If you snore and you have to wake up to a disgruntled partner the next day, you aren’t alone. Snoring is a common problem that affects approximately 90 million people in the country, out of which 37 million are affected regularly. Snoring occurs when the air flows through your throat when you breathe in your sleep. When this occurs, the relaxed tissues in the throat vibrate and cause harsh and annoying snoring sounds.
It is essential for you to know that snoring is more than a minor hindrance that prevents you and your partner from getting a good night’s sleep. It can be an indication of an underlying health condition like obstructive sleep apnea, obesity, sleep deprivation, or structural abnormalities of the mouth, nose, or throat. Other causes of snoring can be because you might be sleeping on your back or drinking alcohol close to bedtime.
Certain benign causes of snoring like wrong sleeping position can be taken care of with the help of simple home remedies. Take a look at some of the common remedies used to treat and stop snoring.
1. Change your sleeping position
Sleeping on your back might be a very comfortable position, but that might be exactly what’s triggering those annoying snores. You’ll have to switch to your side while sleeping. Sleeping on your back positions the tongue towards the back of the throat, and this blocks the airflow. So, when you switch to your side, this problem won’t arise in the first place. If sleeping on the back isn’t always possible, you can try elevating your head four inches as this will facilitate easy breathing and encourage the tongue and jaw to move forward. You can even buy one of those special pillows that are designed to prevent snoring by ensuring that your neck muscles are not crimped.
2. Lose the extra pounds
One of the major causes of snoring is the extra body weight. If you have recently gained weight and started snoring, losing the extra pounds can prove helpful. The weight around your neck squeezes the internal diameter of the throat, which makes it more likely to collapse during sleep. This can trigger snoring. You can get rid off the extra weight by reducing your overall calorie intake and consuming a more balanced diet.
3. Avoid alcohol
It is advisable to not consume alcohol or sedatives as they reduce the resting tone of the muscles in the back of your throat. Alcohol can relax the throat muscles and trigger snoring. So, avoid drinking alcohol at least four to five hours before sleeping as it makes the snoring worse. In fact, those who don’t snore usually start snoring on consuming alcohol.
4. Quit smoking
Smoking is known to irritate the membranes in the nose and throat and this blocks the airways and causes snoring. Moreover, smoking is an extremely unhealthy habit and can worsen snoring. So, talk to your doctor and gauge which of the therapies—gum or patches—can help you quit smoking.
5. Try nasal strips or an external nasal dilator
You can use stick-on nasal strips to stop snoring. These nasal strips are placed on the bridge of the nose and can increase the space in the nasal passage. This makes your breathing more effective and plays a vital role in reducing or completely eliminating snoring. You can even try an external nasal dilator to curb your snoring. The nasal dilator, a stiffened adhesive strip, is applied on the top of the nose across the nostrils. This is instrumental in reducing the airflow resistance and makes it easier for you to breathe freely.
6. Practice good sleep hygiene
Another effective tip to stop snoring is to practice good sleep hygiene. Poor sleep habits, also known as poor sleep hygiene, has similar effects to that of alcohol. Sleep hygiene involves different practices and habits which ensure that you get quality sleep, and this promotes daytime alertness. You should start with limiting daytime naps to 30 minutes, establish a regular relaxing bedtime routine, and steer clear of foods that can disrupt your sleep. Working long hours without naps will tire you out completely, and when you finally go to sleep, you’ll sleep hard and deep. The muscles become floppier and trigger snoring. So, ensure that you develop good sleep hygiene habits as this will prevent exertion and limit snoring.
7. Get chronic allergies treated
If you suffer from seasonal or chronic allergies, it is advisable to get it treated as allergies can worsen snoring. Allergies tend to reduce airflow through the nose, and this forces you to breathe through your mouth. So, there are high chances that you’ll snore. In such cases, ask your doctor which over-the-counter or prescription allergy medications might help in improving your condition.
8. Correct structural abnormalities in the nose
At times, snoring is the result of structural problems in the nose. People can be born with these structural problems or it can be a result of an injury that causes a deviated septum. This form of misalignment of the wall that separates both sides of the nose restricts the airflow. Also, this can be the reason why you breathe through the mouth during sleep, thereby triggering snoring. You might have to undergo surgery to correct the condition. It is advisable to seek the doctor’s opinion on this matter.
9. Stay hydrated
An extremely simple answer to your “how to stop snoring” is to stay hydrated. You need to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day. The secretions in your nose and soft palate tend to become stickier when you are dehydrated. This can trigger snoring. According to the Institute of Medicine, it is advisable for women to drink 11 cups of water a day, and men should have about 16 cups.
10. Try oral appliances
Oral appliances such as dental mouthpieces prove effective in keeping the air passages open and making it easier for you to breathe. Such mouthpieces can prevent snoring. You’ll have to pay a visit to a dentist to get one of these devices made for you.
These tips to stop snoring are effective when snoring is triggered by minor causes. These different ways to stop snoring will prove quite handy in ensuring that you and your partner will have uninterrupted sleep. However, if your incessant snoring is related to a serious health condition, it is imperative that you seek a licensed physicians opinion. In most cases, treating the underlying condition can put an end to your snoring problem altogether.