Tips to Live By

How to Stop Snoring: 5 Simple Remedies to Try

Oct. 5, 2020 - Daniel Ford

The value of a good night's sleep can't be overestimated.

The amount of sleep you get each night, and the quality of that sleep, impacts your overall health — from your mood and appetite to your ability to focus on daily tasks. In fact, not getting enough quality sleep is associated with a number of chronic conditions, including cardiovascular disease, depression, diabetes and obesity.

But, what if your sleep is affected by snoring — either your own or your partner's?

Chronic snoring can be a major nuisance for everyone within hearing distance. Thankfully, though, there are steps you can take to help stop snoring.

5 snoring remedies to try

1. Sleep on your side

It sounds almost too simple, but sleeping on your side can be an effective way to quiet or stop snoring. Sleeping on your back causes your tongue to fall backwards into your throat, narrowing your airway and partially obstructing airflow. Side-sleeping helps to keep your tongue out of your airway, giving you quieter sleep.

2. Try nasal strips or nasal tubes to increase airflow

Available at practically every pharmacy, nasal strips help to increase airflow by adhering to the bridge of the nose and opening the nasal passages. Internal nasal dilators, also called nasal tubes or cones, sit inside the nose and widen the nostrils. While these devices can be an easy and inexpensive way to stop snoring, they aren't effective for those who suffer from more serious sleep disorders.

3. Treat nasal congestion

If you're one of the millions who suffer from allergies, you are well acquainted with nasal congestion. If snoring is an issue, your stuffy nose might be the culprit. When you're congested, you breathe through your mouth during sleep rather than your nose, increasing the chance that you'll snore.

4. Avoid alcohol

Although having a nightcap might seem like a good way to relax before bed, alcohol can interrupt your sleep. Alcohol depresses your central nervous system and excessively relaxes your muscles. When your throat muscles relax during sleep, your airway narrows, causing you to snore.

5. Get enough sleep

A side effect of missing quality sleep can be (you guessed it) snoring. When you don't get the recommended amount of sleep every night — seven to eight hours for adults — you can negatively affect the sleep you do get, causing a vicious cycle.

When should I see a doctor about my snoring?

Chronic snoring can be a sign of an underlying medical condition, especially when other persistent symptoms are present. If you experience any of the following symptoms, you should consider talking to your doctor:

  • Difficulty concentrating or forgetfulness
  • Dry mouth or sore throat when you wake up
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • High blood pressure
  • Morning headaches
  • Restless sleep
  • Waking up choking or gasping

These symptoms can be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), the most common form of sleep apnea. OSA occurs when muscles at the back of your throat relax to a point where they fail to keep your airway open, interrupting breathing throughout the night. Many people who are diagnosed with OSA are prescribed a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine, which continuously delivers air to your body through a mask or nosepiece.

If you feel you may be suffering from an underlying condition that affects your sleep, make an appointment with your doctor for a diagnosis and any necessary treatment.

Categories: Tips to Live By
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