Snoring may seem like an amusing problem for others, but if you or a partner are dealing with it regularly, you know that it is nothing to laugh about.
Snoring through the night can leave you or your loved one feeling drained like you got no rest in the night. People who snore often wake up with a dry mouth, sore throat, and headache. And snoring can indicate other underlying health conditions.
If you have been dealing with this issue, you can make some changes to your lifestyle and bedtime routine to help get your snoring to stop. Keep reading to learn about your options for the best snoring solutions.
What Causes Snoring
Snoring is caused by vibrations in the throat during sleep. These vibrations happen when air flows through the throat and the airway is partially obstructed. Because of this, the air can’t pass through freely.
Instead, it gets caught up around the relaxed tissues in the throat and they vibrate. Snoring may be a persistent and annoying problem for you or your partner. It may also be an indicator of a more serious health condition like sleep apnea, obesity, sleep deprivation, or an issue with the structure of your mouth.
Most people snore at some point in their life. It is possible you might have one or two bad nights after sleeping on your back or drinking alcohol before bed. But these kinds of episodes are usually random and not long-term.
In cases of consistent snoring, you may need to take action to try to get rid of your snoring problem.
Home Remedy Snoring Solutions
Snoring that is caused by things like sleeping on your back can easily be fixed with a home remedy or a lifestyle change. This is the best place to start. If these measures don’t work, you may need to consider a medical intervention.
Sleep on your Sides or Stomach
Sleeping on your back is the worst position for people who snore. It causes your tongue and the other soft tissues in your mouth to hang down toward the back of your throat. This partially blocks the airway and causes snoring.
Sleeping on your side is the most recommended sleep position. This position has a number of benefits. It increases blood flow and it may be able to help you stop snoring completely.
Get Plenty of Rest
Adults need seven to ten hours of sleep each night. Without it, they can suffer from a number of different health conditions.
Sleep deprivation may cause an increase in snoring. This is because it can cause your throat muscles to relax, which means airways are more likely to collapse. Snoring can also lead to worse sleep deprivation as it leads to interrupted sleep.
Raise the Head of the Bed
Elevating the head of your bed even just a few inches can have a big impact. This change in elevation can help keep your airways open.
You can use bed rises or extra pillows to raise your head up a comfortable amount.
Use Nasal Strips
Stick-on nasal strips can be extremely effective if you are snoring due to congestion or a sinus infection. They are placed on the bridge of the nose using adhesive.
As they pull outward, they open up the space in the nasal passage. This can help you breathe easier and make snoring go away.
Try a Nasal Dilator
Similar to nasal strips, a nasal dilator opens up the space in the nasal pathway so that air can flow more freely. Dilators can be inserted inside the nose and pushed outward.
Avoid Drinking Alcohol
Drinking alcohol before bed can make the throat muscles relax more than usual, which can cause snoring. It is recommended to avoid alcohol consumption at least 3 hours before you plan to lie down to sleep.
The effects of alcohol on snoring are dose-dependent, meaning the more you drink the more it will cause a problem. If you think it will be difficult for you to stop drinking before bed, then start by reducing the amount of alcohol you drink in one night.
Alcohol can also cause other types of sleep issues that can make snoring worse. Reach out to someone if you think you may need some help managing your alcohol consumption.
Try Not to Take Sedatives Before Bed
Taking things to help you sleep, like sedatives, can sometimes lead to problems like snoring. This is because sedatives also relax the muscles in your throat and mouth, making it more likely for your airways to become partially blocked.
If you are currently taking a sedative before bed, consider talking to your doctor about trying some alternatives that might help ease your snoring.
Try Alternatives Like CBD and Melatonin
If you are used to taking something to help you fall asleep and are worried you won’t be able to get any shut-eye without it, you can try an all-natural supplement.
CBD is one option for people who want assistance sleeping without taking prescriptions and sedatives. CBD, or cannabidiol, is a natural compound that comes from industrial-grown hemp. Studies show that it can help people fall asleep and stay asleep. And it may help relieve symptoms of sleep conditions like snoring by helping your get better sleep overall.
Melatonin is another over-the-counter supplement option that people take to get help with falling asleep. Melatonin is a chemical produced by the body. It should be produced about 4 hours before sundown to naturally help your body relax and go to sleep. However, now that screens and light surround us, our bodies have a hard time knowing when to produce melatonin, and some people take a supplement to help their bodies stay in the right rhythm.
You can try a CBD and melatonin blend specifically crafted to offer sleep support. But keep in mind that supplements like CBD and melatonin are not regulated by the FDA. It is the consumer’s responsibility to research the products before they use them. Always verify that you are getting products from a trustworthy source and read the ingredients label to know exactly what you are putting into your body.
It is a great idea to speak with your doctor about safely adding new supplements to your routine.
If You Smoke, Stop
Smoking is a habit that can make snoring worse. It is well established that it has a variety of other negative health impacts as well. You can try therapies like gum or patches that can help you quit.
Chances are any sleep conditions you may be dealing with like snoring or sleep apnea will improve after stopping cigarette use.
Maintain a Moderate Body Weight
If you carry extra weight on your body, it may contribute to snoring. Especially if this extra weight is stored around your neck and chest. Reducing body weight may help reduce the extra tissue around your throat that could be causing your snoring.
A simple tip it is to try to eat a well-balanced diet and get some physical activity in every day. You can also speak with your doctor or a nutritionist about coming up with a plan that matches your weight loss goals.
Medical Treatments for Persistent Snoring
Sometimes the above types of changes are not enough to get rid of a bad snoring issue. Some people might snore for reasons that a doctor needs to identify and treat.
Speaking with a doctor may be the only way to definitively identify the underlying condition. There are some medical treatments commonly used to treat snoring and its root causes.
Allergies can reduce the airflow through your nose. This causes you to have to breathe through the mouth. This increases the chances of snoring.
There are over-the-counter and prescription medications that people take for allergies. Any of these may be able to help those with allergies. There are many types to choose between, such as nasal sprays, liquids, and pills.
Some people try non-sedating antihistamines like Claritin. There are also sedative antihistamines like Benadryl that may be able to offer some relief. You could also try inhaled nasal corticosteroids liek Flonase, oral decongestants like Sudafed, or leukotriene modifiers like Singulair.
You shouldn’t take any of these products without consulting with your doctor first. Some of these options may be very effective for those snoring due to allergies, but may not be suitable for long-term use.
Make Changes to the Anatomical Structure of the Nose
Some people are born with a deviated septum or can develop one due to injury. This is a misalignment of the wall that separates both sides of the nose. This leads to problems like restricted airways.
A deviated septum may particularly cause mouth breathing while sleeping, which often results in snoring. This condition may require surgery to be completely fixed. Septoplasty is the procedure that repairs a deviated septum.
Use A CPAP Machine
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (commonly known as CPAP) is a treatment for people with obstructive sleep apnea. It requires the person to wear a mask over their face while they sleep at night. The mask is tightly fitted over the mouth and the nose. It is connected to a small pump that pushes pressurized air into the airways while sleeping.
This keeps the airways from becoming blocked or collapsing. For many it can completely eliminate snoring as a result. However, some people find the masks to be very uncomfortable and restrictive. And the machine may be a little loud to sleep next to. Many people get used to it after time, but there is often a period of getting used to it.
Use an Oral Appliance
Oral appliances are fitted by dentists. They are made custom for each patient. These devices are designed to increase the size of the upper airway during sleep. This increase in space decreases snoring.
There are three ways this usually works. One is by shifting the position of the lower jar forward. Another is by changing the position of the soft palate. And lastly, it may work by retracting the tongue. These devices are a good option for people who have not been able to find relief with more conservative measures.
Try Palatal Implants
Palatal implants require surgery. This procedure is designed to help those with obstructive sleep apnea and reduce snoring. It involves tiny implants being inserted into the soft palate to reduce tissue vibrations.
After they are placed in the tissue, the implants stiffen the soft palate to help you stop snoring. This treatment option is best for people who suffer from mild to moderate sleep apnea and want to stop snoring. It is not recommended for anyone who is overweight or has severe sleep apnea.
UPPP stands for uvulopalatopharyngoplasty. This is a surgical procedure that removes the excess tissue in the throat to widen the airway. This should allow air to move more freely through the throat. This in turn usually reduces or stops snoring.
It can be done with the use of traditional surgical techniques, but it can also be done through laser-assisted equipment. Laser-assisted UPPP allows for outpatient therapy. Although studies show that this type of procedure can effectively reduce snoring intensity, the effects of this procedure may not be long-term.
Try Radiofrequency Ablation
This is a minimally invasive treatment that uses low-intensity radio waves to shrink the tissue in your soft palette. This is sometimes referred to as Somnoplasty, which is a trademarked version of the procedure.
Deciding When to Talk to a Doctor
Around half of American adults snore according to a study conducted by the American Academy of Otolaryngology. Snoring can disrupt sleep for the person who sleeps and their partner. It can become frustrating and annoying, but it can also come with some serious health conditions that need attention.
Consulting with a doctor can get you pointed in the right direction to find the best snoring solutions that work for your situation. You should reach out to your doctor if you have any signs of sleep apnea, which include things like gasping for air while you sleep. Frequent urination at night, excessive daytime sleepiness, or waking up with a dry, sore mouth or a headache are all signs of sleep apnea.
Living with these sleep conditions can reduce the quality of your sleep and the quality of your life. If you have tried home remedies and some of the above lifestyle change tips but have seen no positive results then it is time to seek some help with getting rid of your snoring.