Here's an article on how to stop or minimize snoring naturally written by Amy Capetta. It was published in Aol.com on March 31, 2010.

Does your hubby sound like a freight train when he sleeps? Or does he complain that you do? Snoring affects both men and women of all ages. In fact, according to the National Sleep Foundation, approximately 90 million American adults snore -- and 37 million of them do so on a regular basis.

When we fall sleep, the muscles in the back of the throat relax and become "floppy." However, if there is blockage anywhere between the tip of the nose and the vocal chords, the walls of the throat will vibrate, resulting in the sound of a snore. But once your doctor has ruled out a serious sleeping disorder (such as obstructive sleep apnea), there are a number of natural ways you can try to stop snoring and restore the silence in your bedroom.

Try Butterbur
European studies -- two conducted in Switzerland (one of which was reported in the British Medical Journal) and another conducted at the University of Dundee in Scotland -- have concluded that the herb butterbur can be just as effective as Allegra and Zyrtec, two leading allergy drugs. So how does this relate to snoring?

"Snoring occurs because air moves quickly down the back of the throat and causes a vibration of the uvula," explained Michael Breus, Ph.D. author of "Good Night: the Sleep Doctor's 4-Week Program to Better Sleep and Better Health." "If the air can be slowed down, snores will reduce. When congestion is decreased, the nasal airway opens and air slows down, thus reducing snoring."  Butterbur capsules can be purchased at most vitamin shops around the country.

Sing
Watch out, "American Idol" contestants: British researchers gathered 20 normal-weight snorers (since extra weight can contribute to snoring) and asked them to perform vocal exercises for 20 minutes a day for three months. After the trial period, more than half of the participants reported a
decrease in their bouts of snoring. Experts believe that belting out a few tunes can improve muscle control of the soft palate and upper throat tissues, keeping the nighttime noises under control. The results from this small study were so promising that the Otolaryngology Department at The Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital in the United Kingdom decided to further investigate these findings.

Lay Off the Dairy
It all has to do with one word: dampness. Dairy-rich foods can leave behind a trail of mucus in the body.

"Think about it -- if cheese gets wet, it looks like a ball of phlegm," said Elizabeth Trattner, a doctor of Chinese medicine and acupuncturist based in Miami Beach.

She further explained that since dairy foods can be difficult for the body to digest, they can weaken the body's muscles, including those in the windpipe that cause snoring.

"It may be worth taking a four- to six-week trial to see how you feel," she suggested. "Dampness can also be seen as post-nasal drip and allergies, which can also cause snoring."

Plus, less dairy in your diet can lead to weight loss -- including less weight and fatty tissue around the neck -- which has been proven to reduce snoring and even eliminate it, said Trattner.

Eat This Instead
"One of the common causes of snoring is swollen and/or inflamed nasopharyngeal tissue, the area at the far back of the throat and sinuses," said
Tom Potisk, author of "Whole Health Healing." And while some foods can increase this swelling (hello, dairy!), other foods, labeled as anti-inflammatory, can have the opposite effect. According to Potisk, the best ant-inflammatory foods include fruit (except oranges), vegetables (except corn), beans (except soy), nuts (except peanuts), milk substitutes (like rice milk and almond milk) and natural sugar alternatives (like molasses, stevia and agave).

"The benefits people commonly notice with these better food choices, besides less snoring, are more energy, less pain, weight loss and even better concentration ability," he added. "But it requires patience and persistence. Some will notice results in a few days, but most will take three to six weeks for significant change."

Drink a Banana Smoothie
Grab the blender. While further research is needed, study experts from the
University of New England in New South Wales, Australia, believe that phospholipids -- a compound found in bananas, which are known for keeping the throat open, can reduce positive airway pressure during sleep. Why a smoothie? Scientists reported finding higher levels of phospholipids in the mouths of the study volunteers when the bananas were blended than when eaten whole.

Try the Winter Cherry
We know that weight can cause snoring, but many people don't realize that snoring can cause weight gain. Here's how: At the start of each day, our levels of cortisol -- a stress hormone -- naturally increase. But since snorers tend to wake themselves up out of a sound sleep, their cortisol levels will spike during the night since their bodies think it's time to rise and shine. As a result, excess cortisol can slow down the metabolism (causing a weight problem), as well as impair digestion and damage muscles (both of which contribute to snoring) and raise blood-sugar levels (a possible side effect from obesity and lack of sleep).

"This explains why the Ayurvedic herb ashwagandha -- also called winter cherry -- is great for reducing cortisol and promoting sound sleep," said natural health expert Jordan Rubin, founder of the health and wellness company Garden of Life.

A study conducted at Calcutta University found that the herb also reduced inflammation, as well as cortisol and blood-sugar levels in rats.

Change Your Pillow
Your snoring problem may simply lie in your beat-up and worn-out pillow. It's best to sleep on a pillow that will elevate your head, since this slightly raised angle will not only align the head and neck but will also open nasal passages -- two factors that can reduce snoring.


 

He who sleeps half a day has won half a life.

Tim