Methods for stopping snoring
Snoring is caused by the tongue, mouth, throat or airways vibrating as you sleep. These areas of the body naturally relax, sag, and narrow during sleep, causing them to vibrate as air passes through.
Chronic snoring can cause disruptive sleep for the snorer and their partner. However, there are plenty of simple, natural remedies you can try to alleviate snoring.
Why do people snore?
According to the Mayo Clinic, the most common causes of snoring relate to health and lifestyle factors such as:
- Being overweight.
- Sleeping on your back.
- Having chronic nasal congestion.
- Drinking alcohol.
- Sleep deprivation.
However, snoring sometimes signals a more serious underlying health condition. For example, snoring is a key symptom of sleep apnea, a condition where breathing stops and starts while you sleep.
The best ways to stop snoring
The Mayo Clinic advises that if lifestyle factors cause snoring, some simple adaptations can prove highly effective. Simple changes can include:
- Shedding excess weight.
- Getting the optimal amount of sleep at night.
- Avoiding alcohol before bedtime.
- Avoiding sleeping on your back.
While these changes may not yield results overnight, you can consider getting your partner a pair of earplugs if snoring affects the overall quality of their sleep.
Suppose lifestyle changes are not helping, or your snoring significantly affects your partner’s sleep. In that case, it could be time to see a doctor or try other known methods of snoring reduction.
Adjust your sleeping position
Sleeping on your back could cause your snoring, so sleeping on your side to curb it is one method you can try. This is because a supine position causes the tongue to collapse onto the throat. When the tongue rests against the throat, it vibrates while you breathe.
The two best strategies to help you sleep on your side include taping a tennis ball to the back of your pajamas or using a body pillow to force you onto your side. Taping a tennis ball makes it too uncomfortable to sleep on your back and alerts your unconscious mind to adjust its sleeping position. A body pillow is more expensive but supports the entire body to maintain a side position throughout the night without discomfort.
Use an anti-snoring pillow
Anti-snoring pillows help you adjust your sleeping position by elevating your head to prevent snoring. They work by adjusting your head’s position to keep nasal passages open through the night to alleviate vibrations in the airways.
When it comes to pillows, it’s also important to fluff them thoroughly every couple of weeks to prevent dust mites and other common irritants from building up.
Clear nasal cavities
If blocked or narrow airways are causing your snoring, some options open to you include anti-snoring devices, such as nasal strips, dilators, and nasal and throat sprays. Essentially, they all aim to keep airways clear and reduce swelling in the nasal cavity to reduce overall vibration.
Nasal strips are placed on the bridge of the nose to help increase the airflow through the nasal passage. Nasal dilators are applied across the nostrils to decrease air resistance in the nose. Nasal and throat sprays are typically used before bedtime to reduce congestion and ensure that your airways are clear for the night ahead.
Keep the mouth closed as you sleep
One potential cause of snoring is your mouth falling open while you sleep and obstructing your airways. Asking your partner to describe your body position while snoring is one way to discover if this is the root cause.
A chin strap is one solution because it keeps the mouth closed while you sleep. In practice, this makes you breathe through your nose and diverts air away from the vibrating areas in your throat.
Use a mouthguard
If your tongue is partially blocking the back of your throat while you sleep and pillows, sleep position or lifestyle adaptations are not working, you can try a mouthguard.
An anti-snoring mouthguard is worn through the night to bring your tongue forward. This helps prevent the tongue from collapsing to the back of the throat through the night.
According to the National Institutes of Health, chronic dehydration is closely associated with obstructive sleep apnea, a common cause of snoring.
When you are dehydrated, the secretions in your nose can become stickier and create more obstruction in your throat and, therefore, more snoring.
It’s important to drink fluids throughout the day to stay hydrated. The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommend consuming approximately 15.5 cups of fluids per day for men and 11.5 cups per day for women.
See a doctor
If lifestyle choices are not an issue or snoring is causing distress, it may be time to see a doctor. What’s more, if you feel exhausted throughout the day or make choking or gasping noises throughout the night, you may be suffering from sleep apnea, which requires medical attention.
If you choose to go to a doctor, they will check your mouth and nose for any problems. Taking your partner along to your appointment to describe what your snoring is like may also be helpful.
The doctor may order imaging, such as X-rays, or send you to a specialist to conduct a sleep study to determine the cause of your snoring. Depending on the outcome, the specialist may recommend surgery to resolve the underlying issue.
What you need to buy to stop snoring
This memory foam wedge pillow elevates the head and neck during sleep, preventing the airway obstructions that commonly cause snoring.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Wayfair
SnoreStop Extinguisher Anti-Snoring Spray
This tasteless spray targets the very back of the throat and opens the airways to prevent snoring. It uses natural ingredients and is an alternative to a wearable device.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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