Snoring is the result of the airflow in your throat when you’re sleeping. This leads to vibration of the throat’s relaxed tissues, leading to harsh and sometimes annoying sounds. Snoring can interrupt your sleep or keep your partner awake. Even if it doesn’t bother you that much, however, snoring is a problem that is worth doing something about. It may sometimes be an indication of a serious health condition such as sleep apnea, sleep deprivation, or problems with mouth, nose, or throat structure. So, what are some things that you can do to tackle snoring?
Sleep on Your Side
In some cases, simply changing your sleeping position can make a difference to whether or not you snore. If you are a back sleeper, this can lead to your tongue dropping down to the back of your throat, ultimately restricting the airflow. In this case, moving to sleeping on your side might be enough to allow for easier airflow through the throat which can either reduce or completely stop snoring.
Raise the Head of Your Bed
Raising the head of your bed just a small amount can be a simple way to help prevent your airways getting blocked when you are asleep, which can reduce snoring. You can easily do this by using products like pillows or a bed riser to get more height.
Use Nasal Dilators or Strips
You can stick nasal strips to the bridge of your nose, which helps to increase nasal passage space, making it easier to breathe and reducing or even eliminating your snoring completely. A nasal dilator is another option to try; this stiffer adhesive strip is applied across the nostrils on top of your nose and makes breathing easier by decreasing the airflow resistance. Find out more about nasal dilators vs nasal strips to choose the best option for you.
Get Enough Sleep
Making sure that you are getting the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep each night can help with snoring issues. This is because when you are sleep deprived, your throat muscles are going to be more relaxed, which can increase your risk of airway obstruction and snoring.
Avoid Alcohol Before Bed
Before you go to sleep, try to avoid or limit alcohol consumption for at around three hours at least. Alcohol might make you feel tired, but there are lots of ways that it can cause disruptive sleep including causing your throat muscles to be more relaxed, which ultimately increases snoring. Alcohol consumption can lead to less REM sleep, according to a study from 2020. REM sleep is particularly important for dreaming and memory formation.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
If you are overweight, then losing weight can help to reduce snoring by reducing the tissue in the throat. Too much throat tissue can be one of the most common causes of snoring. Aim to lose weight slowly and safely by reducing your overall intake of calories. You can do this by eating more nutritious foods and eating smaller portions, along with trying to get more regular exercise.
If you are a smoker, this habit can make your snoring worse. According to a study from 2014, smoking can increase the risk of developing sleep apnea or make the condition worse if you already have it. Quitting smoking won’t just improve your sleep; it will also positively impact many other areas of your health. Speak to your doctor about options that might be helpful for you such as nicotine replacement therapies.
Snoring is an issue that can keep you up at night or disrupt your household. It can also be a sign of a more serious underlying health condition. Try these strategies that can help reduce or even stop snoring.
Read also: What if I Can’t Sleep During a Sleep Study?