Expert Advice

How can I stop snoring?

An estimated 12 million Americans (and their partners!) are plagued by noisy nights. Three integrative experts share natural solutions that work.

How can I stop snoring?
Pin it Brian Rea

A sleep specialist says:
Snoring is often considered “normal” because so many of us snore. However, research shows it’s a sign of chronic inflammation in the body. Snoring is also linked to 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—causing us to snore.
Treatment: If you often feel tightness in your throat and catch yourself from saying something you’d like to share, take a look at how well you express yourself. Are you really speaking your truth? Another good move: Sing every day—even if it’s just in the shower. 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

A naturopath says:
Allergic rhinitis—an inflammation of the tissue in the nasal passages due to an allergy—is often to blame. Common causes of allergic rhinitis include dust mites, pet dander, pollen and mold.
Treatment: Buy a high-quality air filter for your bedroom and turn it on at least one hour before bed. Also, 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 to flush allergens from your nasal passages. — 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 wheat or dairy sensitivity— might be to blame. To tell, go on an elimination diet: For two weeks, stop eating all wheat products. The following week, slowly add them back into your diet. If you notice gas, bloating or other digestive issues, you’ve got your culprit. Eliminate dairy products if wheat doesn’t cause digestive issues.
Treatment: In addition to cutting out any foods you’re sensitive to, eat more anti-inflammatory foods (think wild salmon and fresh produce) and reduce your intake of pro-inflammatory foods (anything processed or containing flours). Also, stop drinking alcohol, as that has been linked to snoring. — Beth Reardon, R.D., director of integrative nutrition at Duke Integrative Medicine in Durham, N.C.