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Natural Ways to Quiet Snoring: Tips for a Peaceful Night Sleep

Snoring can interfere with any couple’s rest, but a recent article published in the Mayo Clinic newsletter offers good news if the snoring is due to ordinary causes not linked to the more serious condition of sleep apnea, a serious health concern in which breathing stops during sleep.

Counselors suggest six natural ways to reduce snoring or eliminate it altogether:

• Avoid alcohol ~ Alcohol consumption can cause excessive muscle relaxation in the tongue, mouth and soft palate, causing these to sag into the airway. Avoiding alcohol for at least four hours before bedtime may help.
• Lose weight ~ Extra bulk may constrict airways, contributing to snoring.
• Relieve nasal obstruction ~ Adhesive nasal strips or saline nasal sprays can help reduce nasal obstruction and congestion that contribute to snoring.
• Change sleep positions ~ For those who sleep on their backs, the tongue can sag and narrow the airway during sleep. A physician can suggest techniques to learn how to sleep comfortably in other positions.
• Stop smoking ~ Smoking is associated with an increased risk of snoring. People who stop have a lower rate of snoring.
• Try assistive devices ~ The most effective treatment for snoring is a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. It delivers pressurized air through a mask, keeping the upper airway open during sleep. If a person has difficulty wearing a mask at bedtime, an oral appliance supplied by a specially trained dentist or orthodontist can help keep the throat open.

Though most snoring is harmless, snorers should consult a doctor to rule out sleep apnea.

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