8 Ways To Prevent Snoring Naturally

5 Min Read | By Gemma Curtis

Last Modified 23 January 2024   First Added 23 March 2017

This article was written and reviewed in line with our editorial policy.

Snoring can result in poor sleep for you and whoever you share a room with. It is caused by the relaxation of muscles in the roof of your mouth, tongue, and throat which can block your airways and cause vibration. You don’t always have to use fancy medication and drastic measures to prevent it.

Are you looking for ways to naturally stop snoring? Here is our podcast with Dr. Pixie Mckenna, and below, eight ways in which you can help snoring prevention with natural remedies.

Maintain a healthy weight

Being overweight, or having a neck with a larger circumference than 16”, increases the chance of fat pushing down on your throat. This is one of the best ways to prevent snoring and will also benefit your general health, too.

The NHS says, ‘Being overweight by just a few kilos can lead to snoring. Fatty tissue around your neck squeezes the airway and prevents air flowing in and out freely’. Eating healthily and introducing exercise into your lifestyle is a safe way to lose weight. NHS Choices has developed a 12-week plan along with the British Dietetic Association to help you lose weight naturally.

Avoid eating before bed

When your stomach is full, it can push up against your diaphragm and affect your rhythmic breathing. Eating spicy or fatty foods before bed can also cause indigestion and other issues which can make you snore.

You should also stay clear of dairy products late at night if you’re looking to prevent snoring. Natural medicine doctor, Dr Josh Axe, says, ‘Drinking milk or having other dairy products can make snoring much worse because it leaves a layer of mucus in your mouth and throat. This mucus adds to the blockage of the airways.’

What to eat to stop snoring?

Try including honey and peppermint in your diet, they both have antispasmodic properties that can help soothe your nose and throat. Honey especially is often used to treat colds. You can also try to eat more fish. This is because fish has a high protein and fatty acid content such as omega 3. This works as a natural remedy to prevent the creation of mucus which can clog your nose resulting in snoring.

Change your sleeping position

Sleeping on your back will increase the likelihood of snoring. WebMD says, ‘Lying on your back makes the base of your tongue and soft palate collapse to the back wall of your throat, causing a vibrating sound during sleep’. Sleeping on your side will help to stop this as it will keep the airways unobstructed.

Place pillows behind you to stop you from rolling over. Or, for a more robust solution, sew a tennis ball into the back of your pyjamas. This will stop you from being able to sleep on your back, without waking you up. Make sure it is a top that fits snugly, or the ball will just reposition and won’t serve its purpose.

Stay hydrated

Dehydration creates a thick mucus in the mouth and throat, which can stick together and cause snoring.

The best way to avoid this build-up and prevent snoring is by drinking enough fluids during the day. The Natural Hydration Council recommends an intake of 2.5 litres of water for men and 2 litres for women per day. They suggest 70-80% should be drunk and the rest should be consumed through foods. Fruit and vegetables are rich in water, so make sure you’re getting your five a day!

Exercise your tongue and throat

It may sound strange, but giving your mouth and tongue a good workout can help you stop snoring naturally. Health experts at Everyday Roots say, ‘Making the muscles in your tongue and throat stronger can help reduce snoring because it decreases the chance of them slipping limply backward when you rest’. There are a few simple daily exercises you can try:

  • Protrude the lower jaw further than the upper jaw with your teeth showing. Count to 10. Repeat this 5-10 times a day.
  • Repeat the phrase ‘the lips, the teeth, the tip of the tongue’ 10-20 times before bed. This will give your tongue a workout.
  • Put your tongue out as straight as possible. Move it left, then right, so that it touches the side of your mouth each time. Perform this in front of your mirror to ensure your tongue stays straight.

Doing these simple exercises will strengthen the muscles within your mouth. This means that when your mouth is relaxed while sleeping, your tongue is less likely to droop back and block your airway.

Avoid alcohol

You should avoid drinking alcohol for at least two hours before bed to prevent snoring. Alcohol can cause the muscles in your throat to relax more than usual, which will mean they are more likely to obstruct your airways. Their relaxed state can also make the muscles vibrate more, which worsens the snoring.

Does Alcohol Affect How We Sleep?

Reduce bedroom allergens

The Sleep School says that ‘nasal congestion and inflammation caused by allergies is a common cause of snoring’.

You can reduce the risk of allergens in your bedroom by hoovering soft furnishings like curtains and carpets. You should also get a new pillow at least once every two years and change your sheets and pillowcases every 1-2 weeks.

Quit smoking

Cigarette smoke irritates the lining of your nose and throat which causes swelling. This means there is less area for the air to travel through easily.

Best Health Magazine says, ‘Tobacco smoke irritates mucous membranes, so your throat swells, narrowing the airway’. Stopping smoking will also increase your overall health, and can reduce the risk of cancers, lung disease and cholesterol.

How to Stop Your Partner Snoring Infographic

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