This year’s National Stop Snoring Week runs from 23rd – 29th April to help snorers and partners of snorers get more peaceful nights.
Clinical nutritionist Suzie Sawyer provides some top tips for a better night’s sleep.
Around 45 per cent of us snore at some time in our life and unfortunately the older we get the weaker our throat muscles become with snoring being the inevitable result. Common triggers include over-eating, lack of exercise, too much alcohol, smoking, sleeping position, allergic rhinitis, nasal stuffiness and mouth breathing. While there is no real cure for snoring (apart from surgery, which isn’t 100 per cent successful), there are some lifestyle and nutritional changes that may help.
LOSE A FEW POUNDS
Studies show that one of the main reasons for snoring is being overweight1 and losing a few pounds can improve things hugely. So if you’re overweight and snore, your first line of attack is to get your diet in good shape. If you need support, then seek professional help from a nutritionist.
For starters, cutting out or significantly reducing refined sugars from biscuits, cakes, sweets and fizzy drinks can make a real difference.
We all know that a night on the town can result in heavy snoring. The only way to avoid this is to give boozy nights out a miss. If you’re a snorer and drink alcohol in the evenings, putting down the glass at least four hours before bedtime can often help.
It’s also well known that beer-drinkers often snore more. This is partly due to the yeast content in beer, so changing to wine (or better still abstaining) can also help.
As well as causing myriad health issues, an overgrowth of yeast in the digestive tract can exacerbate snoring. This explains why people who drink beer often snore. However, taking a course of probiotics for a month or so (readily available in health food stores) can help keep yeast overgrowth in check.
Additionally cutting down on high-yeast foods, particularly bread, can really improve things.
TRY DIGESTIVE ENZYMES
Poor digestion can lead to inflammation in the body, which in turn can bring on the snores. Proteolytic enzymes which help break-down proteins are especially beneficial; bromelain, found in pineapples, which can be taken in supplement form with meals, is a great digestive enzyme.
Alternatively, eating some pineapple with your main meal in the evening can help reduce noise later on.
IF NOTHING WORKS
Don’t despair! When a relationship is put under strain due to snoring, outside help is often needed. Surgery should be the last resort, but there are many other tried-and-tested, fully researched methods that can help. Look out for sleep disorder clinics around the UK who can offer sympathetic advice.
Remember: Sleep impairment affects both the snorer and the partner, so it’s important to seek help and advice. Why not use Snoring Week to address the problem.
To find out more: visit the British Snoring website.
- Hamilton GS, Joosten SA. Obstructive sleep apnoea and obesity. Aust Fam Physician 2017; 46 (7): 460-463