A new study finds that 40 percent of us snore without realizing it! And the risk increases after age 50 as levels of respiration-stimulating progesterone drop. Thankfully, these surprising strategies can nip snoring in the bud and have you sleeping deep tonight!
Rub eucalyptus on your feet.
You know eucalyptus oil clears sinuses and lungs, and now new evidence finds that rubbing it on the soles of your feet has the power to significantly reduce snoring. “By pressing on specific areas, called reflexes, you improve the flow of blood and oxygen directly to the sinuses,” explains reflexology expert Michelle Ebbin, author of Hands on Feet (Buy on Amazon, $12). “This opens air passageways so you can breathe better and reduce snoring.” To do: Before bed, firmly rub two drops of eucalyptus oil diluted in one teaspoon of foot cream at the base of your middle three toes for 30 seconds on each foot.
Make a funny face.
Try this: Open your mouth and place your tongue against the roof of your mouth, then tighten the muscles you use to swallow so you feel your tongue suction across the top of your mouth. Hold for five seconds. This trick just lessened your chance of snoring by 59 percent, according to Brazilian research. “In the same way that we lift weights to tighten our biceps, toning the muscles around the back of the tongue and throat helps firm the airway,” explains Lisa Billars, M.D., chief of Neurology and Sleep Medicine at Kaiser Permanente in Atlanta. The result: “This improved airway support lessens the amount of vibration occurring with each breath, resulting in decreased snoring.”
Women who have hot flashes are twice as likely to snore — and intriguing Mayo Clinic research suggests that the 80 percent of women who experience night sweats could cut their risk of snoring in half by trading one of their blankets for an extra sheet. How? The extra top sheet draws moisture away from the skin as you sleep, keeping your temperature steady and staving off snoring so you can get deep, restful sleep.
A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.