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Sleep, Oh Peaceful Sleep

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Snoring, an involuntary malfunction of the nasal air passages, is the bane of the bedroom. The severity of snoring ranges from occasional low-level noises to a nightly reverberating, bedroom-shattering din.

Snoring, an involuntary malfunction of the nasal air passages, is the bane of the bedroom. The severity of snoring ranges from occasional low-level noises to a nightly reverberating, bedroom-shattering din.

Obstruction of the nasal passages is the cause of snoring. Nasal obstructions include polyps, irritation of the soft tissue from nasal drip, tumours, and infections. Several factors exacerbate this condition, but two that can be avoided are consuming alcohol at bedtime and smoking. Medications, tranquilizers, and sedatives can also worsen the condition. Don't discontinue any medications without first discussing with your prescribing health practitioner.

Natural approaches to lessening the frequency and volume of snoring are often very effective. Replace old pillows or sagging mattresses they can cause restless sleep. An allergy to feather pillows is easily addressed with a cotton-covered, synthetically filled one.

Relaxation prior to bedtime is essential. The hour before bedtime must be stress free. A small cup of camomile tea will help the mind to wind down, and a lavender sachet slipped under the pillow will release a subtle, relaxing scent throughout the night. There are several natural products available in health food stores that can help prevent snoring (see sidebar).

When your partner complains about your snoring, don't go into denial do something about it. A good night's sleep is one of the best things in life.

Herbal Remedy for a Snore-Free Sleep

  1. Mix equal parts sage leaves and linden flowers.
  2. Pour 1 cup (250 mL) of boiling water over 1 tsp (5 mL) of the herbs; steep for 10 minutes, then strain.

Drink one 1 cup daily for three weeks.

Source: Encyclopedia of Natural Healing (alive Publishing Group, 2002).

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