This expert advice might just save your night—and your relationship.
An integrative sleep specialist says:
Snoring is often considered “normal” because so many of us snore. However, research suggests that, more often that not, it is a very early sign of chronic inflammation, which is associated with weight gain, heart disease and a host of other conditions. We’ve also discovered that snoring is associated with a lack of muscle tone in the throat. Many of us keep our throat muscles tight during the day and, as a result, those muscles get too lax at night—which then causes snoring.
If you often feel tightness in your throat that keeps you from saying something you’d like to share, your throat muscles could be the culprits. First, take a look at how well you express yourself. Are you really speaking your truth? Next, sing every day—even if you’re just belting out your favorite song in your car. Singing tones the muscles in the throat to help prevent snoring.
—Rubin Naiman, Ph.D., clinical assistant professor of medicine at the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine in Tucson and author of Healing Night: The Science and Spirit of Sleeping, Dreaming, and Awakening
A naturopath says:
Allergic rhinitis—an inflammation of the tissue in the nasal passages due to an allergy—is often to blame when it comes to snoring. Common causes of allergic rhinitis include environmental allergens such as dust mites, pet dander, pollen and molds.
Buy a high-quality air filter, close your bedroom windows and turn the filter on at least one hour before bed. Other crucial moves: Keep pets out of your bedroom (especially off your bed) and choose hypoallergenic bedding and pillows instead of down. You might also have your home checked for mold— especially if you’ve recently had a leak or plumbing incident. Mold is tough to discover on your own because it grows in the walls. Finally, if your sinuses are congested, use a neti pot before bed every night. The saltwater rinse flushes out allergens and helps
—Nicole Egenberger, N.D., clinic director of Remede Naturopathics in New York City
An integrative nutritionist says:
If environmental allergens have been ruled out, a food allergy— often a wheat or dairy sensitivity—might be to blame. To figure out if this is the cause of your nighttime noise, go on an elimination diet: For two weeks, eliminate all wheat products. The following week, slowly add them back into your diet (reintroducing foods you’ve cut out one at a time, every two to three days). If you notice gas, bloating or other digestive issues, you’ve got your culprit.
TREATMENT: In addition to cutting out any foods you’re sensitive to, eat more anti-inflammatory foods (think wild salmon, fresh fruit, vegetables and other fiber-and nutrient-rich whole foods) and reduce your intake of pro-inflammatory foods (anything processed or containing flours or partially hydrogenated fats). Also, ditch alcohol consumption, as that has been linked to snoring.
—Beth Reardon, R.D., director of integrative nutrition at Duke Integrative Medicine in Durham, N.C.