Question: I love my husband dearly, but sometimes his snoring drives me up the wall! Are there any natural alternatives that could help us both to get a better night’s sleep?
17 September, 2008 – 18:40
Answer: When our heads hit the pillow, most of us fall asleep with relative ease and sleep like a log until morning.
However one in five of us sound more like we are sawing a log when it comes to slumber time.
Snoring, when the soft palate of the roof of the mouth vibrates making a harsh noise, can have several causes.
Heavy-duty snoring can be a symptom of ‘sleep apnoea’, which is when you stop breathing during sleep.
The body is deprived of oxygen and produces too much adrenaline, which can lead to high blood pressure and an increased risk of angina and other heart disorders.
If snoring is persistent or your husband continuously stops breathing while asleep, insist that he consults his GP.
Usually, however, allergies, inflammation or nasal deformities lead to a blockage, which constricts airflow to the lungs and causes the sleeper to snore.
Other factors can include obesity, lack of exercise and smoking.
For most people the following steps can help considerably:
The herb Marum verum is thought to reduce inflammation of the nasal passages by improving the function of tissues, membranes and nervous pathways in the ear, nose and throat.
Although research is inconclusive, a placebo controlled evaluation on the management of snoring, showed that a homeopathic remedy containing Marum verum was significantly more effective than the placebo.
You should also stop smoking. Smoking increases congestion in your nose and throat and causes swelling of the mucous membranes and upper air passages. It also reduces oxygen uptake by the lungs.
Watch your weight and exercise regularly. Snoring is more common in those who are overweight, probably as a result of more ‘redundant’ tissue in and around the nasal passages and neck.
Regular aerobic exercise will help to keep your weight under control and will also strengthen your overall breathing and lung capacity.
Finally, avoid sleeping on your back, which can cause your tongue to fall to the back of your throat and constrict your airways.
To keep from rolling on to your back, wear a pocketed t-shirt back to front and place a small ball inside the pocket. If you roll onto your back you’ll find it too uncomfortable to stay there.