Does gargling with a garlic mixture really stop you from snoring?
The loud rasping sounds escaping from your mouth each night don’t just bother your bed partner, they also prevent you from getting a good night’s rest, but according to research from the British Snoring & Sleep Apnoea Association (BSSAA), you’re best off avoiding most home remedies – they’ll only make things worse.
For National Stop Snoring Week, staff at the BSSAA decided to take on the task of verifying what kinds of anti-snoring advice actually worked. They gathered all kinds of tips – old wives’ tales, remedies that were used as long ago as the 1800s and other recommendations. They then asked volunteers to test the tips, which included putting a ball in the back of the pyjamas, drinking milk, eating horseradish, gargling with a garlic mixture, rubbing the upper lip of the snorer, putting water under the bed, sucking a dummy, rubbing toothpaste under the snorer’s nostrils and sleeping without pillows.
The sleepy volunteers found that rather than alleviating problematic snoring, the remedies often just added other unwanted side effects such as a sore neck, dry mouth, nightmares and bad breath. Earlier studies back these results. For example, researchers from the Adelaide Institute of Health, Australia, found that the tennis ball technique may be effective at getting a snorer to lie on his/her side, but people don’t stick with it. According to that study, only 10% of study participants stuck with it over a two-year period. And many complained of back pain too.
The BSSAA recommends instead that snorers assess the cause of their problem and then choose a targeted treatment. Their website www.britishsnoring.co.uk/itests allows users to answer specific questions, which then leads to devices that suit your particular problem, such as nasal strips, allergy medication, mouth guards, or even CPAP machines.
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