The Natural Way

Wednesday, August 8, 2001

Freight trains running through Eureka in the wee hours of the morning? Jack hammers pounding away in quiet neighborhoods while folks are trying to sleep? Might seem that way when you try to sleep with a snorer nearby. Snoring isn't just a human thing, as anyone with a contentedly sleeping dog can tell you, but is likely caused by the same anatomy rattling around as breath moves past soft tissue in the mouth, nose and throat.

As the sleeper relaxes and goes into deeper stages, the rattling increases. Most often the snorer isn't even aware of the sound due to the deep sleep. Snoring is very common with both men and women, and may not be harmful except for the disturbance caused in interrupting sleep both for the snorer and the family members.

I'm making a distinction between snoring and a serious condition which can include snoring, called sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is best treated by knowledgeable professionals.

There are many remedies for snoring and none of them works very well. The remedies range from tennis balls sown into pajamas to homeopathic remedies to surgery. All show promise and do help, but none is fool proof. Why would you want to sleep with a tennis ball in your p.j.s? Who uses pajamas anyway? There are a variety of herbal remedies used in spray form, and until now I have not been much of a fan.

MSM, according to Julian Whittaker, MD, when put into solution and dropped into the nose, reduced snoring. I tried this and hated it. But perseverance paid off when I dissolved four grams of powdered MSM in cheap vodka (1 oz.), added a drop or two of orange essential oil, a tablespoon of cooking oil then diluted with purified water to a volume of four ounces. This I put into a spray bottle, shook well (the bottle I mean) and squirted the back of my throat. Didn't taste bad and worked pretty good. No more jackhammers. Window panes and fragile collectibles are safe once again in Eureka.

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