Habitual snoring is a frustrating problem that can affect your and your partner’s sleep quality. You don’t have to live with a snoring issue, though. There are a wide variety of treatments and lifestyle changes that can decrease or eliminate snoring, many of which are very easy and comfortable. One way to stop snoring is simply to add some foods to your diet. Here are 10 foods to reduce snoring that clear congestion, soothe your throat, and keep your airways open:
1. Soy Milk
A blocked nose is one of the most common causes of snoring because it forces you to breathe through your mouth while you sleep. There are many reasons your nasal passages could become blocked, but one little-known reason is drinking cow’s milk.
Even if you don’t think you’re lactose intolerant, you may be sensitive to cow’s milk. It contains proteins that can trigger an allergic reaction and make your nasal passages swell up. It can also cause your body to create phlegm that makes you congested, which will prevent you from properly breathing through your nose. Soy milk is a good alternative to cow’s milk that provides many of the same nutrients without causing this reaction.
Honey is a great anti-snoring food for two reasons. Firstly, it can reduce swelling in your airways because of its anti-inflammatory properties. When your throat is swollen, the size of your airway is reduced and it’s more likely that the tissues will vibrate and cause snoring as you breathe. Secondly, honey can lubricate and relax your throat, which will stop the tissue vibration. You can drink tea or hot water mixed with honey before you go to bed, or you could eat a spoonful of it plain.
Fish on its own doesn’t do much for reducing snoring, but it makes a great substitute for red meat, which is known to cause snoring. Red meat has inflammatory properties that can irritate your throat and make it swell. If you eat red meat regularly, try limiting it to two meals per week and replacing it with fish, which doesn’t seem to have an effect on your throat or airways. This will provide you with plenty of protein and other nutrients without the inflammation that causes snoring.
Tea is one of the best foods to reduce snoring because it’s so effective for clearing up congestion and phlegm. All types of hot tea can help soothe your throat and clear up your nasal passages, but chamomile, black tea, and green tea are especially effective. If you add some honey to your tea, it will be even more powerful. When you’re sick or experiencing allergies, drink a cup of tea before you go to bed, and you’ll probably sleep better and feel better.
Onions have strong anti-inflammatory properties, so they can soothe your throat and reduce swelling. They’re also great nasal decongestants, so they’re an effective snoring treatment for people who have allergies or the common cold. When your nasal passages are clear, you’ll breathe through your nose while you sleep, which greatly reduces your risk of snoring. Fortunately, you don’t have to eat a raw onion to experience these benefits. Just add some cooked onions to your meals whenever you can, and you might notice your snoring clear up.
Like onion, garlic is a powerful decongestant. It’s an extremely popular home remedy for the common cold because it’s a natural way to clear your nasal passages. Some people eat cloves of raw garlic when they get sick, but you don’t have to do this. To experience the benefits, simply add cooked garlic to your cooking. Garlic goes with many types of dishes, so you should be able to incorporate it into your diet easily.
7. Olive Oil
Olive oil can be a lubricant for the tissue in the back of your mouth and in your throat. Keeping these tissues moistened will reduce how much they vibrate as you breathe. Olive oil can also keep the muscles around your soft palate tight, which stops them from collapsing and blocking your airway while you sleep. When your airway stays wide open, your tissues won’t be close enough together to vibrate and create the snoring sound. If you try this, make sure to use olive oil and not a saturated oil, which can cause acid reflux.
Lavender is a popular natural snoring treatment, especially in essential oil form. Aromatherapy with lavender essential oil has lots of benefits, one of which is its antispasmodic properties. This helps clear up your airways, so air can pass through without making the tissues vibrate. Lavender is also very soothing and relaxing, so it can help you fall asleep and achieve deep, high-quality sleep. You can use lavender by rubbing a few drops of the oil into your hands and then breathing in the scent. You can also add a few drops to a carrier oil, like olive oil or coconut oil, and massage the mixture into your chest and neck.
Peppermint has the same antispasmodic properties as lavender, but it also has anti-inflammatory properties. This will keep your airways open and reduce swelling. The best way to use peppermint to reduce snoring is to add two or three drops of the essential oil to a glass of water and gargle the mixture before you go to sleep. You can also drink a peppermint herbal tea before you go to sleep, as long as it’s caffeine-free.
Turmeric is one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory spices, so it can soothe your throat and reduce snoring. It’s also great for your immune system and can prevent you from catching a sickness and getting congested.
You can add turmeric to your diet by sprinkling it on scrambled eggs, roasted vegetables, soups, rice, or other foods. You can also take turmeric supplements to treat your snoring. If you can’t find turmeric, you can try consuming ginger, which has very similar effects.
Can These Foods Stop Me From Snoring Completely?
Unless your snoring is caused only by a mild case of congestion or inflammation, it’s unlikely that these foods will completely cure you. Most of these foods will help open your airways and clear your nasal passages, which can stop mild snoring or reduce the volume or frequency of your snoring. However, habitual snoring is often caused by other factors that can’t be cured with food.
The benefit of using these foods to treat snoring is that they’re healthy, free of side effects, and possibly already in your kitchen. You may have to combine them with other treatments to completely eliminate your snoring, though.
3 Foods That Can Actually Increase Snoring
Sugar: All types of sugar can worsen snoring, but refined and white sugars are particularly bad. Sugar causes your body to produce more phlegm, which coats your throat and reduces the size of your airway. If your throat becomes so full of mucous that it obstructs the airway, you’ll probably snore all night. There isn’t research yet on whether or not sugar substitutes also cause snoring, but there may be a better option.
Wheat: Lots of people are sensitive to wheat or gluten and don’t know it. While your reaction to wheat may never be bad enough that it makes you feel sick, it could be causing inflammation in your throat. This can obstruct your airway and make you snore. Try going wheat-free or cutting back on wheat for a few weeks, and see whether your snoring and sleep quality have gotten better. Your doctor can also test you for wheat and gluten sensitivity.
Fruit: Fruit is full of vitamins and nutrients, but it also contains fructose, a type of sugar. Unfortunately, fructose can cause increased phlegm and mucous, which can obstruct your airway and make you snore. This reaction usually happens fairly quickly, so you can probably still eat fruit for breakfast and just avoid it in the afternoon and evening.
To make the best effort to stop your snoring problem, consider using a combination of different treatments.
These anti-snoring foods can make a difference on their own, but the benefits will be amplified when used with other snoring treatments.
For example, you could use a tongue-retaining device like Good Morning Snore Solution or a mandibular advancement device like AirSnore, both of which stop your mouth or throat from collapsing and blocking your airway while you sleep. All of these snoring treatments are easy and natural, and they can have an immediate effect on your snoring.