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In most cases, we don’t see snoring as a serious concern unless it disrupts your partner’s sleep. But chronic loud snoring is one of the most prominent signs of sleep apnea which is a common and potentially serious health issue in which breathing actually stops while you are asleep. About 45% of normal adults snore occasionally, and 25% are habitual snorers, and the problem is more common in men and overweight individuals. In sleep apnea, the normal breathing is interrupted or becomes shallow, and it ultimately pauses for 10 to 20 seconds. The pause breaks with a jolt and brings you out of your natural sleep rhythm, which in turn reduces the time of deep restorative sleep. Sleep apnea can lead to serious health conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, heart diseases, weight gain and stroke. But sleep apnea can be treated and controlled through medication and breathing exercises. We already know about the benefits of deep breathing to lose weight.
There are 3 basic types of sleep apnea – Obstructive sleep apnea, Central sleep apnea, and Complex sleep apnea. The first one is the most common type of sleep apnea in which the soft tissues present at the back of the throat relax during sleep and block the airway causing the person to snore loudly. The second one is a much less common type in which the brain fails to signal the muscles that control breathing. The third type is a mixture of obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.
Causes of Sleep Apnea or Snoring
Before moving on to the remedies and treatments for snoring it is necessary to know what causes snoring. During your sleep, the muscle of the airways relaxes and narrows the throat. Although this narrowing does not cut out air supply to the lungs, if you have sleep apnea, then your airway can become partially or completely blocked. Some causes of snoring are as follows:
- The muscles of your throat and tongue relax more than normal
- Your tonsils and tongue are larger compared to the opening to the opening of your windpipe
- Being overweight is yet another cause. The extra fat tissue of the neck can thicken the wall of the windpipe and narrow it down
- Normal aging is another sleep apnea causes. With progressing age, the brain’s ability to keep the throat muscles stiff during sleep gets limited which causes the airway to narrow or collapse
Main Signs and Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
It is difficult to identify sleep apnea on your own because most of the symptoms occur when you are asleep. But you can ask your partner to look for the below-mentioned symptoms when you are asleep.
- A pause occurs while you snore
- Choking or gasping follows the pauses
- Excessive sleepiness during the day
- Morning headaches
- Inability to concentrate and reduced memory
- Feeling depressed, irritable and having mood swings
- Waking up for frequent urination
- Dry mouth or a sore throat on waking up
10 Best Soothing Home Remedies to Get Rid of Snoring and Sleep Apnea
Although there is no magic cure for snoring, it can be treated and kept in check by bringing about some simple lifestyle changes and following some effective home remedies.
A natural peppermint toner is the best solution to the problem of how to treat oily skin naturally, and it also helps cure snoring or sleep apnea symptoms effectively. Peppermint possesses anti-inflammatory properties that help to soothe the swelling of the membranes present in the linings of the nostrils and throat, which in turn aids smooth and easy breathing. The peppermint remedy is especially effective for curing temporary snoring caused by allergy, cold or dry air.
You can make a peppermint gargle by adding 2 drops of pure peppermint oil in a glass of water and gargling before going to bed. But be sure not to swallow this solution. Do this daily every night in order to get desired results. Even a peppermint mouthwash will do the trick.
Nasal congestion is one of the main reasons for snoring and the best way for snore relief to reduce congestion is to inhale the steam. It helps you breathe more easily while sleeping.
Pour some hot boiling water in a large bowl and add 3 to 4 drops of any essential oil such as eucalyptus essential oil or tea tree essential oil to it. Bring your face close to the water and inhale the steam through your nose for 10 minutes while holding a towel over your head. Repeat this natural cure every day before going to bed at night until the congestion clears off completely.
The benefits and functions of olive oil for body and overall health need no new emphasis, and it is also one of the best natural snoring treatments which help to sooth the inflamed tissues of the respiratory passages. It helps reduce swelling and soreness and clear the nasal passage for the easy flow of air.
Mix one and a half teaspoon each of pure extra-virgin olive oil and honey and take 2 to 3 sips of this mixture every night before going to bed. It will help reduce the vibrations in the throat and stop snoring.
Clarified Butter (Ghee)
In most cases, health conscious people and weight watchers tend to stay away from all types of fats, even the healthy ones. Clarified butter or ghee has numerous medicinal properties. It helps boost immune power, improve the health of the digestive tract, stimulate appetite and work as an anti-inflammatory agent.
Ghee works as one of the effective sleep apnea solutions that help to open up blocked nasal passages so that you sleep better and snore less. Warm a teaspoon of ghee in a microwave. Let it cool down a bit and use a dropper to put 2 to 3 drops of the ghee in each nostril. Do it daily every night before going to bed and every morning after waking up.
Cardamom is a well-known spice throughout the world which also possesses amazing medicinal properties. It works as an expectorant and decongestant that works as good as over-the-counter medicines. It is one of the time-tested sleep apnea cures that help to open up blocked nasal passages.
Free nasal passages result in less snoring. Add one and a half teaspoon of cardamom powder to a glass of lukewarm water and drink it daily 30 minutes before going to bed.
Turmeric or holy powder is well-known Indian Spice that has powerful antiseptic and antibiotic properties. It is also one of the proven sleep apnea home remedies that treats inflammation of the nasal passage and reduces heavy snoring.
You can make a turmeric and milk drink in order to treat snoring. It will help you enjoy restful sleep without interruption and also boost your immune system. Add 2 teaspoons of turmeric powder to a glass of warm milk and drink it every night 30 minutes before going to sleep.
Nettle is one of the most time-tested herbal snoring remedies which helps treat snoring mainly caused by seasonal allergies which inflame the nasal passages. The antihistamine and anti-inflammatory properties of nettle are useful for the treatment of temporary snoring. Nettle tea can also be included in a kidney stone diet chart because it helps to break down kidney stones and support functions of the kidney. It also helps to minimize skin problems, PMS symptoms, menopausal symptoms and arthritis problems.
You can prepare a healthy nettle tea by adding 1 tablespoon of dried nettle leaves to 1 cup of boiling water. Steep for 5 minutes and then strain the tea. Drink 1 cup of warm tea every night just before going to bed.
This strong and pungent herb is not only useful for adding flavour to dishes but also for treating a wide range of diseases and ailments thanks to its medicinal properties but how do you get rid of snoring with the help of garlic? Hot herbs such as garlic help to treat snoring by drying up the nasal passages and airways and reducing mucus build-up and curing sinus blockages and snoring.
Simply chew on 1 or 2 garlic cloves and then drink a glass of water. It is best to have the garlic right before bedtime to reduce snoring and promote sound sleep. You can also add garlic to your foods in order to enjoy its health benefits. In addition, garlic is by far the best medicine for ringworm that shows quick results.
The gentle and intense healing properties of honey make it a popular ingredient in home remedies for skin and hair, and the use of honey for chapped lips cure is well known.
Honey is also a beneficial natural sleep apnea home treatment that helps reduce swelling in the throat region which can block airways. It also lubricates the throat and prevents the occurrence of snoring vibrations.
Last but not the least is Chamomile, which is another useful herb possessing various medicinal properties, but how do you cure sleep apnea with the use of chamomile? One of the active ingredients found in chamomile called bisabolol works as a strong anti-inflammatory agent with reduces swelling and allergies that trigger snoring. Bisabolol also functions as nerve and muscle relaxant which helps to relax and soothe tense nerves and muscles around the throat and promotes better sleep.
You can prepare perfect chamomile tea at home by adding a tablespoon of chamomile flowers or dipping a chamomile tea bag in a cup of water. Boil the flowers for 15 minutes, strain the tea, add 1 teaspoon of honey to it and drink it every night before going to bed.
Top 10 Effective Lifestyle Changes to Fix Snoring and Sleep Apnea
The lifestyle you follow and the way you are built also determines your snoring and why you snore. Here are a few quick and easy lifestyle changes that you can adopt in your daily routine to get rid of snoring permanently.
Excessive body weight can be a cause of snoring, but this is not always true. Even thin people snore. But if you have started snoring after gaining weight then losing a few pounds may help.
Putting one weight around the neck puts pressure on the internal diameter of the throat increasing the chances it’s collapsing during sleep thereby triggering snoring. Weight gain also adds extra tissues in the throat making things worse.
Change the Sleeping Position
In case of some people, sleeping in a particular position promotes snoring. Snoring becomes worse especially if you are lying on your back. This position makes the base of the tongue and the soft palate to collapse to the back of the throat thereby creating the vibrating sound during sleep.
Sleeping on your side can help prevent this problem. You can also use a full-length body pillow to maintain your sleeping position on your side.
Elevating the Head while Sleeping
Another quick fix for snoring is maintaining your head in an elevated position during sleep. You can use a few extra pillows to lift up your head or recline the bed with the head up and extended.
This posture helps to open up the nasal airway passages and prevent snoring. But sleeping in this position can cause neck pain.
There are no known health benefits to support the consumption of alcohol and it is best to stay away from alcohol if you have sleep apnea or chronic snoring problems. Alcohol acts as a sedative and reduces the resting tone of the muscles at the back of your throat, increasing the chances of your snoring.
Research shows that people who don’t snore normally will snore after drinking alcohol. Consumption of alcohol 4 to 5 hours before sleeping can make things worse.
We are well aware of the effects of smoking on the circulatory system, but it is harmful to sleep apnea sufferers as well. Tobacco smoke irritates the mucous membranes which cause the throat to swell up, thereby narrowing the airway. Smokers also develop problems of nasal congestion.
Certain compounds in tobacco smoke also act as a muscle relaxant and relax the tissues in your throat, making it expand and blocking off the airways.
Practice Good Sleep Hygiene
Proper sleep habit is also known as poor sleep hygiene, and it can have a similar effect on snoring like drinking alcohol. Working for prolonged hours without getting enough restful sleep every night means your overworked and stressed out body will finally hit the sack and make you fall into deep sleep.
And this deep sleep usually makes the muscles floppier thereby promoting snoring. Therefore, it is important to set up a healthy and routine sleep pattern so that you can go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning.
Use Clean Pillow Covers
Temporary snoring is often caused by allergens that are present on the pillow cover, bed sheets or overhead ceiling fan. The dust mites accumulating on the pillows can trigger an allergic reaction and lead to snoring. Letting your pets to sleep on the bed also increases the chances of inhaling animal dander – yet another common irritant.
Therefore, try to change your pillow and pillow cover frequently and wash your pillow cover in the air fluff cycle once every two weeks to keep away dust mites and allergens.
Open Up Nasal Passages
One of the best ways to keep snoring at bay is to keep the nasal passages open at all times. A clear nasal passage allows the air to pass freely. If your nose is choked or narrowed due to cold or other blockage, then the fasting moving air due to breathing is more likely to produce snoring.
Some of the most effective ways to clear the nasal passages naturally is taking a hot shower before going to bed, using a neti pot to rinse the nasal passages with a salt-water solution. Nasal strips can also aid to lift the nasal passages and open them up.
Anti-Snoring Pills and Devices
A wide range of herbal pills, medicines, and anti-snoring devices are available in the market that is aimed at reducing snoring and curing sleep apnea. The natural enzymes present in these medicines reduce inflammation, swelling and soreness of the nasal tissues and work to reduce snoring. The best thing is that most of these herbal medicines don’t have any side effects.
Using a humidifier also helps to add moisture to the dry air of the room and prevent it from drying out the throat and nasal membranes which contribute to nasal congestion. It also restricts air movement and sets the tissues vibrating.
Pranayama exercises are actually a type of yoga that helps to increase your control over breathing. Regular practice of pranayama breathing exercises helps you to take deep, slow and controlled breaths and get optimum amount of oxygen into your body from the surrounding.
It also promotes blood flow to the brain and increases overall blood circulation which is an amazing method of relaxation. It helps relieve sleeping disorders and sleep apnea, to eliminate snoring and helps you to feel rested, energized and rejuvenated.
Now, enjoy uninterrupted and restful sleep and provide relief to your partner by trying these useful home remedies and lifestyle tips to get rid of snoring.