I’m a bit into woo. Not the “woo” of drunk girls at a bar on a Saturday night, the woo of those who are into more crunchy or alternative techniques for health, wellness, and relaxation. Don’t get me wrong, I am all about modern medicine and a huge supporter of vaccines. However, I love to also try out different ways to improve sleep, health, and focus on top of using tried and true scientific methods. I am not a doctor or an expert, and especially now it’s important to adhere to what medical professionals suggest for our safety and health. However, we all have a bit more time and a bit more stress and maybe some of my favorite “woo” methods may be an enjoyable addition to your routine. I’ll have a post on Wednesdays called Wednesday Woo.
Today's Woo is About My Love for My Neti Pot and How It Stopped my Snoring
I don’t want to think of how much I have spent on neti pots over the decades. Not nearly enough as foundations that didn’t match my face but I felt too guilty to return. Not nearly enough as clearance extra 40% off jeans that gave me diaper butt or plumber’s butt or camel toe. But yeah, I’ve bought my share of neti pots. I’d read something in a magazine, and then see some website reference it, I’d get it, I’d do it and as soon as that water hit my nose I smelled the indoor pool that one year I tried winter swim team and the neti pot would go in the trash. That was not a good winter.
I’ve had allergies all my life, and even got shots most of my school years. When Claritin came on the market, I was all in, first as a prescription and then OTC. If it stopped working for me I’d switch to another: Allegra, Zyrtec, and more nights with Benadryl than I should have, I maintained those seasonal allergies with whatever would get the job done.
Until I turned 40. And suddenly I became not an occasional drunk or sick snorer, but an every night snorer. A snorer that bought all kinds of gadgets and pillows, the kind that caused her husband to sleep with earplugs. I felt so guilty, but I wasn’t sure what to do. My doctor said to do a saline spray at night and suggested adding a prescription med along with Zyrtec. I tried it and it helped with sniffles but not the snoring.
August 2019, my husband decided to go plant-based. He didn’t force it upon me and my daughter, but as the primary cook and grocery buyer in the home, he said he would no longer prepare it though we could buy and prepare it if we wanted it. My animal-based food consumption reduced drastically, only happening if I went out to eat or it was a special occasion, like pizza and Doritos for our daughter’s birthday or Easter brunch. My snoring reduced drastically. But when it was allergy season (or I enjoyed an evening with a cheese plate and a couple of glasses of sauvignon blanc) I’d start back up again.
And then we all had to shelter in place. My husband went to the grocery store to stock up, and filled the fridge with wonderful plant-based food. Did I mention he also stopped drinking so the only alcohol in the house is a bottle of Barefoot pink sparkling in the back of the refrigerator from last spring when I did a campaign with them, a bottle of red in the back of the pantry that a hotel provided when I did a stay with them, and about 1/10 a bottle of Tito’s that is as old as our daughter? I decided to embrace the sober, plant-based life.
A week into this new life, I stopped snoring. And then our area got hit with some serious pollen. My eyes itched, my nose was either stuffy or runny, and I began snoring again.
“You should neti pot,” Karl said while tipped over the kitchen sink, running water out of his nostril. I shivered, both seeing this sight, remembering the feeling of the last time I tried a neti pot, and that smell/feel from winter swim team. But then I thought… if not now, when? It’s not some serious woo, even doctors recommend it. I ordered one with our final Amazon order of things we felt we would need in the next few weeks. I used it in the evening we opened the box, just before going upstairs to go to bed. Karl reported the next morning: no snoring. And the next night, no snoring. And then I got my period which can often intensify my reaction to my allergies… no snoring. And then one night I forgot to and you guessed it, I snored.
Not only does using a neti pot stop me from snoring, it makes me less sniffly and stuffy during the day. It's also good to flush out the nose of anything picked up during the day. We have this electric kettle, we use water from it that has been boiled and then cooled. Do not use ordinary tap water with a neti pot; this link from the FDA recommends what water to use. We also use the salt specifically for neti pots, Karl prefers NeilMed, I’m using the jar of salt that came with my pot. Karl’s pot is some organic or recycled or whatever composite material from the organic market; mine is ceramic. They work the same. I don’t think a fancy neti pot will give you a drastically different experience, mine cost less than $20 and came with a good-sized tub of salt with a measuring spoon and some essential oil blend you can add to the water for an extra “boost”.
This weekend I got down on the floor and wet dusted behind the bed because that’s what we do when cooped up and feeling out of control. I found odd socks, a sleep mask monogrammed with my Instagram handle, three different lip balms, a piece of my jade roller that fell off my nightstand and shattered, and three different little silicone and plastic devices I used to stick up my nose before turning off the lamp in hopes it would reduce my snoring. I used to freak out when I’d wake without one in my nose and I couldn’t find it. I was buying three-packs every few months, and had two in my toiletries kit at the ready so I wouldn’t be without on travel. I checked my Amazon purchases, I haven’t bought any since November 2019. That fact is super freeing, and that feeling is more powerful than the feeling of winter swim team ickiness.