Snoring is not only annoying to the ear of the listener (AKA your sleeping partner), but it can also be the reason why you feel tired during the day. A lot of couples decided to sleep in separate bedrooms because one of them started snoring too loudly and too frequently. But is this the only way to cure snoring? Is there something you can do in order to make this breathing problem go away?
Snoring can be cured or at least minimized. However, people rarely do something about it. Unfortunately, snoring can get much worse if not treated and can make even create problems in your marriage. A lot of parents that snore have stopped sleeping in the same rooms as their kids and partners in order to let them have a peaceful sleep. But you really don’t have to give up on some of the most affectionate moments of your life just because you happen to be a “snorer”.
If you happen to snore, you are among the 45 percent of adult that snore at least occasionally. However, you don’t have to belong to the group of frequent snorers. So, today we’re exploring all you need to know about snoring and giving you an insight into all kinds of different methods you can try tonight in order to stop snoring.
Understanding what snoring actually is might help you to realize what is causing those annoying, loud noises in the night coming out of your mouth.
What Is Snoring?
Snoring is a night-time breathing problem of air not moving freely through your nose and throat. As a result, it causes the tissues in your nostrils and throat to vibrate which manifests through the familiar annoying sound of snoring. Sometimes the tongue can also make the breathing more difficult and result in more snoring sounds.
What Causes Snoring?
Now that it is more clear what snoring looks like in our body, it is important to understand what are its most common causes. Some of these factors can make you snore or can worsen snoring through time, so if you find that some of them describe you, it will be much easier to find the right solution for your snoring.
As we age, our overall muscle tone decreases, and so does the muscle tone in your throat. Also, when we’re older our throat becomes narrower which makes the movement of air through your throat less smooth.
A study found that overweight people were almost 50% more likely to encounter snoring problems than people that didn’t have weight problems.
Men are more likely to develop snoring problems than women because they have narrower air passages.
Nasal and Sinus Problems
People that are prone to nasal or sinus problems are also more likely to snore. The reason behind this is quite logical, a stuffy nose can block the airways and prevent the smooth movement of air through the nose and throat.
A reason that is among the greatest culprits for all our health problems or predispositions are, of course, our genes. People born with a narrower throat, a cleft palate or enlarged adenoids are more likely to snore.
A lot of people claim that their partners snore only after they had several glasses of their favorite booze. If alcohol can cause someone that sleeps quietly to snore all of a sudden, imagine what it does to someone that already has a snoring problem.
Smoking is also a big reason why you might be snoring. We don’t need to overexplain why tobacco is on this list, as it’s quite obvious that inhaling smoke makes your breathing more difficult and damages your lungs and airways.
Some medications might also lead to more snoring because they can overly relax your muscles. Usually, tranquilizers such as lorazepam and diazepam are the ones that will make you snore.
People that occasionally snore usually sleep flat on their back. This sleep posture affects your throat and blocks the airway.
An incredible 75% of people that snore actually suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. This sleep-related breathing problem happens when breathing is briefly disrupted several times during sleep. If you feel that you’re excessively tired during the day, sleep apnea might be the reason why. Also, apart from snoring obstructive sleep apnea can also result in gasping or choking sounds at night.
How To Stop Snoring?
So, your next question is surely Well, how can I stop snoring? The cure, of course, depends on what is the cause of your snoring. There is no one single remedy that works for everybody, and believe it or not, there are a lot of things you can do in order to stop snoring.
The best thing you can do is change your lifestyle and diet and the change will surely arrive. On the other hand, there are other things you can do each night in order to reduce the changes in producing those loud, annoying noises. There are also some medical treatments as well as surgeries that decrease snoring. However, if you’re not ready to go that far, you can still try plenty of other things, including doing throat exercises every day in order to reduce your snoring.
Since we’re here today to tell you all the tricks in order to stop snoring, we will explain each of these remedies. Once you run through them all, you can decide which ones you will start doing based on the reasons that are causing all those snoring sounds.
1. Bedtime Remedies: Elevate Your Pillow
The easiest thing you can do in order to relieve yourself and your partner from all the snoring is slightly changing the angle of your pillow. Elevating your head for about four inches will likely enable your jaw and tongue to move forward which will unblock the airways and make the flow of air smoother.
You can even add a smaller, thin pillow below your regular one in order to avoid laying your head flat on the pillow.
2. Bedtime Remedies: Change Your Sleeping Position
A lot of people claim that a simple postural therapy of changing their sleeping position reduced the snoring. The idea is to make yourself sleep on the side. Although that can seem like an impossible task to do since you’re not aware of your movements while asleep.
But, people have thought of creative ways of making themselves sleep on the side – by using tennis balls! Sew a sock to the back of your pajama top or T-shirt
and put a tennis ball in it. When sleeping in your tennis ball T-shirt you will likely try to move back to your back, but the discomfort of the tennis ball will remind you to turn back onto your side. When you think sleeping on the side has become a habit, you can stop using the tennis ball trick.
You can also buy anti-snoring pillows that are designed to adjust your sleeping posture and decrease snoring naturally.
3. Bedtime Remedies: Try An Anti-Snoring Mouth Appliance
Another way to keep your jaw and tongue forward during sleep and opening your airways is by wearing anti-snoring mouth appliances. These tools look like an athlete’s mouth guard and work well in treating mild to moderate snoring.
4. Bedtime Remedies: Clear Your Nasal Passages
Stuffy nose obstructs normal breathing, we all experienced that. Although you might feel that your nasal passages are clean and empty, you might still have to rinse your nose and sinuses before going to sleep.
You can use a neti pot, nasal decongestant or saline water for rinsing and clearing your nose. This should definitely reduce the snoring and help you breathe more easily.
5. Bedtime Remedies: Use Air Humidifiers
Dry air often irritates membranes of our nose or throat which can lead to swollen nasal tissues. As a result, a person can start snoring. In order to avoid snoring that is dry-air-induced, use an air humidifier in order to keep your bedroom air moist.
6. Bedtime Remedies: Reduce The Amount Of Allergens
Are you prone to allergies? Then it is quite likely that the main culprit of your snoring is actually an allergen. If there’s a lot of pet dander, dust mites, mold or dust in your pillows or sleeping environments, your nasal passages can get irritated and inflamed which can lead to a difficulty in breathing.
Make sure you don’t let your pets in your bedroom, and always take a shower before going to bed. If you still feel allergic reaction during sleep-time, consider buying hypoallergenic covers for pillows and mattresses.
7. Lifestyle Changes: Lose Weight
Now we are talking about lifestyle changes that will gradually, but surely improve your snoring situation.
The first thing that doctors and sleep experts suggest to their patients suffering from snoring is to lose weight. A study found that overweight people were much more likely to start snoring than people that had well-balanced BMIs. Focus on losing weight, and you (or your spouse) might soon notice a change in how you sleep.
Even if you lose a couple of kilos, your snoring will decrease, or even stop.
8. Lifestyle Changes: Exercise More
Apart from helping you lose weight in a healthy way, exercise also helps in reducing snoring. By working out muscles in your body get toned which also extends to your throats muscles. When muscles in the throat are toned, snoring is much less likely to occur.
9. Lifestyle Changes: Avoid Alcohol
Not only is alcohol an enemy of good sleep, but it was found that people that drank before bed snored much more and much louder than those that didn’t. When we drink alcohol, our muscles (including throat muscles) relax and therefore they make breathing less smooth. If you want to skip blocking your air passages while asleep, avoid alcohol and never drink before going to bed.
10. Lifestyle Changes: Quit Smoking
Smokers tend to snore much more than people that avoid cigarettes. Although quitting smoking is definitely easier said than done, you can start by reducing the number of cigarettes you consume on a daily basis and your snoring might slightly decrease.
11. Lifestyle Changes: Avoid Sleeping Pills
Although it might seem counter-intuitive, sleeping pills and tranquilizers might worsen your snoring. How is that possible? Sleeping pills work the same as alcohol when it comes to your muscles. When you take a pill, your muscles become relaxed, and as a result, your air passages might be blocked.
12. Lifestyle Changes: Pay Attention To Your Diet
And we don’t mean necessarily cutting off the calories in order to lose weight. Everyone should avoid eating large meals or consuming foods such as dairy before bedtime. On the other hand, include foods that are supposed to decrease snoring. According to some holistic practitioners teas, turmeric, honey, fish, onions and lactose-free kinds of milk are great for decreasing inflammation in your nasal passages and opening your airways.
13. Lifestyle Changes: Practice Good Sleep Hygiene
Having a regulated sleep rhythm is crucial for maintaining a healthy life. Therefore, poor sleep habits can have a similar effect on your body as drinking alcohol. If you’re sleep deprived or haven’t slept a lot recently, it is likely that you will start snoring once you fall asleep. When in the state of sleep deprivation, the body and the brain fall into a deeper state of sleep more quickly which results in limper muscles.
Start practicing good sleep hygiene and your snoring might stop. Not only, but your entire body will also feel healthier and stronger and you will gain better mental clarity.
14. Lifestyle Changes: Stay Hydrated
Drinking plenty of water or tea will make your soft palate less sticky and will reduce the secretions in your nose. Besides, being hydrated is the first step to being completely healthy.
Women should drink about 11 cups of water a day, while men should have at least 16 cups in order to be healthy and vital.
15. Medical Solutions: Change Your Medications
Some medications might relax your throat muscles and cause you to snore. If your snoring started after you introduced a new medicine, or your snoring worsens after you take the medicine, you might have to consider discussing an alternative pill with your doctor.
16. Medical Solutions: CPAP
People that have obstructive sleep apnea will definitely find the best relief in the CPAP machines. These devices work by using continuous airway pressure to keep your airways open. These machines vary in size and shapes, so you can find the one that fits you the best.
An alternative to CPAP might be BPAP machines that also work to ease your breathing at night.
17. Medical Solutions: Oral Appliances
Believe it or not, but your dentist can also help you to regulate your snoring. If you explain that snoring is what is bugging you, then your dentist will probably fit you an oral appliance. These appliances work to push your lower jaw muscles and tongue forward, making it impossible for them to become too relaxed. As a result, your throat muscles can’t collapse back into your airways and produce those annoying, loud noises at night.
18. Medical Solutions: Chin Straps
Some people snore as a result of breathing through their mouth. In these cases, chin straps might be much more helpful because they will hold your jaws shut and make you breathe through your nose instead.
This way, obstructed breathing should be reduced or even removed.
19. Medical Solutions: Nasal Strips or External Nasal Dilators
Another appliance that might be quite useful when it comes to snoring are adhesive nasal strips. These can be placed on the bridge of the nose in order to increase the space inside the nasal passage. This way, the airways should be unblocked and the air should move more smoothly.
Another option are nasal dilators that are stiffened stick-on strips that are placed on the top of the nose across the nostrils. They reduce snoring by decreasing airflow resistance.
20. Surgical Solutions: Laser-assisted Uvulopalatoplasty or Somnoplasty
When all other options are used and nothing seems to help you stop or reduce snoring, your doctor might even suggest a surgical solution. One of these solutions that are claimed to reduce snoring sounds in people suffering from obstructive sleep apnea at night is Laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty (LAUP). What surgery does is shorten the hanging soft tissue at the back of the throat called uvula.
During the surgery, small cuts in the soft palate are made in order to prevent the vibrations that trigger snoring when the cuts heal.
Somnoplasty works similarly to the Laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty, only that the tissues of the uvula and soft palate are removed and shortened with low levels of radiofrequency heat. Somnoplasty lasts no longer than 30 minutes and is performed under local anesthesia.
21. Surgical Solutions: Palatal Implants
Another option for people that snore excessively or too loud are palatal implants. These small plastic implants are placed into the soft palate in order to prevent it from collapsing while asleep.
22. Surgical Solutions: Correct Your Deviated Septum
Some people are born with a deviated septum, while others might gain it after a nose injury. Deviated septum is basically a misalignment of the wall that separates the sides of the nose which obstructs natural and smooth airflow. Sometimes this can cause people to breathe through the mouth during sleep which can cause snoring.
This problem can only be fixed with surgery, so if you suspect this might be the cause of all the snoring at night, contact your doctor and see what are your options.
23. Additional Treatment: Sing More
One funny study from the UK has found that people that sing are less likely to snore than people that don’t. When you sing, the muscles in your soft palate and upper throat are working and becoming stronger. As a result, they will rarely block your airway or overly relax.
It doesn’t matter if you don’t like how your voice sounds, singing while you shower or drive your car every day will be more than enough to see benefits.
24. Additional Treatment: Play Digeridoo
Apart from the surgical, medical or other solutions we mentioned above, there are other things you can do that are actually fun or even silly! For example, it turned out that playing the bizarre Australian aboriginal wind instrument called didgeridoo a few times a day strengthens and tones the throat muscles and soft palate. As a result, people playing the didgeridoo are less likely to snore!
However, playing other wind instruments will surely help!
25. Additional Treatment: Do Anti-Snoring Exercises
Finally, you can do anti-snoring exercises besides other changes you decided to introduce to your lifestyle. Studies have found that you can reduce snoring significantly by doing these exercises that strengthen your tongue and upper respiratory tract muscles a few times a day.
- Repeat each vowel out loud for three minutes a couple of times a day.
- Place the tip of your tongue behind your top front teeth and then slide your tongue backward. Repeat this for three minutes and do it every day.
- Close your mouth and hold your lips pursed for 30 seconds.
- Open your mouth, move your jaw to the right and hold for 30 seconds. Then repeat on the left side.
Snoring is often frown upon among families and friends, but the truth is snoring is no joke. Not only it can affect the quality of your sleep, but it can also mean you might have obstructive sleep apnea that can eventually lead to other health problems. Often it affects a person’s emotional life too. When a non-snorer shares a bed with a heavy snorer, sleeping through the night might seem like an impossible task to do.
Unfortunately, people that snore rarely do something about it, as they are not aware of the effects snoring has on their energy level and overall health. That’s why non-snoring partners often get frustrated by the fact that they did everything in their power to sleep deeply during the entire night by using earplugs, sound machines etc. So, if these 25 ways that will help you stop snoring weren’t enough to give you at least a good start to work through this snoring problem, then you might have to get used to the fact that you and your partner will eventually feel less and less connected. And only because of – your snoring. Not a really romantic story!