If you or your partner suffer from snoring, you are not an isolated case! Indeed, according to Health Insurance, more than 40% of adults over the age of 50 snores regularly. However, they can occur long before, even during childhood. “Snoring is a hoarse noise made during sleep due to ventilation problems in the nasopharynx.
Vibrating parts such as the uvula and the palate veil, when inflated, lead to abnormal vibratory phenomena in certain positions during inspiration,” explains Dr. Patrick Aubé, a general practitioner with a focus on acupuncture and homeopathy and author of “20 medicinal plants to treat yourself every day” and “Les tisanes quite soigner” (Herbal teas that heal) published by Leduc S.
Factors That Promote Snoring
Several factors can promote snoring: overweight, age, allergies, fatigue, ENT phenomena (colds, rhinitis, pharyngitis…), digestive disorders (acidity due to gastroesophageal reflux can cause scratching, irritation, and swelling of the throat), alcohol or tobacco consumption…
“Snoring should never be taken lightly as it can be a symptom of a more serious condition such as sleep apnea. It is important to talk to your doctor so that he can rule out these hypotheses or treat the pathologies concerned,” advises Dr. Patrick Aubé.
If all goes well, it will first be necessary to eliminate the factors that encourage snoring: stop smoking, avoid alcoholic drinks, lose weight… Then, natural solutions can help you.
Lying On Your Side
To start, choose the side position in the bed. If you sleep on your back, your tongue tends to slide down your throat and impede the airflow. To stay in the lateral position, you can sew a pocket or sock on the back of your pajama top and slip a ping-pong or tennis ball into it. This will prevent you from turning over in your sleep.
In the same spirit, there are anti-snoring t-shirts with integrated foam blocks or air cushions. You can also put a nursing pillow or bolster behind your back. It is also advisable to raise your head with a pillow.
Making Infusions to Relieve the Digestive System
“In case of gastric acidity, we can test simple little things to see what happens. One mixes 30g of Matricaire flowers, 20g of flowering tops of Yarrow Millefeuille, 20g of Serpolet leaves, 20g of Marshmallow roots, and 10g of Liquorice roots. One takes a soupspoon of this mixture, and one pours in a mug, 250 ml of boiling water on it. One, let’s infuse ten mn. One filters and one drinks two hours before bedtime”, thus proposes Dr. Aubé.
You will find these plants in an herbalist’s shop. In the case of gastroesophageal reflux, avoid drinking too much liquid in the evening to prevent acid reflux when you are in bed.
If you have poor biliary digestion, with bitter reflux, Dr. Aubé recommends another infusion to protect your liver. For this one, mix 20g of Boldo leaves, 20g of Dandelion flowers, and 20g of Badiane stars. Pour 250 ml of boiling water and let infuse for 10 minutes. Filter and drink a cup of herbal tea morning and noon.
Alleviate Allergic Reactions Through Inhalations
If you are sensitive to dust mites, cat hair, pollen, and other contaminants, inhalations can help you control the irritation of the nasopharyngeal area that promotes snoring. Thus, the doctor recommends putting a drop of Matricaria Essential Oil (EO), one drop of lemon eucalyptus EO, and one drop of fine lavender EO in an inhaler or a bowl of hot water. On the other hand, these essential oils are contraindicated if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, children under seven years, and people allergic to essential oils. Also, inhalations are not recommended for asthmatics and people with facial dermatosis.
Calm Colds, Rhinitis …
Colds, pharyngitis, rhinitis can impede breathing by causing, depending on the case, sneezing, nasal congestion, inflammation of the mucous membranes … This can accentuate nighttime snoring. “To relieve the symptoms of these ENT disorders, and inhalation can be taken in the evening. One drop of ravintsara EO and one drop of tea tree EO is poured into a bowl of hot water or an inhaler,” the doctor suggests. At the same time, blow your nose regularly and use a seawater nasal spray to clear your nose.
Sanitize the Air in The Room
The atmosphere of the room in which you also sleep matters. Make sure there is no pet hair, even if you are not allergic to it. Air your room for at least 10 minutes a day to renew the air.
You can use a humidifier if it’s dry or an air purifier to reduce allergens, fine particles, and bacteria.
Be careful with certain products, however. “When you want to clean up a room, you sometimes use harmful substances or techniques that do more harm than good. Using essential oils in a perfume burner, for example, releases toxic substances during combustion! On the other hand, you can put fine lavender or citrus essences in a diffuser before going into your room,” explains Dr. Patrick Aubé.
Humidify, Moisten, Humidify
If you sleep in a room with dry air, it may promote or cause snoring. Dry air dries out the throat and nasal membranes, contributing to congestion. It makes it harder for air to circulate. By the way, the atmosphere makes the membranes vibrate more quickly. In this case, there are two ways to solve your problem. Either you buy a humidifier like this one, or you move to a humid tropical region 😉
If You Are Overweight, Lose a Few Pounds.
Overweight can cause snoring or make it worse. When you are overweight, you may have excess tissue in your throat that contributes to the noise. The more cluttered your throat, the more air is blocked. It circulates with difficulty, which creates vibrations that cause the snoring noise.
Use Essential Oils
If dry air and nasal congestion make you snore, try adding different essential oils to your vaporizer or humidifier. Some, like peppermint, can help open your airways and clear your sinuses while you sleep.
Self Defense Guide to Snoring
If your spouse is an avid snorer, chances are your relationship will be disrupted. Keep in mind, however, that others had faced this problem before you and survived it. Therefore, before you set sail, you may want to consider taking a few steps to help you cope with the rumblings of your otherwise adorable partner.
- Wear earplugs. These devices are inexpensive and relatively comfortable once you get used to them.
- Consider buying a machine that produces white noise. This electronic device has a familiar sound that covers up other noises.
- Go to bed well before your spouse snores. That way, you’ll start the night in relative peace.
Health Problems and Factors Related to Snoring
In addition to causing discomfort to those who have to endure it, snoring can be linked to respiratory problems. Snoring can disrupt sleep, eventually causing heart disease, diabetes, and mood disorders.
Are Snoring Signs of A Heart Problem?
In a study published in 2008, a group of overweight young men with untreated obstructive sleep apnea were found to take longer to return to normal heart rhythm after vigorous exercise than men of the same age, normal or overweight, and living the same lifestyle but without the condition. The study showed that young men 18 years of age and older who had sleep apnea were at risk for heart problems.
When to See a Doctor for Snoring Problems
“Anyone who snores should be examined because it means they’re not breathing well, which is not healthy,” says David Merrell, clinical director of the Merrell Clinics, which have sleep labs in Calgary and Edmonton. Snorers need to be assessed at a sleep clinic to observe their nighttime breathing and determine if sleep apnea is the cause of their snoring.
You should also be seen if you wake up during the night feeling short of air, or in the morning with a headache, or if you feel drowsy during the day. Sleep apnea can lead to decreased oxygen levels in the blood, eventually leading to high blood pressure and an enlarged heart. In addition to lifestyle changes (losing weight, changing your sleeping position), some doctors recommend using a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine at night. Surgery may also be considered. For more information, consult your doctor.