How to Stop Snoring Naturally

How to Stop Snoring Naturally


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About 90 million Americans snore when they sleep and 37 million people report that it affects them nightly, according to the National Sleep Foundation. In the simplest of definitions, snoring happens as a result of air being squeezed through a narrow or blocked airway.

“And the more you snore, the worse it gets,” says Dr. Martha Cortes, a New York City-based sleep expert and practicing dentist. “There’s no such thing as snoring only — it’s a continuum.”

In fact, heavy snoring and sleep apnea may be linked to memory and thinking decline at an earlier age, according to a 2015 study published in neurology† Since sufferers involuntarily stop breathing during the night, sleep apnea is a serious disorder that requires medical attention. But if you’re ready to put an end to “simple” snoring, try these five lifestyle changes for a more peaceful slumber.

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Once you doze off, the muscles in your throat relax. Then, the walls of your “floppy” throat begin to vibrate as you breathe in and out (and the narrower your airway, the more obnoxious the snore).

“In general, people who gain a few extra pounds will develop a little fat in the airway,” Dr. Cortes says. Her important dietary tip: Avoid food and alcohol at least three hours before bedtime because they can make the soft tissue more flaccid.

“It’s simple gravity,” Dr. Cortes says. You snore more when you sleep on your back than your side because the base of the tongue and soft palate collapse into the back of your throat.

Hugging a full-length body pillow may keep you (or your bed partner) snoozing the right way throughout the night. “That’s because it can hold your back and belly,” she explains.


Flush your nasal passages.

Clearing your sinuses can have a huge impact on your nighttime breathing, and believe it or not, 30% of people have year-round nasal cavity congestion, Cortes says. She suggests using a nasal spray before hitting the sheets. Her fave: Arm & Hammer Simply Saline Nasal Mist, which is made with salt, water and baking soda.

“As we get older, the tissues lining the throat become flaccid, especially if we are predisposed to sleep apnea,” Cortes says. She advises her patients with narrow airways to chew gum (she prefers sugar-free resin gums from Greece and Turkey) for 20 minutes a day, twice a day, in order to exercise the mouth, tongue, jaw and facial muscles.

“When I come into the office, the first things I do are write my reports and chew gum,” says Cortes. “I sound like a cow, but it makes my tongue stronger.”

Doing mouth or tongue exercises helped reduce the frequency of snoring by 36% in patients suffering from a mild form of sleep apnea, according to a 2015 study.

One workout that researchers found to be effective was pushing the tip of the tongue against the roof of the mouth and sliding the tongue backward. A second: Sucking the tongue upward against the roof of the mouth and pressing the entire tongue against the roof of the mouth.

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