Scary Old-time Sleep Cures That Make You Glad for Modern Sleep Apnea Treatments
Summary: Sleep is so important that people are always trying to find ways to better understand what keeps people awake. Sleep apnea, however, is a much more serious problem than a bit of snoring.
Scary old-time sleep cures should actually make all of us glad for modern sleep treatments! But, doesn’t that that make it sound a little bit like modern sleep apnea treatments are something that we should be worried about? Or that a good night’s sleep is somehow something difficult for many people to accomplish? It should tell you straight off that sleep is very important and whether it is insomnia, snoring concerns, or sleep apnea, improving the quality of sleep has been important since long before there were CPAP breathing apparatuses, developments in unpronounceable surgeries such as uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, nasal strips, or even uncomfortable jaw support belts.
So, what were we trying to cure? Is there an actual cure, or did people in the ‘olden days’ just believe that there were? Old wives’ tales sometimes have basis in truth, but other times they are about people trying to make sense of the world as they see it. In these modern times, a lot of money has been put into understanding what keeps people awake and in providing ways and theories achieve sleep. And the remedies of the past were powerful, and seemed more about frustration than actual benefit.
Most of them seem linked to breathing. Eat a boiled onion before you sleep, gargle with garlic, put toothpaste under your nostrils! Maybe the idea was that if you can’t stand your own breath, you won’t breathe? Or at least, snore. The strong ingredients did unblock the nasal passages and stop the snoring for awhile, but they seem a little punishing, don’t they? Equally fun is the idea of sewing a tennis ball to the back of your pajamas! You won’t be able to sleep on your back, and people snore less in other positions.
All of the old-time remedies for snoring did actually have the basics right. The ‘cures’ focused on the way people ate, how much they ate and drank, how much they smoked, and how they slept. Statistics show that men snore more than women and that larger, older men snore the most. Losing weight can help with breathing and keeping the tissues in the upper airways in the back of the throat from relaxing too much.
Old remedies may have advised that, if having trouble sleeping, one should have a little drink and that will send you right to sleep. Ignore that advice. Alcohol makes snoring worse, and too many little drinks may make it harder to realize that the problem is bigger than snoring or insomnia.
Most of the well-meaning advice passed down through the ages was rooted in fact but didn’t have the wisdom of science behind it. In other words, if it worked for one person, it will work for the next person. But, remember that not all snoring is the same thing or for the same reason. Sometimes snoring is just snoring and is temporary, but other times it is the basis of a real problem. If your snoring is of larger concern, see a sleep specialist to discuss it. Because modern sleep apnea treatments have come a long way since garlic gargling!