Have you been told you have a snoring problem? Or maybe you have a partner who needs to learn how to stop snoring.
No matter who has the snoring problem, it can ruin a good night of sleep, making the next day a drag to get through.
Keep reading to learn about some simple changes you can make that might get rid of your snoring problem.
Snoring is the sound of air passing through your airway when it is partially blocked. This happens when tissues at the top of your airway touch each other and vibrate.
This vibration makes the sound of your snore. Almost all adults snore occasionally. But some adults have such severe snoring that it can cause other problems. Or it might indicate an underlying health condition.
What Causes Snoring?
There are many different reasons people snore. No matter what the cause, snoring through the night can cause daytime fatigue, irritability, and increased health problems. But identifying the cause can help with figuring out the right way to treat the problem. Some of the most common causes of snoring include:
The throat becomes narrow once people reach middle age and beyond. The muscle tone in the throat also tends to decrease. We can’t keep from growing older, but lifestyle changes and exercises may be able to help prevent snoring from becoming a problem.
Being out of shape
Fatty tissue and poor muscle tone can both contribute to snoring. Even if you are not overweight, having excess weight in the neck and throat area can cause snoring.
Men naturally have narrower airway passages than women. Therefore men are more likely to snore. There are other physical attributes that can make someone more likely to snore. They include things like a cleft palate or enlarged adenoids.
Simple Ways to Stop Snoring
Just like there are different causes for why people snore, there are also different options for stopping your snoring. If you try a few of the following tips and don’t see results, you may want to speak with a doctor about your snore.
Changes to Your Sleeping Habits
For many people, a simple change to their nightly routine or environment can help them to get rid of their snoring problem. You can start by making one adjustment at a time and see which ones work for you. A combination of these tips may be the most effective in reducing snoring.
Sleep on Your Side
The position you sleep in has one of the biggest impacts on your likelihood to snore. Sleeping on your back causes the biggest chance of snoring.
People often snore less when they sleep on their sides. This may have something to do with head position, as people tend to snore less when their heads are turned to the side. If you fall asleep on your back and you are snoring then try to fall asleep laying on your side.
You can help yourself to stay in a side-lying position by placing pillows around your body to keep you from rolling over.
Wear a Nasal Strip
There are internal and external nasal strips, or dilators. They are meant to improve airflow as you sleep. One of the effects they may have is to reduce snoring. These can be purchased over the counter at most drug stores at relatively affordable prices. They can also be purchased online.
Both types of nasal dilators are small and flexible strips that use tension to open the nasal passages. An external dilator (a nasal strip) sticks to the outside of the nose with adhesive. It pulls outward as a result of its shape, this lifts the skin and opens the nasal passages.
An internal nasal dilator works in a similar fashion. But it does so on the inside of the nose. Instead of pulling out on the outside of the nose, it pushes outward from the inside of the nose.
Studies show that both types of dilators reduce snoring. But internal dilators seem to be the most effective.
Use a Mouth-Piece
There are a variety of dental devices you can use to reduce snoring. These are called anti-snoring mouthpieces, and they can take a while to get used to. They are larger and sit in the mouth overnight. You can purchase these as a form of mouthguard sold over the counter.
There are two main varieties found in stores. They are mandibular advancement devices and tongue-retaining devices.
A mandibular advancement device is a type of anti-snoring mouthpiece that is molded to fit your teeth. Then it is adjusted so it will move your jaw forward. The movement of your lower jaw helps to reduce snoring for many people.
A tongue-retaining device, sometimes called a tongue stabilizing device, is another type of anti-snoring mouthpiece. This type also fits between the teeth. But instead of focusing on the lower jaw, this mouthpiece holds the tongue in place. A small part of the device uses suction to keep the tongue from moving out of place. This way it doesn’t fall back into the throat during sleep.
One study even showed that this type of device may be able to reduce snoring intensity by up to 68%. It may also be able to help people with sleep apnea too. Although you should speak to a doctor before using one of these products if you believe you suffer from sleep apnea.
Get Plenty of Rest
Adults are supposed to get 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night. If you are sleep deprived this can lead to many types of sleep disorders, including snoring. Try to get caught up on sleep and stick to a regular schedule.
Make Adjustments to Your Lifestyle
If bedtime changes like sleeping on your side and sleeping with a mouthguard don’t seem to help, you may be able to find results with bigger lifestyle changes. Making a commitment to these changes may be able to help improve many areas of your life, including stopping snoring.
These changes can take a lot of effort. Start with one change at a time so you have time to get used to the changes.
Reduce Body Weight
Experts say that weight loss is one of the first and most important treatments for how to stop snoring. This recommendation only applies to people who are overweight. People with obesity are more likely to snore and experience sleep apnea.
Research has found that weight loss may reduce both of these conditions. Don’t fall for any gimmicky weight loss plans or crash diets. These are not effective long term and can be dangerous. A healthy diet and physical activity are the best ways to reduce body weight in a healthy way.
Practice Mouth Exercises
You can practice mouth exercises to train yourself to stop snoring. These exercises are called oropharyngeal exercises and studies show that they may effectively reduce snoring.
Mouth exercises require the repeated movements of the tongue and other parts of your mouth to strengthen the muscles in the tongue, soft palate, and throat.
If you smoke cigarettes, this is one significant change you can make. Cigarettes are associated with increased snoring. And quitting can lead to improvement. If you smoke and notice your children are snoring, stopping smoking could also improve your children’s snoring.
There are many other health benefits that come with stopping cigarettes. Cigarettes take an average of 10 years off the lifespan of each smoker.
Avoid Alcohol Before Bedtime
Alcohol has been shown to increase snoring. Drinking right before bed is the best way to induce it. Alcohol will make snoring worse the more you’ve had. So if you drink multiple drinks before bed and don’t want to go cold turkey, start by cutting out one drink at a time.
If you are still snoring, try to stop drinking alcohol a couple of hours before bed. You can also cut out alcohol altogether.
Treat Nasal Congestion
Things like allergies can cause snoring. But allergies aren’t the only thing that can cause nasal congestion. If you have a deviated septum this could be the underlying reason for your snoring issues.
These things can limit airflow through your nose which causes you to breathe through your mouth. This increases the likelihood of snoring. If you have chronic congestions that never seems to go away, you may be able to get a prescription nasal spray that could help. If there is a structural defect like a deviated septum you may need surgery.
Don’t Wait to Talk to Your Doctor
Sometimes making bedtime and lifestyle changes isn’t enough to stop snoring. Sometimes it may be due to underlying health conditions or medical issues.
Some people who snore may be doing so as a symptom of obstructive sleep apnea or other conditions. If you have persistent snoring then speak with your doctor. They may be able to diagnose you with a cause and be able to effectively help you stop snoring.
Your doctor may run some tests to see if there is an unknown health issue causing your snoring. An imaging test, like an X-ray, can check the structure of your airway for problems, for example, a deviated septum.
Depending on your symptoms your doctor may want to conduct a full sleep study. Sometimes these may be done at home. But depending on the severity of your symptoms this may require an overnight stay at a sleep center. There you will undergo an in-depth analysis of your breathing.
This analysis is called polysomnography. In this analysis, patients get hooked up to many different sensors and get observed overnight. During the course of the ight the following information is recorded: Brain wave activity, blood oxygen level, heart rate, breathing rate, sleep stages, and eye and leg movement.
For some people, it takes surgery to really banish the beast of snoring. The cause might be physical issues that medical professionals can resolve. Although surgery should never be the first option.
Seeing a doctor is the only way to determine if you could benefit from surgery. If they decide it is a good course of action for you they may have a couple of different recommendations. You could have a laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty, palatal implants, or somnoplasty.
This operation involves a surgeon using a laser to remove tissue from the uvula in the throat and soft palate of the mouth. As a result, the throat can have more airflow. And the soft palate gets more firm where the laser was used.
This treatment is regularly used as a treatment for snoring. Although in recent years it has become controversial due to the potential for some negative side effects. As a result, some surgeons won’t offer this surgery.
These are also minimally invasive surgery that stiffens the palate. These implants are much less controversial than laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty. Studies show that these implants may significantly reduce snoring for certain people.
Somnoplasty has characteristics of both the previously mentioned operations. They can all be used to remove tissue from the uvula and stiffen the soft palate. But instead of lasers and implants, this operation uses radio waves to alter tissues in the mouth and throat. Research shows that somnoplasty may successfully reduce snoring in certain people but not as effectively as palatal implants.
Since snoring is such a commonly experienced problem there are many types of products that claim to help. Nasal sprays and various homeopathic therapies are available. However, most of these products don’t have clinical trials to back them up.
One option that is proven effective is continuous positive airway pressure or CPAP. CPAP involves wearing a tight-fitting mask over the face for the entire night of sleep. The mask covers the nose and mouth. It pushes pressurized air from a pump into the airway to keep it open. This eliminates snoring. But this treatment is usually used to treat obstructive sleep apnea. Some people find the mask to be uncomfortable and think the machine is too loud to sleep next to.
Another option is to take a supplement, like CBD. There is not enough research to suggest that CBD can improve snoring symptoms, but there is solid evidence that CBD can help with other sleep issues, like insomnia. It may be able to help reduce snoring by having positive effects on sleep conditions that lead to snoring.
Make Informed Decisions
You should always check with your doctor before trying a new supplement. After you get the green light, read our CBD buyers guide to learn how to choose a safe product to take.