Researchers say that about 24 out of every 100 adult women and 40 out of every 100 adult males snore regularly. Snoring is common and often not any need for concern, but sometimes, it can be a sign that there is a serious health problem that needs to be addressed, known as sleep apnea.
Health aspects aside, snoring can negatively affect relationships. Being kept awake half the night or more by a partner’s snoring is not conducive to good mood. Like many other ‘conditions’, snoring has an inherited link or component. If your parents and grandparents snore, you will be genetically predisposed to follow.
However, this can exacerbated or mitigated by lifestyle behaviors and even environment. A few of the factors which often worsen snoring, in both incidence and intensity, include:
- Alcohol consumption
- Being overweight
- Being over-tired, often due to stress
- Working in a dusty environment
- Cigarette smoking
The National Sleep Foundation in the United States says this disorder interferes with normal breathing, and can halt the flow of oxygen into the body for as many as 10 or more seconds. This can lead to low blood oxygen levels which negatively affect your health in a number of ways, not to mention poor sleep.
The combination of fragmented sleep and not enough oxygen in your blood means sleep apnea can eventually lead to health problems of the brain, as well as heart attacks, stroke and heart disease.
The typical prescription for sleep apnea is the use of a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine, or CPAP device. When the sleep apnea sufferer goes to bed, they are connected to a CPAP machine, which continually and regularly pushes air into the sleep apnea patient, via an attached face mask. This keeps the airway open, instead of allowing it to be closed off as occurs with sleep apnea.
Naturally Preventing Snoring and Sleep Apnea
The simplest natural answer to sleep apnea is to reach and maintain a healthy body weight. There is a measurable correlation between overweight and sleep apnea. Improving your weight can cure the condition entirely.
If you smoke, kicking the habit can eliminate the problem. Reducing alcohol consumption will also be a positive move.
Essential Oil and Herbal Answers for Snoring
Fenugreek is an herb which improves digestive health, and has been effective for treating sleep apnea. Extremely powerful in very small quantities, essential oils can be combined with water and diffused into the air for a number of health benefits.
Goldenseal and peppermint oil offer effective relief for chest and nasal congestion, which can lead to bouts of snoring. Spearmint is another herb which has been used to remedy snoring for hundreds of years. Breathing peppermint and eucalyptus oils is a good way to clean up your sinuses, and sometimes clogged sinuses are what is causing your snoring.
In people that snore regularly, a deficiency in vitamin C is often found. Eat citrus fruits to improve the amount of vitamin C you ingest, or take a daily supplement.