Need help getting to the Land of Sweet (and silent) Dreams?
Do friends (or other travel passengers) ever comment on your snoring? Do you wake up feeling irritable or tired? Do you suffer from morning headaches? If you answered “yes” to most of these questions, you may have some type of sleep apnea and need to seek professional medical advice. The good news is more likely, you are part of the majority of sleepers who live with “mild snoring” and may be able to find some relief with one of these “grandma’s best” remedies:
- Sleep on your side or with your head elevated
In these sleeping positions, it is less likely that your airways will become obstructed. If sleeping on your side is uncomfortable, place a pillow longways between your knees.
People who are not well-hydrated tend to have dry throats and mouths, so make an extra effort to stay hydrated. If water is not your thing, try herbal teas or infusions.
- Avoid inflammatory foods (like gluten and dairy products)
Try a “real food” diet that mainly includes fresh foods, locally-grown without preservatives or other types of chemical treatments. Reduce gluten and dairy intake to reduce swelling in nasal passages.
- Karaoke (to strengthen your throat and tongue muscles)
Singing is like a workout for your mouth, tongue, and vocal cords. A strong tongue is less likely to relax and obstruct your airway.
- Maintain a healthy weight
The truth is most people who snore are overweight. To find your healthy weight (or BMI range), set realistic weight-loss goals, and maintain this weight.
- Stop smoking
Smoking is the root of many respiratory problems, and snoring is actually a type of breathing. Think of all the money you can save from not buying cigarettes, lighters and air fresheners.
- Tongue twisters
We don’t mean difficult sentences, rather fitness for your tongue! The tongue is a working muscle and, like all muscles, needs to be exercised. Look for simple flexing and stretching tips on the Internet.
- Sleep with a humidifier or do a steam bath for your face/nasal passages.
Adds moisture to the air you breathe. Add essential oils to the water if possible, and for stubborn stuffy noses, try Japanese eucalyptus oil.
- Apply a nasal strip
Although not available in all markets, these thin adhesive strips are said to help open up nasal passages and improve airflow, which reduces snoring.
- Reduce or eliminate alcohol consumption and avoid overeating at night.
Alcohol relaxes your mind, but also the muscles in your throat which contribute to snoring. And eating big dinners means expanding your stomach, which can push on the diaphragm. An elevated diaphragm can lead to snoring.
- See a craniosacral therapist
This is a treatment that comes from alternative medicine; it uses “light touch” to subtly manipulate joints in the skull and sacrum – said to relieve tension and improve the functioning of the central nervous system.
- Head to bed earlier
A “good night’s” sleep is usually 7 hours, and getting more peaceful sleep may help reduce the amount of restless sleep you experience. If going to bed earlier, start with 30 minutes earlier and add time in 15-30 minute increments until you reach 7 hours.
If you are a “mild” snorer some of these tips may help you and those around you get a better night’s sleep. With better sleep, you’ll be able to perform better at work, and have more enjoyment doing the things you love. Good luck and goodnight!
 Sleep apnea is a chronic sleep-related condition which can lead to some very serious health problems if left untreated. Seek medical attention immediately!