Essential Oils for Snoring and Sleep Apnea
Snoring is a common respiratory noise that affects approximately 90 million American adults.1 The most common causes of snoring are a deviated septum, receding chin, or enlarged tonsils or adenoids. In addition, your airway may be blocked or narrowed during sleep because your throat muscles are more relaxed. Allergies and other medical conditions that cause nasal congestion, including the common cold, may also contribute to snoring.1
Sleep apnea is a chronic condition that only occurs during sleep and often goes undiagnosed. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common form and causes the airway to become blocked or collapse. This leads to shallow breathing or pauses in breath that can range from a few seconds to minutes. When air is pushed through the airway, a loud snoring or chocking sound may occur.2
Regardless of the cause, the end result is usually a poor night’s sleep for both the person who snores and anyone else in the room. Usually, individuals who snore are unaware of their condition and may need to rely on others to inform them. Symptoms of snoring or sleep apnea include headaches in the morning, excessive tiredness, changes in attention or focus, weight gain and not feeling rested after a night’s sleep.1
For those with mild to moderate snoring issues, there are several treatments available. These include changes to your lifestyle, avoiding alcohol consumption four hours before bed, and changing sleep positions. For severe cases of snoring or sleep apnea, the use of special appliances or surgery may be required.1
For individuals diagnosed with sleep apnea, a doctor may prescribe a continuous positive airway pressure appliance (CPAP), a tool which consistently redirects air to the back of the throat to prevent it from collapsing during sleep.1
These options may be expensive, invasive or create more noise than the problem it was designed to solve. Additionally, CPAP machines require an electrical outlet, which may not be easily accessible or alter sleeping arrangements.
Instead, by using essential oils for snoring and essential oils for sleep apnea, users may achieve natural snoring relief through non-invasive methods. Keep reading for more information on how to stop snoring naturally and easy essential oil recipes for snoring.
Essential Oils to Stop Snoring
Preliminary research is beginning to explore what essential oils are good for snoring. Thanks to the advance of high-quality essential oils, and growing interest in natural products, essential oils have become the latest therapeutic method for snoring. To date, the most frequently used essential oils for snoring include eucalyptus, pine, chamomile, and lemon essential oil.
Eucalyptus Essential Oil
One benefit of eucalyptus essential oil is that is has natural decongestant properties. Eucalyptus essential oil may help alleviate symptoms commonly associated with colds, sinus infections, and acute bronchitis. All of which, can cause or aggravate both snoring and sleep apnea.
While studies are preliminary, eucalyptus may also possess antispasmodic, analgesic (pain-relieving) and antiseptic properties.3
Pine Essential Oil
Pine essential oil’s anti-inflammatory propertie have been reported to help calm respiratory conditions. Pine essential oil is considered a natural anti-inflammatory agent and in a 2011 study, pine was observed to help keep airways open and potentially reduce muscle spasms.
Chamomile Essential Oil
One quality of chamomile essential oil is that it has natural sedative properties. Chamomile has traditionally been used as a sleep aid and chamomile essential oil is thought to help improve sleep quality. Chamomile essential oil also contains anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce inflammation of the throat or nasal passage when inhaled.
Lemon Essential Oil
While there are several health benefits of lemon essential oil, in recent years it has been used as an alternative treatment for throat infections. Lemon essential oil is believed to have antispasmodic properties that help lubricate the tissue in the back of the throat.3
In a 2004 double-blind study, researchers examined the effects of an essential oil spray and essential oil gargle formulation for snoring. 140 adult snorers were split into control or experiment groups. The two natural snoring remedies contained a blend of various essential oils, including lemon, peppermint, wild mint, clove, melissa, fennel, sage, thyme, lemongrass, eucalyptus, lavender, and pine essential oil.3
At the end of the study, 82% of participants’ partners reported a decrease in snoring. A 71% decrease was noted for participants using the essential oil gargle. In comparison, only 44% of participants in the placebo group were noted to have a decrease in snoring.3
Note: While these results are promising, participants were under the strict supervision of medical professionals. Do not ingest or gargle essential oils without the guidance of a health care provider.
Essential Oils for Snoring Recipes
To help relieve snoring, essential oils may be diffused in the room before or during sleep. Alternatively, users can place a couple drops in the corner of a pillow case or under their nose for a more concentrated aroma.
For a natural snoring and sleep apnea remedy, combine 2 drops each of eucalyptus, lemon and pine essential oil into a diffuser 30 minutes before going to bed. Ensure that the diffuser is in the bedroom for best results. If users wish, they may leave the diffuser on throughout the night. Users have reported that with regular use of these essential oils, snoring intensity or duration should be reduced.
Alternatively, users can create a homemade essential oils sleep apnea rub. Add 2-3 drops of eucalyptus essential oil to 1 Tbsp. of a carrier oil, such as coconut. Rub the mixture on the chest and neck before going to bed.
Scientific Research Referenced in this Article
- National Sleep Foundation. (n.d.). Snoring and sleep. Retrieved April 28, 2017 from https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-disorders-problems/other-sleep-disorders/snoring – View reference
- National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. (2012, July 10). What is sleep apnea? Retrieved April 30, 2017 from https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/sleepapnea – View reference
- Prichard, A. J. (2004). The use of essential oils to treat snoring. Phytotherapy Research, 18(9), 696-699. doi:1002/ptr.1360