A soft, gentle snore can be a soothing sound to some spouses, but when that snore turns into the sound of a train roaring through your bedroom, it can affect everyone in the house. A good night’s sleep is essential to optimal health and energy and helps ward off serious illness, such as heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and more. So how to you stop the train? Many sleepless people have turned, in frustration and fatigue, to medications or even surgery – which often cause more serious health issues via side effects. Before you do, you may wish to explore some natural cures to snoring.
Snoring is a result of a vibration in the throat, which occurs when the muscles and surrounding tissue relax, narrowing the airway. Snoring can be light and minor or more serious, as in sleep apnea. Sleep Apnea is a common condition related to snoring, but can be quite serious, causing the airway to close completely, cutting off oxygen to the heart and brain. If you snore severely, wake up tired (even after an eight-hour sleep), or your snoring wakes you up in the night, you may have sleep apnea. An overnight sleep study test, usually conducted in a sleep center or local hospital can determine if you have sleep apnea. Sleep Apnea can cause high blood pressure, fatigue, and even death.
Whether you have sleep apnea or minor snoring, there are treatments and options available for you to improve your sleep, eliminate snoring and increase your energy:
1. Nasal strips – applied to the bridge of the nose before betime can help to open the airway and reduce snoring.
2. Throat sprays and dissolving strips – these often suspend the tissue in the throat, preventing closure and reducing the vibration.
3. C-Pap machines – a more assertive approach, this small machine is prescribed by a physician (usually after an abnormal sleep study) which creates an airflow that travels through plastic tubing and into the nose and/or mouth (depending on the type of equipment used). C-Pap machines are notorious for inducing a deeper, more effective sleep an can be infused with aromatherapy or a humidifier.
4. Nasal or mouth inserts – usually plastic, these are small ‘contraptions’ inserted in the nose or mouth to open the airway by altering the position of the jaw or by widening the nasal canal.
5. Sleeping positions – if your snoring is minor and occurs primarily when you are sleeping on your back, a simple change in position may help cure the snoring. Sleeping on your stomach with your head turned to the side may help. If you are 15 pounds or more over overweight, weight loss through better eating and exercise can, in some cases, completely cure snoring.
6. Alternative Medicine – strategies such as hypnotherapy and accupuncture have been shown to be effective as well.
These are just some of the most popular and natural options available to you. If your snoring is severe – affecting others in the home and awakening you at night – you should see your health practitioner to discover what option is best for you before turning to expensive and risky medications or surgery.