Even if your snoring isn’t personally keeping you up at night, it’s an embarrassing condition that can make us nervous to share our bed with anyone.
Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do to minimize your snoring. In fact, as long as it isn’t a symptom of a more serious issue like sleep apnea, you may be able to eliminate your snoring completely with one of these natural remedies.
15 ways to stop snoring naturally
1. Switch up your sleeping position.
Do you sleep on your back? It may be time to switch to your side. Sleeping on your back is a risk factor for snoring, as it can position your tongue towards the back of your throat, thereby blocking your airflow. Switching to side sleeping is often the first line of defense recommended by health experts.
Alternately, if your mattress is adjustable, you can adjust the head of your bed to elevate your head and neck and enable easy airflow.
2. Lose weight.
Snoring occurs when there is a blockage or narrowing of your airways during your sleep. One common culprit for this kind of blockage is fatty tissue in the neck or throat.
Exercise can help you lose weight, helping with the point above, but even if you’re not overweight, regular exercise helps you sleep better and reduces snoring.
Exercise improves muscle tone throughout your body, enabling your soft palate and throat to maintain their shape while you sleep.
4. Avoid alcohol before bed.
While alcohol may make you drowsy and induce sleep, it reduces the quality of your sleep and often wakes you up prematurely with the need to urinate or by interfering with your sleep cycle.
It’s already a bad idea to drink before bed, but it’s an especially bad idea for snorers. Snorers should avoid alcohol before bed because it relaxes your throat muscles and causes snoring.
5. Avoid other drugs before bed.
Besides alcohol, other drugs can cause snoring or have other side effects that negatively impact the quality of your sleep.
One such example is sedatives and some prescription sleeping pills. Like alcohol, these relax your body, including your mouth and throat muscles, leading to snoring.
6. Stop smoking.
Smoking is bad for your health, and it’s also bad for sleep. Smoking is linked to sleep-disordered breathing like snoring and sleep apnea, as well as insomnia.
The more you smoke, the more intense your snoring will be.
7. Stay hydrated.
A hydrated nose is a happier nose. The more dehydrated you are, the likelier mucus is to form in your mouth and throat, blocking your airways and making you snore.
The Mayo Clinic recommends 15.5 cups of water for men and 11.5 cups for women daily, give or take, depending on your level of activity. Remember that 20% of this may come from food.
8. Eat better.
Avoid large meals late at night, especially if they contain overly fatty or sugary foods. These can upset your digestive system and make sleep hard to come by.
Snorers should avoid dairy products in particular, as they can leave a layer of mucus behind that blocks your airways.
9. Take a warm bath or shower before bed.
The water’s heat will open up your airways, and as it evaporates off your skin, the temperature decrease will signal to your brain that it’s time for sleep.
Similarly, humidifiers can reintroduce moisture to your bedroom, reducing congestion and making it easier to breathe at night.
10. Get anti-snoring pillows.
Anti-snoring pillows often come in a wedge shape and are made of memory foam. These are designed to keep your airways open in a healthy way that aligns your jaw, neck and throat, along with your spine and the rest of your body.
Dust mites, bacteria, and other allergens from your bedroom can accumulate in your pillows, so regularly wash and replace them every 2 years.
11. Change your pajamas.
If the idea of anti-snoring pillows surprised you, you’ll love this: you can buy anti-snoring pajamas and accessories, too.
These often have a tennis ball or a similar item sewn inside that fits between your shoulder blades. Alternately, you can wear an inflatable belt to create the same effect. The idea is that the tennis ball or air from the belt causes discomfort that rolls you onto your side while you sleep.
12. Strengthen your tongue and throat.
If you’re sick of a floppy tongue blocking your throat, studies have found special tongue and throat exercises can strengthen up the area so it stays clear while you sleep.
The team at ABC News demonstrates 4 exercises you can perform daily for 8 minutes a day.
13. Treat your allergies.
Anyone living with allergies knows what it’s like to have a stuffy nose. Stuffy noses, whether from a temporary illness or chronic allergies, can lead to snoring.
Do what you can to treat underlying allergies to clear up your nose. Invest in a HEPA air filter. Wash your sheets and vacuum regularly. Keep pets out of your bed.
14. Try aromatherapy.
Many aromatherapy practitioners appreciate aromatherapy for its therapeutic benefits. Good smells make us feel great, but certain essential oils can open up your throat and reduce inflammation from allergies or sickness.
Gently rub a few drops of peppermint or eucalyptus oil on the bottom or inside of your nose before bed, or use steam inhalation.
15. Open up your nose.
Like aromatherapy steam inhalation, neti pots also loosen up mucus and clear the nasal passages.
You can also place a nasal strip on the outside of your nose. These help open up your nostrils and increase airflow. Nasal vents do the same by being placed within your nostrils.
If all else fails…
If none of the above tips alleviate your snoring, it’s possible your snoring is a symptom of a more serious health condition. Talk to your doctor. They may diagnose you with sleep apnea or refer you to a sleep clinic for further analysis.