Foods That Stop Snoring
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Top 10 Ways to Stop Night Time Congestion
May 7, 2009, last updated June 14, 2015

By A. J. Lee, Associate Editor and Featured Columnist

Why Do We Snore?

All the possible causes of snoring reduce down to one
single cause—crowding.  When you think about it, your
throat is like a train station. There are two type of trains
that go through there. One train carries air. The other train
carries food.  Problem is, both trains run on tracks lying
very close to each other.  Your body keeps the tracks
separate –or at least tries to—by making sure neither track
gets damaged, in which case it swells. If it swells, then, it
can cause choking, discomfort, and snoring.

To see how close the two trains are in your head, do a
simple exercise. Place your hand gently on your throat.
Now hum. See where the sound is. Touch where the sound
is. That’s your larynx, your voice box. Air has to reach
there to make any sound at all.  Now, swallow. Touch
where your throat moves.  That’s where food tries to
navigate down the throat to your digestive track through
your esophagus. See how close your food entry point is to
your voice box.  It’s all a very crowded party.   The whole
area where food has to get through and avoid bumping
into air is only about as big as a marshmallow. Okay, maybe
two marshmallows.

Technically, snoring is caused when the soft palate –that’s
the roof of your mouth, starts to flutter when air passes
over it.  That’s it. That’s what causes the sound we know
as snoring.  Ever see a sheet hung out on a line to dry
when the wind blows?  Ever hear the sound it makes as it
flaps in the wind?  That’s the same action going on in your
throat. The soft roof of your mouth relaxes, air—the wind—
blows over it, and it causes the flapping vibrating sound we
know as snoring.

But, why, you may ask, does it only happen at night?
Doesn’t air flow against the roof of my mouth when I am
awake? Why don’t people snore when they are awake?  

The reasons people only snore at night are threefold. First,
the soft palate really only relaxes too much when you don’t
think about it. It really relaxes at night of course. Second,
the throat itself starts to compress the soft palate. It doesn’
t take much pressure.  Ever notice when you get hugged
around the neck that it hurts so much. The throat is
delicate. It’s quite easy to compress it.  Even a child can
hurt an adult’s throat by hugging you around the throat.

That’s why gaining even a little bit of weight can set off
snoring. Even a tiny bit of extra weight on the delicate
throat can compress the soft palate just enough to start
you snoring.  Or even sleeping on your back, so that the
whole weight of the throat pushes down the soft palate.  
All of these are covered in another article on
general tips to
stop snoring.

This article is about the foods you should eat to help
prevent snoring. And the foods you should avoid to stop

Many other factors also increase the incidence of snoring,
and these are covered in our
Sleep Center's main article on
snoring. Such factors include obesity, the position you
sleep in, lack of fitness, aging and associated loss of
general muscle tone, congestion of the throat due to acid
reflux  (heartburn), and, in some cases, the effects of
alcohol or smoking. One of the most overlooked causes of
snoring are dust mites in your mattress. That's what it's a
good idea to air your mattress out once a week by
stripping down the sheets.

Top 5 Foods to Help Stop Snoring

1.        Soy Milk. Cow’s milk actually promotes snoring, in
people who have lactose sensitivities.  The problem stems
from the particular proteins in cow’s milk, which can cause
mild to severe allergic reactions. The allergic reactions
promote congestion, which closes the nasal passages, and
increases snoring.  Cows milk also encourages mucous.  
Using soy milk is a good alternative .  (Read more about the
health dangers of drinking cow's milk.)

2.        Honey.  Try using honey for snoring. Honey is an
anti-inflammatory, and an anti-microbial. During World War
II,  troops in Europe used honey to bind wounds.

Honey has been used as a medicine for over 5000 years.  
Even Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, noted
that honey "cleans sores and ulcers of the lips, heals
carbuncles and running sores."  The swelling in the throat
that causes snoring is reduced when you eat honey.  Try
adding honey to tea before you go to bed. It’s a potion
used by opera singers to relax the throat. And to reduce
crowding around the larynx.   It works for the rest of us as
well. Honey can reduce crowding in the small area of the
throat from the soft palate to the larynx, reduce mucous
and snoring. (Read more about
unusual health benefits of

3.        Fish.  Rather, lack of red meat.  Here, there is some
controversy about the exact connection between meat and
snoring. Red meat is in fact inflammatory. All meats with
saturated fat causes slight spasms in the arteries.  
However, the direct cause-and-effect between general
arterial inflammation and the particular inflammation of the
nasal passages which we know contributes to snoring. The
research is simply not clear or complete.  Best course? Try
cutting back on red, greasy meats for a week or 2 to see if
it helps.

4.        Olive Oil. Or rather, no saturated oils such as butter,
lard or even margarine. Saturated oils contribute to acid
reflux. That’s the reason the hamburger you eat at lunch
comes back to haunt you at night with heartburn. The
grease encourages the escape of the acids which normally
stay confined to your stomach into the upper reaches of
your esophagus, causing the burning. The resulting
inflammation can even reach your upper esophagus and
contribute to snoring.  

Indeed, snoring has been strongly linked with acid reflux,
GERD (defined as having acid reflux several times a week)
and NERD (night time GERD) in several studies. A 2010
study from Osaka City University Graduate School of
Medicine found that those who suffer from night time GERD
are more than twice as likely to suffer from snoring.

Olive oil is anti-inflammatory in general. But here we are
mixing apples and oranges somewhat. Olive oil is anti-
inflammatory as it acts on your arteries. It is not directly
anti-inflammatory with respect to your nasal passages.
However, in clinical studies, somewhat surprisingly, people
who suffer from acid reflux report a decrease in discomfort
once they switch to olive oil or other non-animal fat oils
such as canola oil.  The scientific connection is murky but
the reports from actual sufferers would support some sort
of helpful effect of olive oil on throat swelling. Can’t hurt to
replace your animal oils with olive oil, if you want to reduce

5.        Tea. The connection between tea and snoring is
strong. Certain hot teas can in fact help snoring. Teas
decrease congestion and phlegm. Chamomile tea with
lemon and honey, common black tea with lemon and
honey, green tea, and white tea have all been associated
with reduction of congestion in general. Perhaps the most
storied tea when it comes to reducing snoring is mint tea.
Mint is a decongestant, which is why it is used in so many
commercial decongestants. Reduce congestion and you
reduce snoring.  

Why? Because phlegm acts like a kind of glue, clogging the
nasal passages and the soft palate. Air cannot force its way
through the nasal passages as easily as when you are not
congested, and vibrations result. Congestion causes
swelling by increasing fluids within the tissues of the
throat, which cause loss of muscle tone and,  encourages
the soft tissues that line the airways to flap in the wind.
(Read more about the
health benefits of drinking tea.)

These are all of the foods and drinks which research has
shown have even a marginal connection to reduced
snoring. However, in addition to changing the foods you
eat, there are practices and habits you can change which
are very effective in helping many people to reduce snoring.

We have collected all the effective tips to reduce snoring, in
the following links:
 Stop Snoring-All the Tips That Work/ Snoring
Raises Risk of Stroke/ Snoring Tests/  Sleep Center  /Cows Milk-
Health Dangers/ Top 10 Ways to Stop Night Time Congestion

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What Causes Snoring
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Snorers Cost Spouses 2 Years of Lost Sleep
UCLA Center for Sleep Research
Lose 10lbs -A Simple Plan for The Rest of Us
Why Your Dog Snores
My Heart Attack
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Substitute fish for red meat to help reduce snoring.