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Is snoring the bane of your life? Are you embarrassed by your own snoring or does your partner keep you awake while they’re sleeping soundly?
Snoring is one of the most cited reasons for marital issues. Over 40% of adults in the UK are thought to suffer from snoring. So if you’ve ever woken yourself up with your snoring or driven your partner to despair, read on for some natural ways to help stop snoring.
Some people’s natural facial anatomy makes snoring more likely. For example, you may have a narrow airway or a large tongue. While these features are fixed, other factors under your control can also increase the likelihood of snoring.
Many people notice they snore after they’ve consumed alcohol or eaten a heavy meal late in the evening. This is because alcohol can cause the muscles in your airway to relax, making snoring more likely. Sleeping pills can have the same effect. In addition, smokers tend to snore more than non-smokers 1. With older age, throat muscles can become flabby, increasing snoring.
Snoring can also be caused by nasal congestion, for example when you have a cold or are affected by allergies to dust or pollen. Meanwhile, snoring is more likely if you are obese or if you sleep on your back.
One other cause of snoring is food allergies or intolerances. These can cause ongoing inflammation in your body, leading to snoring. A common culprit is dairy, which in some people encourages mucus production, but many people also find wheat to be a problem.
Men are more than twice as likely to snore than women. It’s believed this is because men tend to put on weight around the neck. And snoring can be yet another consequence of the menopause. As women age, muscle tone tends to decrease, increasing the likelihood of snoring. In fact, by age 70, women are equally likely to snore as men.
Because snoring has so many potential causes, a little detective work may be needed to discover what might be causing yours.
Many people find snoring is reduced by wearing strips designed to expand the nasal passageways, making breathing easier. Also helpful can be special mouth guards worn during sleep. These alter the position of your tongue, soft palate or jaw, so preventing any obstruction causing snoring.
If your snoring is linked to nasal or chest congestion, peppermint oil may help. Eucalyptus oil is great at clearing blocked sinuses, too. Pop some on your pillow before you go to sleep or use a steam inhaler.
Give your immune system a helping hand by ensuring you are taking in plenty of vitamin C, vitamin D, echinacea and zinc. Because your gut microbiome is so crucial for the proper functioning of your immune system, making sure yours is in tip-top shape is crucial for reducing inflammation and overcoming allergies. Fermented drinks like kefir and kombucha are great at supporting a healthy microbiome.
Have you ever considered exercising your throat? Toning up the muscles in the throat and tongue may help to avoid your throat area relaxing excessively when you’re asleep 2 . Open your mouth wide then close gently; repeat 10-15 times. Another great exercise is to draw your tongue backwards in your mouth, pressing it into the roof of your mouth.
Don’t suffer alone if you’re affected by snoring. We’ll investigate what’s behind your or a loved one’s snoring and help you regain a good night’s sleep. Contact us today.
Do you need personalised support to prevent snoring? Then book a free 15-minute discovery call to see if Functional Medicine is for you.
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