If you or your partner snores, you might feel frustrated, irritated, and completely exhausted. When you snore, the muscles in the back of your throat relax too much, which causes your soft palate and uvula to collapse and partially block the airway. As air moves in and out, the back of the mouth vibrates against the throat, creating loud noises.
Not only does sleep-disordered breathing make it hard to get enough restful sleep, but it can also contribute to other symptoms and health issues. Many people who snore have difficulty concentrating, memory issues, and increased irritability. It can even lead to concerns like high blood pressure and heart disease. It’s important to recognize sleep-disordered breathing as more than just a nuisance and to seek an effective treatment.
Many people like using devices and mouthpieces that position the jaw in a way that prevents the soft palate and uvula from collapsing. These can be very effective, but some people find them too uncomfortable and can’t commit to using them every night. Fortunately, there are lots of easy and noninvasive treatments that work well, too. One popular treatment is salt therapy, or halotherapy, because it’s completely noninvasive, it doesn’t have any side effects, and it doesn’t create any discomfort.
How Salt Therapy Works
Salt contains sodium ions, which are positive, and chloride ions, which are negative. As you breathe in air that contains salt particles, the salt molecules will enter your lungs’ airways and release the negative ions. This helps clear up mucous and boost your immune response.
The most popular form of halotherapy involves sitting in a special room in a spa that recreates an above-ground salt cave. People usually stay in the room for 45 minutes to an hour for the full effect. Because the room contains so much salt, there are no allergens or pathogens. Any bacteria or other pathogens that enter the room will immediately be killed by the salt. This makes the salt room an optimal place for your lungs to heal while also receiving the salt treatment.
There are also a few different types of at-home salt therapies. You can purchase a salt inhaler for similar effects to the salt room in a spa. It has porcelain filters with Himalayan salt crystals in between. As you inhale, the air absorbs salt particles, which then enter your lungs.
Himalayan salt lamps can have similar effects, too. The light bulb heats up the salt rock, which lets it disperse into the air. Some salt lamps use candles instead of bulbs, and the flame heats up the rock and disperses the salt. Although it probably won’t kill all the pathogens in your home, it does have a purifying effect and can help clear up your airways and nasal passages.
How Halotherapy Affects Snoring
Salt therapy provides a few different benefits that can help with your sleep-disordered breathing. Over time, the salt particles can strengthen the muscles in your throat and mouth, which can prevent them from relaxing too much when you sleep. This will reduce or even completely eliminate the vibrations that cause snoring. It will probably take repeated treatments over a few weeks or months for this to happen, though.
Halotherapy is usually the most effective for people who snore because of nasal or sinus issues. When you’re frequently congested or have blocked nasal passages, it’s difficult or impossible to get enough air when you breathe through your nose. As you sleep, you probably breathe through your mouth, which makes it much more likely that the back of your mouth will collapse and vibrate. Salt is great for relieving nasal congestion, so it could be an easy fix for your sleep-disordered breathing problem.
There haven’t been many scientific studies about the benefits of halotherapy, but many people claim that it’s worked wonders for their snoring. If you have a sleep-disordered breathing problem and want a noninvasive treatment, halotherapy might be worth a try. You won’t have to change your sleeping position or environment, and you won’t have to use any sleeping devices that may be difficult to adjust to. The treatment may clear up your allergies, reduce mucous in your lungs, and make breathing much easier while you sleep.