Snoring is a widespread problem that affects almost all adults daily. Some people only snore occasionally, while others are notoriously loud and persistent sleep disruptors who snore throughout the night.
One study found that approximately 45 percent of otherwise healthy persons regularly snore. In addition, it is believed that 95 percent of people who snore are aware that their snoring disrupts the lives of their partners or family members.
Snoring tends to disrupt your normal sleeping pattern as well. Thus, you may have erratic sleeping patterns leaving you feeling exhausted or worn out the following day. This demonstrates that snoring can harm you and the people closest to you if not handled promptly.
However, before we can learn more about how to stop snoring, it is essential that we first gain an understanding of a very fundamental question: why do we snore?
What Causes People to Snore?
The muscles in our throat and upper airway are more relaxed when we are awake; more air is able to move through these passages. As such, the lungs can take in air more easily.
Nevertheless, during sleep, relaxation of these tissues might cause a narrowing of the airway. Therefore, vibrations result whenever the air that is traveling through the airway encounters any resistance.
Snoring is the name given to the vibrations that occur when a person snores while they are asleep. Long pauses in breathing, lasting from a few seconds to several minutes, are a common symptom of snoring. These kinds of issues are often linked to an elevated risk of cardiovascular disease and warrant rapid medical action.
But this isn’t the only factor that plays a role in snoring. Other typical factors that contribute to snoring during sleep include advanced age, being overweight, smoking, having regular nasal congestion, and consuming alcohol.
If you want to enhance the quality of your sleep and feel more refreshed when you wake up, here are some effective ways to help you stop snoring.
Most Effective Ways to Get Rid of Snoring
Your nasal airflow may be obstructed or blocked due to a number of circumstances. Some of these obstructions are easier to treat than others, and the intensity of the obstruction may determine the treatment that you receive.
An estimated fifty percent of people who snore loudly also have obstructive sleep apnea, a disorder in which a person’s breathing temporarily stops or becomes disturbed while they are asleep. This can cause severe health issues if treatment is not sought immediately.
Improved sleep quality is attainable by implementing a few simple lifestyle changes. Some examples of these alterations could be:
1. Dropping Some Pounds
Snoring could be brought on by excess weight carried around the neck, particularly if the person snoring is obese or otherwise deemed to be overweight. This might cause your upper airway to collapse while you are sleeping and make breathing difficult. Thus, losing weight may help reduce the amount of time spent snoring and its overall volume.
2. Altering The Position in Which You Sleep
Everyone has a particular sleeping posture that they enjoy the most or find most comfortable. On the other hand, sleeping on one’s back can make it more likely that their airway will become blocked. So, try lying on your side if you want to open your airway during your sleep.
You can improve the position of your head and neck as you sleep by purchasing a pillow that will hold it in that position for you. Alternately, if the head of your bed can be adjusted, try elevating it a few inches while you sleep. This may help lessen the upper airway obstruction that happens when you are asleep.
You can even use the traditional trick of stitching tennis balls to the inside of your pajamas or shirt.
3. Quitting Smoking
Putting an end to your smoking habit is among the most helpful things you can do to improve your health.
It is possible that you will snore less, in addition to experiencing a reduction in your hypertension and an improvement in your energy levels. Why? Your nasal congestion will get better, which will, in turn, have a beneficial impact on your snoring.
4. Cutting Back on or Completely Giving up Alcohol
Avoiding beverages with caffeine before going to bed improves the quality of sleep. It is extremely useful for preventing snoring.
Plus, you should avoid drinking alcohol for at least a few hours before going to bed since it could cause the muscles that surround your airways to relax as you sleep.
5. Taking Decongestants
Suppose your snoring is exacerbated by nasal congestion, like that caused by a cold or sinus infection; using a decongestant before bed may help.
In addition, intranasal steroid sprays are an option for treating persistent stuffiness in the nose. However, before initiating any of these treatments, you should first discuss them with your physician to ensure that they are appropriate for you.
6. Stay Well Hydrated
Snoring can be a symptom of dehydration because it causes mucus to accumulate in the nose and throat, leading to blocked airways. Thus, increasing the amount of water consumption to stay appropriately hydrated may be one of the easiest natural therapies for snoring that you can try.
7. Get a Humidifier
Although it’s possible that your snoring isn’t caused entirely by dry air, it can certainly make the problem worse. Get yourself a pair of humidifiers, so the air in your room is always lovely and moist.
With a higher humidity level in the air, you should feel some relief in your throat. It is simpler for air to enter and leave without producing any disruptive vibrations.
8. Exercise to Avoid a Weak Tongue And Throat
When the muscles in your tongue and throat become too relaxed, you may experience snoring. They need to be strengthened in order for you to stop.
A few different exercises could assist you in becoming more physically capable of doing this. Singing is a terrific and simple way to get some throat training into your routine.
So whether you’re in the shower or driving, put on a concert for yourself. It’s possible that your spouse or roommates will find it obnoxious, but at least it won’t be as annoying as your snoring.
Hold the tip of your tongue below the top of your teeth and move it back and forth for a few minutes each day to exercise your tongue. Do this for a couple of minutes.
9. Review Your Eating Habits And Limit Inflammatory Foods
Products containing dairy and gluten are well-known to be the root causes of inflammation in the tissues that line your nasal passages and throat.
However, it is not necessary for you to give up entirely the delectable glass of hot chocolate you consume daily. Instead, choose certain days each week where you will drink plain tea, and try to avoid drinking it too close to bedtime.
10. Inhale Some Steam
Before going to bed, expand your airways by using a face steam bowl to relax your muscles. It is important to keep this in mind if you suspect that a stuffy nose brought on by a cold or allergies is the root cause of your snoring:
- Pour some boiling water into a large dish and set it aside. Then place your head on top of it.
- Move in closer for the steam to do its work without putting yourself in danger of getting burned.
- Place a towel or other absorbent material over your head to stop any of the moisture from evaporating.
- Moreover, having a hot shower or a warm bath will help you achieve the same effects.
11. Get Adequate Sleep
Snoring can be caused by exhaustion because it causes the muscles in your throat and tongue to relax.
And when your body gets the required amount of relaxation, most organs function best. So, you should aim to sleep around seven to nine hours to counter the effect of exhaustion.
It’s a cruel irony, but sleeping drugs and other sedatives have the same impact on your neck and tongue muscles. If you have difficulties falling or staying asleep, you should probably look into some natural home treatments before turning to pharmaceutical solutions.
12. Applying Nasal Strips
Flexible bands called “nasal strips” can be placed on the outside of the nose in order to maintain airflow through the nasal passages. If you do this, you’ll be able to breathe more efficiently, thereby lowering or eliminating your snoring.
13. Oral Devices
People who suffer from sleep apnea and snoring may find that an oral device created by their dentist might stabilize their upper airway and reduce their snoring. These mouthpieces function by pushing your jaw and tongue forward during sleep. This helps prevent snoring by expanding the size of your upper airway while you are asleep.
If used properly, these devices may be just as successful as continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines for treating sleep apnea, but they are safer than surgical procedures.
The Bottom Line
Snoring is a disorder that, over the course of a person’s lifetime, can come and go at varying intensities. If you receive the right treatment, it is possible that your snoring will become better. Some people, for instance, respond well to treatments that prevent the airway from closing completely, which in turn reduces or eliminates their snoring.
Oral appliances and surgical treatments involving the upper airway are examples of this. So, the solution to the snoring problem is as easy as switching to a side sleeping position instead of lying on their back. Dropping a few pounds and drinking less alcohol in the evening will work further positively.
Adjustments to your routine after receiving a diagnosis of sleep apnea might help you get a better night’s rest and reduce symptoms such as loud snoring.
In some instances, surgical correction of the upper airway, surgical reduction of excess weight, or the implantation of a device that provides hypoglossal nerve stimulation may be possibilities.