Snoring is a common problem that occurs when your breathing gets obstructed during sleep. And that sleep-wrecking sound is caused by the vibration of tissues in your airway. A condition known as sleep apnea, where the muscles of the throat relax during sleep, blocking airflow and interrupting breathing, can cause you to snore.You’re also more likely to snore as you get older or if you’re overweight.1
Tired of the constant complaints from your partner about your snoring? Here are some things that you can do to cut out the snoring.
1. Sleep On Your Side
When you sleep on your back, fatty tissue beneath your chin as well as your tongue can block your airway and make you snore.2 Which is why sleeping on your side should help. Some experts suggest sewing a small ball into the back of your sleepwear to stop you from turning over onto your back in your sleep.3
2. Use Anti-Snoring Devices
Several devices that can reduce snoring are available to you.
Nasal Strips And Dilators
Both nasal strips or nasal dilators can help if you snore mostly from your nose. Nasal strips are adhesive tapes that are applied outside your nostrils. They can pull your nostrils apart to stop them from becoming narrow and reducing airflow while you sleep. Nasal dilators are placed inside your nostrils to push your nostrils apart.
Chin Strips And Vestibular Shields
If you snore from your mouth, you could try using a chin strip or vestibular shield. Chin strips are applied under your chin to stop your mouth from falling open. A vestibular shield is usually placed inside your mouth to block air flow through the mouth. This encourages you to breathe through your nose and stops you from snoring through your mouth while you sleep.
Mandibular Advancement Devices
If you snore because your airway is too narrow, making your tongue vibrate when you breathe in your sleep, a mandibular advancement device may be able to help you. This device pushes your jaw and tongue forward, thus increasing the space at the back of your throat and reducing the narrowing of your airway. If you have sleep apnea, your doctor may fit you with a custom-made mandibular advancement device to help you breathe easy while sleeping and to reduce snoring.4
3. Lose The Extra Pounds
If you’re overweight, your throat might be narrower because you have excess fat around your neck. This can cause snoring. Losing excess weight can, therefore, help you get a snore-free night’s sleep. However, don’t crash diet or skip meals as this can do more harm than good. It’s better to target losing anything between half a pound to two pounds a week by integrating a balanced lower-calorie diet with physical activity.
Watch What You Eat
Follow a nutrient-dense diet that replaces less healthy, calorie-rich options with fruits, vegetables, proteins, whole grains, and low-fat dairy. Ideally, half your plate should contain fruits and vegetables. Also, limit the amount of salt, added sugars, and saturated fat that you consume. Eating smaller portions can also cut the number of calories that you consume in one stretch.
It is recommended that you get in around 150–300 minutes of moderate or vigorous exercise each week. But you don’t need to drag yourself to the gym to do this. Going for a brisk walk, swimming, dancing, or playing a sport like tennis or basketball can work just as well. In fact, just taking the stairs or walking to the store can improve the amount of physical activity you get. Do remember to start slow and gradually up your activity levels if you’ve not exercised for a while.5
4. Exercise Your Throat
According to research, exercising your throat can strengthen throat muscles and reduce snoring. Try these simple exercises:
- Slide your tongue backward while pushing the tip against the hard palate. Do this exercise 20 times.
- Press your whole tongue against your palate by sucking your tongue upward against it. Repeat this exercise 20 times.
- Touch the tip of your tongue to your inferior incisive teeth while keeping the back of your tongue against the floor of your mouth. Repeat 20 times. 6
5. Try Natural Remedies
A common cold or an allergy can leave you with a blocked nose which forces you to breathe through your mouth while you sleep. This in turn makes it more likely that you’ll snore because the walls at the back of your mouth vibrate more easily than the walls at the back of your nose.7 If a stuffy nose is making you snore, you can try natural or herbal remedies to deal with it.
A Saline Nasal Wash
A saline nasal wash can be useful in dealing with a blocked nose. Mix in a teaspoon of salt in half a liter of water. Pour this saline solution into your nostril and allow it to run out of the other nostril. Leaning forward with your head tilted sideways while you do this can make the process easier. The saline water will wash off allergens and mucus and leave you breathing easier.8
Peppermint Steam Inhalation
A steam inhalation is a time-honored remedy for dealing with a blocked nose. And no wonder, because moist warm air is really effective at loosening mucus so you can breathe better. This simple remedy involves boiling water in a wide pan and inhaling the steam once the water stops bubbling. Draping a towel over your head while you lean over the pan can help to trap the steam.
If you want to up the effectiveness of your steam inhalation, try adding a few drops of peppermint oil to the hot water. Peppermint contains menthol, which is great at loosening mucus and clearing up your airways. Do keep in mind though that menthol can be harmful to children, so stick to plain hot water if your child’s suffering from a stuffy nose.9
Did you know that turmeric, the exotic yellow spice that gives curry its vibrant color, might be able to clear up your stuffy nose? According to research, turmeric can inhibit the release of histamine. Histamine is a chemical present in our bodies that is released during allergic reactions and is responsible for symptoms like a runny nose or sneezing that are commonly experienced during a reaction.10
Turmeric has also been conventionally used to treat coughs and colds in Southeast Asian communities. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of curcumin, a compound present in turmeric, may be responsible for its beneficial effects. Try the traditional turmeric milk which is prepared by boiling a little turmeric powder in milk. You can also add turmeric to your daily cooking.11
Bromelain, an enzyme found in pineapples, may be able to lessen nasal mucus if you have sinusitis. It may also be able to help you deal with the inflammation and swelling that’s seen in hay fever. So for a clear nose and a good night’s sleep, dice up some pineapples.12
Plain old yogurt can help lessen allergic reactions to pollen and may even be useful in staving off a cold.13 Studies have found that beneficial bacteria found in yogurt can reduce the severity and duration of respiratory tract infections.14 So if a terrible cold is ruining your sleep, try snacking on some yogurt.
6. Avoid Alcohol And Smoking
Both alcohol and smoking can increase your chances of snoring. Alcohol relaxes the muscles of your throat and causes you to snore. Smoking, on the other hand, can irritate your throat and nose, leading to swelling that reduces airflow and triggers snoring.15
How Do You Deal With A Snoring Partner?
Does your partner’s snoring disrupt your sleep every night? If your partner doesn’t realize that they snore, you might want to let them know and find a solution. It’s especially important to get medical help if your partner seems to gasp or snort during the night. This could indicate sleep apnea, which is also linked to a higher risk for conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart attacks.16 And remember, if your partner’s struggling to stop snoring, using ear plugs at night might be an easy but effective way of ensuring that you get a good night’s sleep.17
|↑1||Snoring – adults. National Institutes of Health.|
|↑2, ↑15||5 ways to stop snoring. National Health Service.|
|↑3||Snoring – adults. University of Maryland.|
|↑4, ↑17||Snoring – Treatment. National Health Service.|
|↑5||Weight-loss and Nutrition Myths. National Institutes of Health.|
|↑6||Ieto, Vanessa, Fabiane Kayamori, Maria I. Montes, Raquel P. Hirata, Marcelo G. Gregório, Adriano M. Alencar, Luciano F. Drager, Pedro R. Genta, and Geraldo Lorenzi-Filho. “Effects of oropharyngeal exercises on snoring: a randomized trial.” Chest Journal 148, no. 3 (2015): 683-691.|
|↑7||Snoring. Sleep Health Foundation.|
|↑8||Torkos, Sherry. The Canadian encyclopedia of natural medicine. John Wiley & Sons, 2012.|
|↑9||Editors at Reader’s Digest. Doctors’ Favorite Natural Remedies: The Safest and Most Effective Natural Ways to Treat More Than 85 Everyday Ailments. Simon and Schuster, 2016.|
|↑10||Kurup, Viswanath P., and Christy S. Barrios. “Immunomodulatory effects of curcumin in allergy.” Molecular nutrition & food research 52, no. 9 (2008): 1031-1039.|
|↑11||AHMED, TALHA, and ARSHAD TAIMOR. “HERBAL AND CONVENTIONAL TREATMENT OF BRONCHITIS.”|
|↑12||Bromelain. University Of Maryland.|
|↑13||Cough. University of Maryland.|
|↑14||Vouloumanou, Evridiki K., Gregory C. Makris, Drosos E. Karageorgopoulos, and Matthew E. Falagas. “Probiotics for the prevention of respiratory tract infections: a systematic review.” International journal of antimicrobial agents 34, no. 3 (2009): 197-e1.|
|↑16||Obstructive sleep apnoea. National Health Service.|