranes in your mouth and throat and thus helps against snoring. Add two drops of peppermint oil to a glass of water.
- Pay attention to the room climate: the nasal mucous membranes like a moist environment. A room temperature of 18 degrees Celsius and a humidity of 40 to 60% are ideal.
- Alcohol consumption: no alcohol in the evening and quit smoking to combat snoring.
- Light dinner: Try to eat something easy to digest in the evening. This way you will enjoy a restful and relaxed sleep.
- Get enough exercise: a well-toned body and outdoor exercise will improve our sleep. However, make sure you don’t exercise right before bed.
- Carefully consider what medications you are taking: Keep in mind that sleeping pills and other relaxing medications can cause snoring.
Do remedies from the pharmacy help?
You can find a variety of therapies and remedies for snoring on the Internet and in pharmacies – from anti-snoring mouthpieces, nasal sprays and tongue pacers to tortoise shell-like sleep vests designed to prevent the wearer from sleeping on their back.
The sheer abundance of such anti-snoring aids shows that there is no quick, blanket solution to snoring. This goal can only be achieved after an accurate diagnosis, whether in the form of snoring therapy or surgery on the nose or palate.
Braces and mouthpieces should also be considered by professionals. They may be useful if the cause of your snoring is improper jaw alignment. Otherwise, you may be spending money unnecessarily on aids that have no effect.