8 Easy Snoring Remedies: How to Stop Snoring
by Dr. Anuradha Nama Kodhandram
(Hyderabad, Telangana, India)
Why do we snore?
From gentle snuffles to loud rasps and snorts, snoring is common. An estimated 45 percent of adults snore occasionally, while 25 percent snore regularly—often disturbing their bed partner’s slumber and possibly their own, too.
You’re more likely to snore if you’re overweight, are a middle-aged or older man, or are a postmenopausal woman. These night noises seem to worsen with age.
Why do people snore? Snoring is the sound of obstructed breathing. This can be caused by some basic factors, such as poor muscle tone, bulky throat tissue, or a long soft palate or uvula. It may also be a red flag that you have a treatable health condition interfering with breathing while you sleep. These conditions include nasal congestion caused by a sinus infection or allergy, nasal polyps (noncancerous growths in the nose), or a deviated septum. In some cases, snoring may be connected to more serious, even life-threatening, health concerns.
Monitoring your snoring for patterns can help you pinpoint the reasons why you snore, what makes it worse, and how to stop it. To identify important patterns, it helps to keep a sleep diary (or use a sleep tracking app). If you have a sleep partner, they can help you fill it in. If you sleep alone, set up a camera to record yourself at night. We have listed some easy ways to sleep peacefully.
8 Easy fixes for snoring
1. Adjust your sleep position.
Lying on your back makes the base of your tongue and soft palate collapse to the back wall of your throat, causing a vibrating sound during sleep. Sleeping on your side may help prevent this.
"A body pillow (a full-length pillow that supports your entire body) provides an easy fix," Slaughter says. "It enables you to maintain sleeping on your side and can make a dramatic difference."
You can recline the bed with the head up and extended, which opens up nasal airway passages and may help prevent snoring. This may cause neck pain, however." If snoring continues regardless of the sleep position, obstructive sleep apnea may be a cause.
2. Lose Weight if you are overweight.
Weight loss helps some people but not everyone. "Thin people snore, too," Slaughter says.
If you've gained weight and started snoring and did not snore before you gained weight, weight loss may help. "If you gain weight around your neck, it squeezes the internal diameter of the throat, making it more likely to collapse during sleep, triggering snoring," Slaughter says.
3. Limit or avoid alcohol before bed.
Alcohol and sedatives reduce the resting tone of the muscles in the back of your throat, making it more likely you'll snore. "Drinking alcohol four to five hours before sleeping makes snoring worse,". "People who don't normally snore will snore after drinking alcohol."
Poor sleep habits (also known as poor sleep "hygiene") can have an effect similar to that of drinking alcohol, Slaughter says. Working long hours without enough sleep, for example, means when you finally hit the sack you're overtired. "You sleep hard and deep, and the muscles become floppier, which creates snoring," Slaughter says.
5. Open Nasal Passages.
If snoring starts in your nose, keeping nasal passages open may help. It allows air to move through slower, Slaughter says. "Imagine a narrow garden hose with water running through. The narrower the hose, the faster the water rushes through."
Your nasal passages work similarly. If your nose is clogged or narrowed due to a cold or another blockage, the fast-moving air is more likely to produce snoring.
6. Use nasal strips or an external nasal dilator.
These simple devices open up your nasal passageways by sticking to the external surface of your nose (unlike internal nasal dilators which are inserted into the nostrils). Nasal strips look and behave like plaster. They have a gentle adhesive that sticks to the outside of your nose just above the nostrils. Nasal dilators work by mechanically opening your nasal passages, decreasing the resistance to incoming air without resorting to medication. There are two main types of nasal dilators: external and internal.
External dilators pull from the outside, whereas internal devices push from the inside.
It seems logical that smoking may increase your risk of snoring. The irritating smoke from cigarettes, cigars, and pipe tobacco may cause inflammation along with the tissues (or mucosa) that line the airway. This may lead to swelling, causing an exudate of mucus often called post-nasal drip, and narrowing. As the airway narrows, airflow may move more turbulently.
This disruption of your upper airway, especially your nasal passage and throat, may have other consequences. It may cause increased airway congestion. The turbulent airflow may lead to vibration as air moves through, leading to the unpleasant sound of snoring. This risk seems to be increased among smokers, and even those who previously smoked.
8. Take a hot shower before bed.
A lukewarm shower is just right. The steam acts as a natural decongestant, helping you breathe easier at night. This is particularly important to those living with asthma or allergies. The easier it is for you to breathe, the less likely you are to snore and improves the quality of your sleep.
By understanding the basis of snoring you can gain better insight into what makes you snore. Just as snoring impacts your life, your lifestyle impacts your snoring. There are many snoring remedies and solutions available, including products that enthusiastically tell you that this will stop you from snoring. Many of them do work very effectively but only if they are well-matched to you and your snoring.
Understanding how your snoring works and finding your specific causes is the first step towards healthier, quieter nights.Author Bio: Dr. Anuradha Nama Kodhandram
, General Practitioner and Diabetologist at Corporate Hospital, has vast experience of 32 years as a Medical Officer.