Snoring can disrupt sleep and cause strain in relationships. Imagine if your partner snores all night. Your sleep pattern and quality will be affected. The result is tiredness, poor concentration and irritability throughout the day.

What if I told you that you can start treating snoring problems naturally using essential oils?

If you are a snorer, your doctor will most likely advise you to change your sleeping position, quit smoking and alcohol, and perhaps lose weight. You may also try anti-snoring exercises to help reduce the problem.

But when you want to add to your list of remedies, a good essential oil for snoring can really help reduce your sleep problems.

What is essential oil?

An essential oil is one that is obtained directly from flowers or natural plants. What makes it unique is that it captures the plant’s flavor and scent. That is why it is called ‘essential’ derived from the ‘essence’ of the plant.

The oils naturally occur in seeds, flowers, roots, leaves, fruits and other parts of a plant. For thousands of years, these oils have been used in natural medicine and making perfumes, fresheners, body sprays and many other products.

Which one to buy for snoring

So, which oil is the best and most effective at reducing snoring? Here’s a list of our top 5 essential oils for anti-snoring aromatherapy.

ImageNameRating
Best essential oil for snoring - DoTerra#1. Blend: doTerra Respiratory Blend of Essential Oils5/5
Marjoram oil for snoring#2. Marjoram: NOW Marjoram Oil5/5
Thyme essential oil#3. Thyme: Thyme 100% Pure Therapeutic Grade Essential Oil by Edens Garden4.9/5
Peppermint#4. Peppermint: Peppermint Essential Oil (10% Mentha Furan) - 100% Pure & Natural4.9/5
Lavender essential oil for snoring#5: Lavender: Lavender 100% Pure Essential Oil by Plantlife Natural Body Care4.7/5

Some of these oils have antispasmodic properties that help stop snoring. More on these oils and how to use them below.

What makes essential oils good for snoring and sleep apnea?

The use of essential oil for snoring relief is also called aromatherapy. It is an alternative medicine approach that uses the pure oils from trees, plants or herbs as a complementary health approach.[1]

But how can aromatherapy using essential oils help in curing snoring and other sleep disorders?

Consider how much you depend on different senses every day – sight, taste, hearing, smell, and touch. The sense of smell may not seem very important but it helps you sense clues of danger (such as leaking gas in the house) as well as other pleasant smells.

Research has shown that people who lose their sense of smell (anosmia) have a higher risk of developing mood disorders and other psychological conditions such as paranoia, anxiety, and depression. All these can affect the quality of sleep.

Human beings have the ability to differentiate between 10,000 and 100,000 different smells and even remember each of them. Aromatherapy taps into this ability to relieve symptoms that affect sleep and lead to sleep apnea.

Scientists have found that the reaction induced by the smell of essential oils in the body can produce various positive effects including:

  • Stimulation
  • Sedation
  • Calming effects

A study published in the US National Library of Medicine suggests that there is “a significant reduction in snoring reported by bed partners in a group of snoring volunteers using either an essential oil spray or gargle formulation.”[2]

The type of essential oil that will be effective in treating the snoring disorder you have will depend on the primary cause.

For example, some oils will help decongest a blocked nose that is causing mouth breathing and snoring. These include sandalwood, peppermint, thyme and pine needle.

Let’s look at each of these oils and see how they help reduce snoring and treat sleep apnea.

Top 10 Best essential oils for snoring

best essential oils for snoring -stop snoring due to congestion
What is the best essential oil for snoring treatment?

According to a study by the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, 82 percent of the patients used as subjects using essential oils reported a noticeable reduction in snoring. You too can get similar relief. But what is the best essential oil for snoring and treating sleep apnea? Here’s insight into each of the top rated pure natural oils.

1. Marjoram essential oil

The marjoram plant (also widely known as Oregano) is a perennial shrub with a sweet pine and citrus flavor. It is widely known and used for its expectorant, antibacterial, antifungal properties. The main compound, terpinen-4-ol makes it a potent oil for its uses.[3]

The essential oil is extracted through steam distillation of fresh or dried leaves of the plant.

Mild snorers usually suffer because of congestion from excess phlegm and mucus in the throat, larynx, bronchi, lungs, pharynx, and nose. These result in blockage of the sinuses, leading to breathing through the mouth and snoring.

If you suspect that you are snoring due to blockage, marjoram essential oil is the best solution to help you get relief from snoring.

  • Smelling a little marjoram oil before going to bed or while in bed helps to clear airway passages. Once the sinuses are opened up, you will not experience snoring and obstructive sleep apnea as usual.
  • Note that once the oil is in your system, you may not need to sniff it anymore. You can, however, run it in your diffuser and set it on a 2-hour shutdown setting to prevent it from running all night.

How effective is this oil in stopping snoring?

Different people react in different ways to essential oils. How effective it is may vary from one person to another. For example, there have been reports online suggesting that some people stopped snoring the same night they started using marjoram oil.

Others have complained that it took longer to see results – at least six weeks of continuous use.

From most reviews, heavy snorers may not see quick results, especially if the cause is something other than sinus congestion. In short, marjoram essential oil reduces snoring in the following ways:

  • Opening up the airways
  • Helping with toning loose muscles in the throat
  • Removing phlegm and mucus that congests the airways

How to use it

To use it, rub a little of it around your nose, neck area and chest just before going to bed. Here’s a quick anti-snoring recipe with this essential oil.

  • Mix 1 teaspoon of a carrier oil or diffuser with 4 drops of marjoram oil.
  • Apply it on your nostrils, concentrating on the outer rims.
  • You can also apply it just above the top lip.

The intense aroma it produces will help decongest your nose and unblock it to allow you to breathe through the nose.

WARNING: Do NOT use marjoram oil if you are pregnant.

2. Lavender oil

Pure lavender oil is one of the best home remedies in any household. It has a wide range of benefits including relieving pain, scalp disinfection, enhancing the circulation of blood and most importantly, treating respiratory problems.

The oil has soothing properties and will help you relax for better quality sleep. The pleasant fragrance of the herb produces anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antibacterial properties.[4]

How does it help snoring patients?

According to a study carried out by the University of Southampton, people who used lavender essential oil enjoyed 20% better sleep on average. This occurred when they used diffused lavender oil during the night. But how does it work?

A study published in the Korean Journal of Adult Nursing points out that “aromatherapy essential oils including lavender, rosemary, and sandalwood help improve sleep quality and decrease fatigue.”[5]

The lavender plant has antispasmodic properties and will help to clear your airways. This is particularly good if you are a snorer because of asthma, chest and sinus congestion nasal blockage.

Continued use of this aromatherapy treatment for snoring will improve your breathing at night and eventually get rid of sleep apnea that results from snoring complications.

Some snoring patients suffer from asthma as well. For this, lavender essential oil for snoring is a perfect fit for quick relief. A study has been able to show that “lavender oil inhalation inhibited airway resistance caused by bronchial asthma.”

How to use it

There are various ways of using this oil to stop snoring and enhance better breathing during sleep. Here are some of the best ways you can put it to use if you are a snorer.

  • Try to inhale lavender essential oil with steam inhalation. You can use a diffuser or a warm bath just before bed to get rid of a cough and open up airways.
  • Put a few drops of pure natural lavender oil extract on your pillow to promote clear breathing.
  • Put the oil in a vapor rub just before sleeping to prevent snoring.

3. Thyme oil

Thyme is a low-growing aromatic plant. It belongs to the mint family and has a strong pleasant scent. Although it is commonly used as a culinary kitchen herb, its extracted oil has medicinal value.

The commonly known benefits of thyme include improving eyesight, relieving stress, improving heart health, curing bronchitis and asthma, and stimulating the flow of blood.

But that is not all. Very few people know that thyme is one of the best essential oils for snoring and treating various sleep-related disorders including sleep apnea.

Some testimonies and reviews have shown that this oil gives relief from snoring. Here’s an example:

After about a week I still didn’t notice much of a change in his snoring, BUT the second week I noticed that if he was snoring, all I had to do to get him to stop was gently touch his arm, not even waking him up. This was a huge breakthrough!” [Katie Newbold Smith][6]

Thyme oil is the best if you suffer from interrupted sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea can cause problems getting enough sleep and what you need is an anti-snoring essential oil that will get rid of your anxiety and help you sleep better.

This oil soothes the nervous system, meaning that you will be able to enjoy deep uninterrupted sleep without snores.

To use thyme essential oil:

  • Mix thyme oil with olive oil in the ratio of 1:1
  • Smear or on the bottom of your feet and on your wrists before going to bed.

Alternatively, if you are using a humidifier to keep your bedroom air moist, add a little thyme essential oil to help prevent snoring. It can also be added to any other steam inhalation treatments you may be using.

Precaution: If you are pregnant, do not use thyme oil. It can easily trigger a miscarriage since it usually induces menstruation. Similarly, people with high blood pressure should not use the oil because it can worsen the condition.

4. Sage essential oil

Sage is a member of the mint plant family called Lamiaceae. It has a wide range of uses including as an ornamental garden plant, medicinal and for cooking.

The shrub has silver-green leaves and can act as a very good fragrant addition to your garden.

Like other oils such as rosemary and lavender, sage has been used for thousands of years for medicinal purposes.

If you are suffering from sore throat, you can use it in your tea for quick relief. As an anti-snoring treatment, the herb has an anti-inflammatory effect on the respiratory tract. Using it will provide relief from sinus infections and stop snoring fast.

This home remedy is recommended for people who are suffering from mouth breathing and snoring caused by a temporary illness such as nasal blockage and sinus congestion.

How to use sage

  • Add 5 drops of essential safe oil to 1 teaspoon of coconut oil.
  • Rub it on your neck, chest, and shoulders before going to bed at night.

The aroma in the room will help clear congested sinuses as you sleep. This will help reduce snoring through your nose and mouth.

5. Peppermint

Peppermint oil is obtained from a plant that is a hybrid between a spearmint and watermint. It grows in the wild although people also grow it in their homes.

You may already know it from its strong menthol scent and its use as a mosquito repellent. Most herbal teas use this as an ingredient. But that is not all.

Peppermint is one of the best essential oils for snoring treatment because it helps relieve symptoms of a blocked nose, colds, inflamed sinuses and congestion.

According to Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM, “The expectorant action of peppermint oil can help clear symptoms of upper respiratory congestion that may stem from allergies, asthma, cold, flu, bronchitis, and the like.”[7]

Mild snorers can get relief quickly if they use the strong aromatic oil at night to clear congestion and prevent mouth and nasal snoring. In fact, for non-chronic snorers, all you may need is a good natural expectorant and decongestant to clear the respiratory tract.

How to use it

There are various ways of using peppermint oil to stop snoring. My favorite is rubbing it on the chest and inhaling it through a vaporizer. This usually clears nasal congestion fast to give relief from a cough and cold symptoms.

Alternatively:

  • Add two drops of peppermint into a glass of warm water.
  • Gargle the water in your throat before going to bed. Ensure you do not swallow it.
  • If you are getting a dry mouth and throat that’s causing you to snore while asleep, add a little peppermint essential oil to your humidifier.
  • Allow it to run for 30 minutes before you go to bed. This will help you stop snoring that night.

What if you do not have a humidifier? That should not worry you. Rub a tiny amount of the oil on the lower parts of each nose so that you are able to inhale it all night.

6. Lemon oil

Lemon has many benefits and is used as a home remedy for various problems. There are certainly more health benefits of its essential oils. In recent applications, it has been used as an alternative treatment for throat infections.

The essential oil has antispasmodic properties. This means that when you use it, it will help lubricate your throat and do away with irritation and congestion.

Lemon is, in most cases, used with ginger and honey to treat obstructive sleep apnea and other respiratory difficulties.

Asthmatics are common culprits of night snoring due to an obstructed nose.

  • The vitamin C in lemon suppresses the body’s ability to produce inflammatory molecules that cause swelling in the airways leading to snoring and asthma attacks.
  • Lemon also reduces the sensitivity level of bronchioles to allergens such as histamine.
  • It is also a strong antibiotic and anti-viral natural medication. With no lung infections, you are less likely to suffer from nasal congestion (that often leads to snoring) and asthma attacks.

There are various ways of using lemon to stop snoring. Applying it in your diffuser or dabbing it into your nostrils will ensure you enjoy the benefits of the oil. Alternatively, here’s a recipe you can try:

  • Add 3 drops of lemon essential oil into a glass of lukewarm water.
  • Gargle with it for 2 minutes.
  • Spit and rinse your mouth.

Sometimes, you can combine the lemon oil with other essential oils such as marjoram, lavender and a carrier oil of your choice such as jojoba oil.

7. Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil is a powerful antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial essential oil. It has many uses as a natural home remedy for treating different ailments.

One of its uses is treating respiratory problems such as soothing respiratory passages to help normalize breathing. It can also help to eliminate infections that often lead to overproduction of mucus.

In many countries where alternative medicine is practiced, such as Australia, tea tree oil is popular for its efficiency in getting rid of respiratory viruses, bacteria and other microbes. It is touted to be good at removing most infections that are resistant to conventional therapy.

Various studies have shown that tea tree oil is a potent antiseptic, antibacterial, anti-virus and antibiotic agent. It is also a strong anti-inflammatory medication.[8]

In fact, this essential oil is widely used in many pharmaceutical products and remedies that treat respiratory system infections.

A May 2016 study found that a preparation made from tea tree oil can be inhaled and used as a treatment for patients who suffer from pneumonia and other respiratory problems that can cause snoring and sleep apnea.

How to best use tea tree oil essential oil for snoring

Tea tree oil should not be consumed directly. Instead, it should be used with a diffuser, and in small amounts. In order to stop snoring and cure obstructive sleep apnea, diffuse it in very small quantities throughout your bedroom.

Alternatively, you can blend it with another oil such as coconut oil. Apply it just above your top lip before going to bed. This will ensure that it works fast and lasts throughout the night. You will enjoy your night sleep without congestion and breathing easily and freely.

Caution: Tea tree oil can exhibit strong acidic properties and can easily cause reactions when applied topically on a sensitive skin. Ensure you dilute it adequately before applying it around your nose and mouth.

8. Eucalyptus oil

Eucalyptus is one of my favorites when it comes to decongesting my nose and airways. It works fast and gets rid of symptoms that come with colds, bronchitis and sinus infections. These are the symptoms that usually make people snore at night.

According to a study, the essential oil extracted from the eucalyptus plant can also be used to relieve coughing symptoms.[9] This means that it helps break down excess thick mucus in the chest and throat to help clear airways.

When you sleep, your snoring will stop.

To use this oil to stop snoring at night, add a few drops to hot water and then inhale the steam. You can also dilute it with a good carrier oil and then rub it on your chest to extend its effect and enjoy snoring relief for a longer period.

Caution: Although eucalyptus produces one of the best essential oils for snoring, ensure that you cover your eyes the entire time your face is over the steaming water. This is to prevent the strong fumes from burning them. The oil can produce serious discomfort when it gets into your eyes.

If you are unable to use the steam inhalation method, you may try eucalyptus lozenges to loosen mucus and facilitate its removal. The blockage will clear faster to give you relief from snoring.

9. Blue tansy

Also called Moroccan chamomile, blue tansy essential oil is deep blue in color. Its floral and camphoraceous fragrance is impressive and helps with snoring due to its decongesting properties.

You are highly likely to get blue tansy oil in many beauty products, and for snoring relief, as a blend with other essential oils. One of the best is Young Living Valor Essential Oil for snoring relief.

It is made from a blend of blue tansy, rosewood, spruce and frankincense. Some of these ingredients, for example, have been found to have a positive effect on reducing snoring. This is according to a 2004 Phytotherapy Research published in the Wiley Inter-Science.[10]

If your snoring is caused by seasonal allergies, blue tansy essential oil can help relieve the symptoms and snoring that comes with it. This oil is a good natural antihistamine. It also has antispasmodic properties.

Inhale it to free up thick mucus and phlegm in the lungs and sinuses to prevent obstructive sleep apnea. Being an anti-inflammatory agent, the oil will also calm your respiratory system and help prevent the pesky nightly coughs.

10. Pine essential oil

Pine oil was greatly revered by the pioneers of western medicine including Hippocrates. He discovered that pine essential oil has strong healing effects on the respiratory system.

The oil is extracted from needles of pine trees. The main components include phenols and some acidic plant chemicals.

How does it help stop snoring?

According to the Global Healing Center, “Essential pine oil may also help relieve congestion and acts as an expectorant, aiding the body to break up mucus and remove it from the lungs. It also helps reduce the incidence of sinus infections.

How to use it:

If your snoring is caused by blockage or breathing problems due to build up of phlegm and thick mucus in your lungs, add a few drops of the pure oil into your nightly warm bath. The aroma it will produce while you bath will clear the airways and prevent you from snoring through your mouth and nose at night.

Alternatively, you can dilute it with organic olive oil and rub it on your chest to relieve respiratory distress that is causing your snoring at night.

How to use essential oils to treat snoring

Although you may think that the only way with these oils is aromatherapy, there are other ways you can apply them to keep snoring at bay.

Massage

A massage with these oils will create a lasting effect to relieve congestion all night. For example, if you are using marjoram oil, dilute it with a carrier oil such as jojoba in a ratio of 1:1. Massage it on your chest and neck to relieve snoring.

Gargling

Nasal congestion can also be relieved through gargling. Some oils such as peppermint and eucalyptus can be added to your nightly tooth-brushing routine.

Add a few drops of your preferred anti-snoring essential oil to a glass of water.

Gargle for 2 minutes and then rinse your mouth before going to bed. This will soothe the throat and get rid of nasal congestion.

Dabbing around the nose

If you are not a fan of massage and gargling, you can enjoy the benefits of anti-snoring essential oils by putting a little bit of your oil of choice on a q-tip. Dab just above the top lip before going to bed.

This will ensure that you get the full benefits of the aromatherapy produced by most of these potent natural oils.

In a diffuser or humidifier

Another option is to use this in your humidifier at night. This will particularly benefit you if a dry throat, mouth and nostrils are one of the major problems coming with snoring and mouth breathing.

If you are using a humidifier or a diffusing machine, follow the instructions as per the machine. Avoid putting too much oil in the solution because it can create an aroma that is too strong. Some oils can easily irritate your eyes, such as eucalyptus and pine.

Most aromatherapy recipes use a diffuser to reduce the chances of side effects. If you are making your own homemade recipe, ensure that you use an organic diffuser for the best result.

Safety considerations

While all these oils are natural, never swallow them without your doctor’s recommendation. Even applying them to the skin is highly discouraged unless your doctor has advised you do so. Some of these anti-snoring essential oils can easily cause serious allergic reactions to people who have a sensitive skin.

Some essential oils are dangerous especially for pregnant and breastfeeding women. Examples are sage, camphor and tansy.

References

[1] https://nccih.nih.gov/health/aromatherapy

[2] US National Library of Medicine: The Use of Essential Oil to Treat Snoring https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15478208

[3] The US National Library of Medicine: Essential Oils, A New Horizon in Combating Bacterial Antibiotic Resistance https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3950955/

[4]  Antioxidant, analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects of lavender essential oil. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26247152

[5] Chang S.-B., Chu S.-H., Kim Y.-I., Yun S.-H. The effects of aroma inhalation on sleep and fatigue in night shift nurses. Korean Journal of Adult Nursing. 2008;20(6):941–949

[6] http://pleasepassthegreen.blogspot.com/2013/04/snoring-has-finally-met-its-match-thyme.html

[7] Global Healing Center: Lung cleansing with peppermint oil https://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/lung-cleansing-with-peppermint-oil/

[8] Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea Tree) Oil: a Review of Antimicrobial and Other Medicinal Properties https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1360273/

[9] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=15719688

[10] The Use of Essential Oils to Treat Snoring: http://dcscience.net/prichard-snoring.pdf

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