Better Sleep Week: Stop the Snore
The American Sleep Association says nearly half of adults snore. Snoring leads to poor sleep and oftentimes not just for the person doing it.
We cap off our Better Sleep Week series with unique ways to “stop the snore.”
Health expert and author, Dr. Jonny Bowden, shares techniques you might not have tried yet. Essential oil is one of them. He says pick peppermint.
"It's just magical. All you do is get a little essential oil and they're all over the place now. Get a high quality one. You can put it in an aromatizer. I have one in my bedroom and it works wonders. Or gargle with it. Put a couple of drops in a glass of water and gargle. Just don't swallow it," Dr. Bowden said.
The peppermint essential oil has antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce inflammation in the lining of your nostrils and throat which helps ease breathing.
There are also tongue exercises you can try. The National Sleep Foundation recommends these three:
- Push the tip of your tongue against the roof of your mouth and slide the tongue backward. Repeat 20 times.
- Suck your tongue upward so that the entire tongue lies against the roof of your mouth. Repeat 20 times.
- Force the back of your tongue downward against the floor of your mouth while keeping the tip of your tongue in contact with your bottom front teeth.
If tongue exercises seem too tedious, another option is the tennis ball technique.
“Sew a tennis ball into your pajamas. Now why would you do that? Because you want to be uncomfortable on your back and that's a constant reminder. Every time you get on your back, it will be uncomfortable and it will force you to roll over on your side which is a better position (to prevent) snoring," Dr. Bowden said.
The more unique options may not work for everyone, but sleep experts say they do work for some so they’re worth a shot.
You can also try nasal dilators which open up the nose so you can breathe easier without opening your mouth.
If you need to lose weight, that’s also key. “Excess weight can add tissue to the neck that presses and restricts airways, leading to the vibrations that produce snores,” Dr. Bowden explained.