Murray Grossan, MD, ear, nose and throat specialist, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles. GrossanInstitute.com
Does your partner complain that your snoring keeps him awake at night…or do his raucous snores rob you of needed rest (as is the case in my house)? Snorers’ partners really do suffer—for instance, if we wind up sleep-deprived, our risk for accidents rises. To the rescue: Simple saline.
Sometimes snoring signals sleep apnea, a breathing disorder that should be checked by a doctor. But in many cases, snoring is simply the result of nasal congestion, we heard from otolaryngologist Murray Grossan, MD, author of Free Yourself from Sinus and Allergy Problems—Permanently. Allergies or an infection such as a cold can trigger swelling of the inner lining of the nose, which causes a vibration of the soft palate that creates the snoring sound. Using a saline nasal spray at bedtime moisturizes the nasal passages and reduces inflammation, in turn helping to quiet the snores. But commercial saline sprays often contain preservatives that some people are sensitive to, so they can actually increase congestion. That’s why Dr. Grossan recommended using a homemade solution instead.
What to do: You need one-quarter teaspoon of salt—preferably kosher or canning salt, which are free of the anti-drying agents some people are sensitive to. Stir the salt into one-half cup of water (for safety, use distilled or boiled water) until it dissolves. Pour the mixture into an empty nasal spray bottle (you can find one online for $1.50 plus shipping at http://bit.ly/J1W4TN). Each night at bedtime, spray two or three squirts into each nostril. Use or discard homemade saline within five days.
Option: Take a quick hot shower after using the spray, Dr. Grossan suggested. The steam will further moisturize nasal passages…increasing the odds for blissfully quiet, snore-free slumber.