10 easy ways to help you stop snoring
A large percentage of adults tend to snore or a regular or occasional basis. Various clinical studies identified the common causes of snoring and these are related to age, body type, body weight, nasal problems, sleep position, smoking, medication and alcohol consumption.
Snoring does not only affect your quality of sleep but is also very annoying for your partner causing frustration and worsens the situation. Taken from personal experience and expert’s recommendations, the 10 most common ways to prevent snoring (in order of importance) are outlined below.
1. Try to sleep on your side
The vibrating sound of snoring during sleep is coming from your throat and this is because flesh is blocking the airway when you are sleeping on your back. Sleeping on your side may help prevent this.
If you are used sleeping on your back you can try using a body pillow to sustain your body from falling on your back, or you can use the tennis ball trick. I haven’t used this one and I am not sure whether it can actually work but the theory is that you attach a tennis ball (or similar) to your back via your pajamas or t-shirt so that when you turn to sleep on your back you feel uncomfortable and return back to the side position.
2. Avoid drinking alcohol before going to bed
Excess alcohol consumption assists in relaxing the throat muscles and as a result you snore more easily. A general recommendation is not to drink alcoholic drinks 4-5 hours before going to bed. A class of wine or a beer is ok but excess alcohol consumption may even make people who don’t usually snore to snore.
3. Maintain a constant sleep schedule
Experts suggest that establishing a sleeping pattern can help you sleep better and minimize snoring. In simple words this means try to sleep and the same time each night and make sure that you are getting 7-8 hours of continuous night sleep.
4. Unblock your nasal passages
This is perhaps the most difficult step to follow. When you have a blocked nose you essentially breathe using your mouth and this cause more snoring. I did mention some suggestions on how to get cure from cold, which can also help in unblocking your nasal passages, but in general you can:
Use nasal decongestants, neti pot or nasal strips (after consultation with your doctor or pharmacist)
Take a hot bath and use a few drops of eucalyptus in the water to help you breathe better and unblock your nose.
Inhale vapors over a pot with boiling water
Eat hot chicken soups
5. Clean your pillow
Snoring may be the result of an allergy you don’t know about. If the substance that you are allergic to is on your pillow you will keep snoring without knowing why. Try to change your pillow and make sure that you wash the pillow cover on a regular basis. If you have pets try to keep them away from the bed (and your pillow) and see if this makes any difference to your snoring.
6. Drink plenty of water
Water makes secretions in your nose softer and easier to remove while helps you unblock your nose faster. The recommended intake of water per day is 3.7 liters for men and 2.7 liters for women.
7. Stop smoking
Smoking causes swelling and catarrh and this decreased the airflow when breathing. The result is more vibrating sound during your night’s sleep. Make sure you read our 20 tips on how to quit smoking
8. Lose weight and fat around your neck
If you are overweight then the excess fat tissue (especially in the throat area) may be the cause of snoring. This is not always the case since non overweight people snore as well but losing weight in general has many other benefits for your overall health and wellbeing.
9. Use a humidifier
A humidifier can increase moisture in the room while sleeping. This softens the nose and throat and makes breathing easier and not so noisy.
10. Avoid drinking coffee or heavy meals 3 hours before sleep
Coffee (and other caffeine drinks) as well as eating heavy meals before going for sleep can promote insomnia, distract your sleep and cause snoring. The National Sleep Foundation suggests that you avoid heavy meals or snacks 3-4 hours before retiring.
As a rule of thumb, try to sleep for at least 7-8 hours per day at the same time and avoid sleeping on your back. If the above self-help techniques cannot help you stop snoring the best way to get treatment is to visit your local sleep center for professional assistance and advice.