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General characteristics

General characteristics

Snoring is the noise that is made when breathing during sleep. It is sometimes a symptom of sleep apnoea which is a more dangerous condition whereby the airways are dramatically reduced and airflow and therefore oxygen flow is severely reduced. Snoring can occur as a result of breathing through the mouth when asleep but can also occur when breathing through the nose. The noise usually arises from the air vibrating mouth/nose/throat structures as it squeezes through narrowed or inflamed breathing passages.

It has a variety of causes, the most common being some sort of obstruction of the breathing passages (which can be due to inflammation from a cold, virus or nasal polyps), over-relaxed tissues in the upper respiratory passages, sinusitis, allergies, high blood pressure, hypothyroidism, mis-aligned jaw or mouth structures, tension, hormonal disturbances, acid reflux (which inflames airways in the throat), sleeping on the back (jaw relaxes, drops open and snoring occurs), being overweight, increasing age, some pharmaceutical medicines (statins, sleeping pills) and overindulgence in alcohol or foods, especially last thing at night.

Apart from bothering your sleeping partner it can mean a reduced amount of oxygen is inhaled during the night, frequent waking can leave the snorer more tired and irritable etc. and is linked to higher likelihoods of other diseases generally.

Healing objectives are to determine the cause of the snoring and treat accordingly and making appropriate changes to diet and sleeping habits.

Diet and lifestyle

Diet and lifestyle

Eat plenty of foods that are rich in anti-oxidants. This includes all fresh fruit and vegetables but in particular the berry fruits and green leaves. Many people find that adding more 'super foods' to their diet has dramatically reduced or eliminated snoring.

Avoid foods that are high in sugars such as refined carbohydrates and junk and processed foods.

Drink plenty of fluids daily to stay well hydrated. Dehydration can lead to an increase in mucous production which can cause snoring.

Avoid mucous forming foods such as dairy, wheat and sugars.

Don't eat meals for several hours before bedtime.

Avoid large amounts of alcohol before bed.

Useful herbs

Useful herbs

Dab a few drops of olbas oil, eucalyptus, lavender, marjoram or pine essential oil under the nostrils, at the lower neck or as a steam inhalation (a few drops of oil in boiling water) to help decongest the airways.

Try gargling with astringent herbs such as raspberry leaf, sage or cransebill in tea form at bedtime. Use 2 teaspoons of each and rinse thoroughly around the mouth until swallowing each mouthful. Try this for up to 2 weeks to see if it works for you.

Crampbark is reputed to help stop snoring.

Natural healing

Natural healing

Try sleeping on your side. Prop cushions around you to try and keep on your side through the night or sew a cork into the back of your nightclothes, this will feel uncomfortable when you roll onto it.

Some people have found relief by taking a teaspoon of cider vinegar in water daily, works when the snoring is caused by sinus or nasal blockages and also acid reflux.

Try a teaspoon of coconut oil daily and perhaps dab a bit under the nose before sleep. It helps especially if snoring is linked to allergies and sensitivities.

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