Many a battle in the marital bed has been fought as a result of snoring. It’s a vicious cycle to be woken either by snoring or by a kick. That’s if you’re not kicked out of bed entirely. No matter the cause or the culprit, the bottom line is that it’s costing you valuable sleep. Therefore, it’s not surprising that essential oils for snoring are becoming a popular relationship saver.
Here is the list of essential oils recommended to help stop snoring:
What causes snoring?
Snoring is caused when air stops moving freely through the nose and throat while you sleep. According to the Mayo Clinic the muscles in the roof of your mouth, throat and tongue relax when you go into a deep sleep.
The surrounding tissues relax to such an extent that they begin to vibrate, partially obstructing the airway. Tissue vibration increases with the increased effort to breathe through the airways, resulting in the snoring sound.
Snoring can be caused either by allergies, in which essential oils with anti-histaminic properties can prove effective. These include Lavender, Blue Tansy, Geranium and German Chamomile.
If the snoring is due to inflammation brought about by an infection, antibacterial or antiviral essential oils such as eucalyptus, lavender, marjoram, thyme and tea tree can be applied.
Lastly, in the case of snoring as a result of blocked or congested airways, anti-inflammatory or decongestant essential oils, including peppermint, thyme, Roman chamomile, cedar wood and sandal wood are good choices.
Other, not-so-obvious, reasons for snoring can be obesity and digestive problems. This is even more reason to see a doctor before deciding on treatment.
Whatever the reason for snoring, the consequences can be grim for both the snorer and his or her partner, most importantly as a result of sleep deprivation. Impaired motor skills, irritability, headaches, fatigue and even depression are just some of the possible side-effects of a lack of sleep due to snoring.
Essential oils used for snoring can go a far way to reduce snoring or even eliminating it for good. It is often an excellent short-term solution, but ultimately it remains your responsibility to find a long term solution in consultation with a physician.
Statistics on Snoring
Research published by the British Lung Foundation in 2011 showed that 1 in 3 people loses the equivalent of more than 3 weeks sleep per year as a result of their partner’s snoring.
A survey of 2,500 adults also found that 24% of men said they were kept awake by their partner, compared with 41% of women who complained about their male partners. This led to 39% of partners regularly finding refuge in the guest room, while an astonishing 1 in 9 couples permanently slept apart.
Essential Oils For Snoring
Using essential oils is one of the least intrusive ways to treat snoring and bring harmony back to the bedroom.
The most compelling research on the subject was conducted by Andrew Prichard at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital in England in 2004. He found that the use of essential oils can considerably reduce the occurrence of snoring. The “double-blind study suggested a significant reduction in snoring using either an essential oil spray or gargle formulation”.
The researchers gave 140 snorers from a snoring clinic a spray or a gargle mixture made from essential oils including lavender, thyme, peppermint and lemon. The gargle consisted of a mixture of 6 drops of essential oil diluted in a glass of water and gargled for 3 minutes just before bedtime. The spray was a less diluted blend, sprayed in the back of the throat several times prior to going to sleep.
Fourteen days of gargling and spraying with essential oils for snoring were encouraging to say the least. 82% of the spray group reported a reduction in their partners’ snoring, while 71% of partners in the gargle solution group said they were snoring less.
The 7 Essential Oils for Snoring
Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender oil has soothing qualities and a reputation for reducing anxiety and emotional stress, crucial for a relaxing night’s sleep. There is evidence of its use as far back as Biblical times, and in the 17th century the London apothecary, John Parkinson, wrote lavender is “especially good for all griefs and pains of the head and brain”.
A study published in the Journal of Alternative Complementary Medicine showed that lavender essential oil immediately improved the sleep of five women and five men who struggled with insomnia. An evidence-based study published by the International Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice found that anxiety, sleep disturbance and depression were alleviated by taking a daily supplement of 80 mg of lavender essential oil.
Lavender has antispasmodic properties, which are helpful in clearing the airways. Backing up existing research, psychologists at the Wesleyan University in Connecticut found that lavender increased the percentage of deep or slow-wave sleep (SWS) in men and women. This was after they asked 31 women and men to sniff lavender essential oil one night, and distilled water the next, for four 20-minute periods before they went to sleep.
This confirmed research by the University of Southampton in Britain which tracked the sleep patterns of 10 adults. Half of them snoozed in a room where lavender oil was released in the air during the night. The other half slept in a room where sweet almond ail was diffused. They switched rooms after one week, before reporting that their sleep quality improved by 20% while sleeping in the room filled with the scent from lavender essential oil.
Lavender essential oil can be applied in various ways to aid in sleeping and help against snoring:
- The simplest method is to sprinkle a few drops on your pillow.
- Add lavender oil to an essential oil diffuser unit.
- Rubbing a few drops directly into your temples, neck and chest has also proven to be effective.
- And who doesn’t sleep well after taking a relaxing bath by adding 15 drops of lavender oil and a cup of epsom salts?
Thyme Essential Oil
If you thought thyme was only good as an herb in cooking, think again. Thyme essential oil is known for a myriad of health benefits through its medicinal properties. Different studies have shown that thyme has antispasmodic, anti-rheumatic, antiseptic and bactericidal properties. It supports respiratory wellness, the immune system, and muscular and joint health.
- Rub a few drops of diluted oil not only to the bottom of the feet, but especially under the big toes. According to reflexology charts these spots are the reflex for the neck area.
- Don’t forget to dilute the oil, because undiluted thyme essential oil is known to irritate the skin.
- Mix it at a 50:50 ratio with a carrier oil such as olive, canola, coconut or almond oil. Olive oil might be the best choice because of its reported anti-snoring properties.
- To avoid your sheets from getting oily and (even more) irritation from your sleeping partner, put some socks on after applying the mixture to your feet. It will also help tone down the pungent aroma of the thyme essential oil.
Does it work? Listen to what Katie Newbold Smith wrote in her blog, Please Pass the Green, on how she and husband Will have tried the thyme snoring remedy to preserve their marital bliss three months into their marriage: “Yes, thyme was our unsuspecting answer! …Now into the third week, I would classify Will as a non-snorer! …The snoring has changed to a very deep breathing that is free of any rattle and does not wake either of us up.”
Now if you don’t like the idea of sleeping with oily feet, you can also diffuse thyme essential oil into the air with an aromatherapy diffuser. Start it about 30 minutes before your bedtime and mix in some common essential oil blends if the aroma of pure thyme is too strong for you.
Word of caution:
Avoid thyme essential oil if you are pregnant, and don’t let it get into your nose, ears or eyes. It is also best to speak to your doctor first if you suffer from high blood pressure and want to use thyme oil.
Marjoram Essential Oil
Many people swear by marjoram essential oil against snoring and sleep apnoea. It’s as simple as smelling the oil before bedtime and leaving the jar open beside you on the bedside table during the night. Between 4 to 5 sniffs are adequate for “normal” snorers, with up to 10 sniffs recommended for heavy snorers. Marjoram opens up the airway passages and removes obstructions that typically cause snoring. Marjoram essential oil is also a popular ingredient in many essential oil blends against snoring.
As with lavender and thyme essential oils, it is possible to use marjoram oil in a diffuser. The added benefit of marjoram is that you don’t need it after your body starts to react to it. Therefore, it’s perfectly okay to run the diffuser only a couple of hours during the night.
Be wary as people can have different reactions to marjoram.
In some cases, snorers have joyously reported their snoring stopped on the first night after using marjoram. Others have not seen such quick results, and only noticed a reduction in their snoring after 6 weeks. If you count among the latter, try rubbing a little marjoram essential oil on the area above your top lip for a more concentrated dose (after testing for sensitivity on the back of your hand).
Other well-known uses of marjoram essential oil are for muscle tension, calming and relaxation. It has also shown to be effective in getting rid of mucus and phlegm in the sinuses and throat, as well as congestion of the nasal tract, larynx and pharynx during bouts of colds and viral infections.
Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Everyone knows that eucalyptus helps for cough and colds. In fact, it is effective for treating a range of respiratory problems because of its antimicrobial, antifungal, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiviral and decongestant properties. The smell of eucalyptus is common in medicines and treatments for not only colds, but also nasal congestion, sore throats, sinusitis and asthma.
How to use eucalyptus essential oil
The best way to treat snoring with eucalyptus essential oil is to:
- Add five drops to a bowl of steaming hot water.
- Cover your head with a towel, lean over the bowl and deeply inhale the steam, being careful not to burn yourself.
- Do this for between four and six minutes.
For an even more powerful remedy:
- Add five drops of peppermint oil to the same bowl, preferably shortly before going to bed to clear your airways and reduce inflammation in your nasal passages that may contribute to snoring.
A study that was published in Laryngoscope showed the usefulness of eucalyptus essential oil in treating non-bacterial sinusitis, a condition that can cause or worsen snoring. Patients suffering from this ailment got better faster when treated with medicine containing eucalyptus oil.
Eucalyptus essential oil is also a known treatment for asthma. One to three drops massaged into the chest does wonders to calm the throat and dilate the blood vessels.
Valor Essential Oil Blend
Valor, an essential oil blend containing spruce, rosewood, blue tansy and frankincense, is becoming an increasingly popular natural remedy against snoring due to the positive results experienced by many users. Like thyme essential oil, it is most effective when blended with a carrier oil and applied to the bottoms of your big toes prior to going to sleep.
Spruce seems to be the star ingredient against snoring in the valor essential oil blend. It was identified in a scientific study as one of the essential oils that really helped reduce snoring in patients. Furthermore, the ancient frankincense oil in the blend is high in sesquiterpenes, which stimulates and oxygenates the limbic system of the brain. In turn, it helps us relax and elevates the mood.
Valor Essential Oil Valor essential oil blend generally costs a bit more, but if it works then the money is worth it. The four-oil blend has a soothing, calming smell that also works wonders for children after an overactive and stressful day.
Another interesting fact about the valor essential oil blend, is that it has been called a “chiropractor in a bottle”. The reason being that it is said to electrically align us physically, mentally and emotionally. Rubbing a bit on each side of the jaw also relieves tension in the jaw, making sleep easier.
Peppermint Essential Oil
Along with lavender essential oil, peppermint has been described one of the most versatile essential oils in the world today. It goes without saying that it will also be effective in the treatment of snoring, especially given the soothing effect of the menthol it contains.
The anti-inflammatory properties of peppermint essential oil provide relief from inflammation of the inner mucous lining of your nostrils. Therefore, if your snoring is caused by nasal congestion, peppermint oil is your solution to regain a peaceful night’s sleep.
How to use Peppermint Essential Oil
- Mix it with eucalyptus essential oil and coconut oil for a homemade vapor rub that is also effective to reduce the symptoms of asthma and bronchitis.
- Or rub two to three drops under your nostrils before bedtime.
- Alternatively, inhaling the steam from a bowl of hot water to which two to four drops of peppermint oil has been added, can help reduce swelling in nostrils, opening up the airways to reduce snoring.
- Lastly, pour one drop in a glass of water and gargle with it, making sure not to swallow any of it.
Tea Tree Essential Oil
Like eucalyptus, tea tree is a native plant from Australia that has been widely used to treat many ailments. To date, more than 327 studies have referred to tea tree essential oil’s antimicrobial properties. Together with its natural antiseptic and anti-inflammatory prowess, it is a must-have in your arsenal against snoring.
Tea tree can be used on its own or in combination with other essential oils to help reduce snoring.
How to use Tea Tree Essential Oil
- The simplest method is to inhale one drop of tea tree oil once per day.
- Alternatively, mix one drop of tea tree oil with four drops of ghee. Test it by inserting one drop of the mixture into each nostril. If it’s too strong, it will cause a burning sensation and must be diluted further.
- Finally, a few drops of tea tree essential oil on a handkerchief or tissue near your pillow can work wonders to relieve congestion caused by a cold or bronchitis.
Using Essential Oils for Snoring
There are a few general guidelines and recipes to keep in mind when treating snoring with essential oils.
Five Methods of Applying Essential Oils for Snoring
- Topical application – Generally, essential oils are diluted at a 50:50 ratio with a carrier oil. Mix four to six drops of the essential oil with just as many drops of the carrier oil and massage into the neck, chest, shoulders or feet prior to bedtime.
- Diffuse – Add a few drops to an aromatherapy diffuser unit, diffusing the oil into the air while you sleep.
- Steam – Steaming is especially effective when your snoring is caused by congestion. Pour some drops of the essential oil into a bowl of hot water, cover your head with a towel and inhale the steam to clear your airways.
- Gargle – Make a gargle mixture with the recommended amount of essential oil drops in a glass of water. Gargle for a couple of minutes before bedtime, taking care not to swallow any of the mixture.
- Dab under the nostrils – Apply a drop or two to the area between your top lip and nose prior to sleeping.
Anti-Snoring Foot Oil Recipe
- 2 drops lavender essential oil
- 2 drops thyme essential oil
- 2 drops cedar wood essential oil
- 6 drops olive oil
Mix together and rub into the bottoms of the feet, especially under the big toes, before you climb into bed.
Anti-Snoring Essential Oil Chest Rub
- 5 drops eucalyptus essential oil
- 5 drops lavender essential oil
- 5 drops cinnamon bark essential oil
- 2 drops thyme essential oil
- 2 drops cedar wood essential oil
- 19 drops olive oil or another carrier oil such as coconut or argan oil
Mix all the ingredients together in a dark glass bottle. Shake well before rubbing some of it into your chest prior to bedtime. Breathe deeply to help clear the airways.
Snoring is an unwelcome presence in the bedroom, but it is possible to stop with some help. The top 7 essential oils for snoring – lavender, thyme, marjoram, eucalyptus, valor, peppermint and tea tree – have all been proven to treat snoring to a greater or lesser extent, depending on the individual and the cause of the snoring. Therefore, despite the anti-snoring properties of these essential oils, it is always best to consult a doctor to determine the root cause of your snoring before starting any treatment.
Thanks for reading………Susan 🙂