Tips to Reduce Snoring

1. Sleep on your side, not your back
Snoring often results due to the relaxation of muscles in your throat and tongue. When you lie on your back your throat and tongue muscles ease backward in your throat, causing a vibration as you struggle to breathe.  An old folk remedy recommends sewing a tennis ball on the back of your pajamas to help keep you off your back while you sleep.

2. Raise the head of your bed
This simple tip can also help diminish the collapse of your airways. Simply raise the head of your bed about four inches, by placing blocks or wedges under your mattress.

3. Normalize your weight
Carrying extra weight around your neck can also cause your throat to narrow when you lay down, hence the higher incidence of snoring if you’re overweight. Normalizing your body weight can make a big difference.  Choosing the proper grains and reducing sugars are topics we’ll discuss in your individualized nutritional program, and is a great way to begin to accomplish weight normalization.

4. Do throat and tongue exercises
If these muscles are stronger, they are less likely to slip backward.

Here’s an example of one such exercise: Begin by simply putting your upper and lower molars together, lightly. Next, open your mouth, focusing on pressing your molars as wide apart as you can, without over stretching (slowly and gently). Repeat this ten to twenty times. After about 5 to 10 times you should feel your jaw muscles strengthening, and the back of your mouth opening up.

5. Use a steam inhalation
or a nasal lavage (Neti pot)

Putting your head over a steam bowl and covering it with a towel just before going to bed can also work wonders to clear and moisturize your nasal airway and reduce swelling. Neti pots allow the washing of nasal passages with a teapot like tool, and are excellent for congestion. Also keep your sleeping environment as clean and dust free as possible.

6. Use nasal strips
If your problem stems from obstruction in your nasal passageway, using nasal air strips can help increase airflow.

7. Avoid alcohol
Alcohol, muscle relaxing or sleep aid drugs will relax your tongue and throat muscles even more, making your snoring worse.

8. Avoid milk
Drinking milk can make snoring worse as it leaves a layer of mucus in your mouth and throat, so stick to plain water.  Try avoiding milk completely for 3 weeks and evaluate.

9. Avoid big meals late in the evening
Don’t eat a big meal right before bed time. If your stomach is full it can push up against your diaphragm, further limiting your ability to breathe easy.

Identifying and addressing the causes of snoring is essential for long term success! See an ND to receive a personalized assessment and treatment plan and achieve optimal health.