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9 Easy Ways To Stop Snoring: Tips To Help You and Your Partner Sleep Better
If you or your partner want to stop snoring you’re not alone. In fact, 50% of people snore at some point in their lives. For some people snoring may be caused by a common cold, for others, it may be a far more serious disorder such as sleep apnea.
The good news is that treating snoring is actually really easy. Even if you suffer from sleep apnea. You can kiss goodbye to the endless nights of listening to your partner snore, sleeping in separate bedrooms and feeling exhausted all day.
Putting a stop to your snoring is not only great for your relationship but it’s also really important for your health. Snoring caused by sleep apnea can lead to multiple health problems such as obesity, stroke, hypertension, depression, mental illness, infertility, diabetes and even death.
You may have seen or even tried over the counter treatments for snoring. Products like nasal strips, fancy pillows or mouth guards. Don’t bother. They’re not effective and there’s no scientific evidence that they actually work.
Instead, put your time and money into these simple and effective snoring solutions:
1. Change Your Sleeping Position
Sleeping on your back may cause your tongue to move back into your throat and your muscles to relax. This obstructs your airways and causes snoring. Try sleeping on your side instead. Or if you find that you end up on your back again during the night, tape a tennis ball to the back of your pyjamas.
If sleeping on your side doesn’t help then you may have sleep apnea. See your doctor or do a sleep disorder self-assessment to determine the likelihood that you have sleep-disordered breathing.
2. Lose Weight
If you’re overweight or obese, snoring can either be the cause or the result of your weight problems.
If you’re like most people and you’ve struggled with losing weight it could come down to the fact that you snore.
That’s because carrying excess fatty tissue around your neck and having poor muscle tone can cause your airways to collapse at night.
Being overweight can also cause sleep apnea which leaves you feeling exhausted during the day. Too tired to exercise and unmotivated to eat a healthy diet. Snoring and weight gain is a vicious cycle where one health problem fuels the other.
If you feel unmotivated during the day and you’re too tired to exercise due to snoring it’s worth having a check-up to find out if you have sleep-disordered breathing (SDB). Treating SDB such as snoring and sleep apnea is easy and results in increased energy and motivation. Take our self-assessment questionnaire to find out if your weight problem is causing your snoring.
3. Assess Your Sleep
It’s time to get real and be honest about your snoring. Assessing your snoring and finding the cause is really important for your relationship and your health.
If you have only just started snoring and you have a cold or your allergies are playing up then it’s unlikely that something more serious is at play. But if you are unable to pinpoint the cause of your snoring then it’s worth finding out if it’s caused by a sleep disorder.
Sleep-disordered breathing (SDB), such as snoring and sleep apnea, is usually caused by the soft tissue of your upper airway (that’s your tongue, your soft palate, uvula and pharyngeal walls) losing tension over time. Or bulking up with fatty deposits and intruding onto your airway. This happens when you’re asleep or very relaxed and you have no conscious control over these tissues.
If your SDB condition is really bad, and you have obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) you literally stop breathing while you sleep. In fact, it’s very common for sufferers of OSA to stop breathing hundreds of times each night. What’s worse is that you don’t even know it’s happening! That’s why your partner or friend might say you snore and you deny it. Because you’re unaware how bad your condition really is.
If you think you may have sleep apnea take our self-assessment questionnaire. It combines a range of scientifically validated and professionally approved screening systems. The Epworth Sleepiness Scale, the Karolinska Scale, the Flemons Predictor, and more. It basically gives a super accurate indicator of whether or not you have sleep-disordered breathing. And it’s free.
Assessing your sleep is so important to determine how your snoring is affecting your sleep. And once you’ve been assessed snoring is very easy to fix.
4. Avoid Alcohol
Have you ever noticed that after a few drinks you or your partner snore more loudly or for longer than usual?
That’s because alcohol relaxes your muscles including the muscles in your jaw and neck causing soft tissue to block your airways.
Not only that but alcohol dries out your mouth causing the vibration of air going through your mouth to become louder.
While alcohol may help you fall asleep faster, it’s actually more disruptive to your sleep than you might think. Don’t drink at least 4 hours before bed and take a hot bath to relax instead. Your sleep will be less disrupted and you’re less likely to snore.
If you find that even without alcohol you’re still snoring it’s time to find out if you have a sleep disorder.
5. Practice Good Sleep Hygiene
Good sleep hygiene involves practising regular habits that will help you get a better night’s sleep and feel more alert during the day. Good sleep habits include:
- Stick to regular sleep and wake times,
- Reduce exposure to blue light from screens before bedtime,
- No alcohol, stimulants or big meals before bed,
- Regular exercise during the day,
- Create a relaxing sleep environment,
- Make sleep a priority,
- Take a hot bath an hour before bedtime, and
- Establish a bedtime routine.
Read more good about sleep hygiene tips here.
6. Unblock Your Nose
If you have a cold or allergies finding a way to unblock your nose may stop your snoring. Having a cold or an allergic reaction will stuff up and inflamed your sinus passages.
Breathing through your nose becomes near impossible, especially at night. And it’s really important to get as much rest as possible for your immune system.
Try having a hot shower or bath at night, use chest rub and try a neti pot with salt water to flush out your nasal passages.
If you find that you’re still snoring after you have recovered from your cold or allergic reaction, you may be suffering from something more serious. Take our free questionnaire to pinpoint the cause of your snoring.
7. Throat and Tongue Exercises
The main cause of your snoring is most likely weak throat and tongue muscles. So get them moving. And we don’t mean more talking. There are mouth exercises you can do called oropharyngeal exercises which have proved effective for sufferers of moderate OSA. Bear in mind that like any exercise building muscles take time and if your snoring is regular it’s best to seek medical advice straight away.
8. Quit Smoking
The more cigarettes you smoke the more likely you are to snore.
Even passive smoking can cause snoring. That’s because cigarette smoke irritates the lining of your mouth and throat causing swelling.
And swelling of your throat causes your airway to collapse while sleeping. Smoking is a difficult habit to break. See your doctor or pharmacist for advice on how to quit smoking and avoid smoking for at least 4 hours before bedtime.
9. Use a CPAP machine
CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. It’s the gold standard for treatment of snoring and sleep apnea. If you have completed a self-assessment questionnaire, had an in-home sleep study and been diagnosed with sleep apnea then you’re probably already on your way to eliminating snoring from your life with a CPAP machine.
CPAP is a machine with a mask that helps you breathe more easily while you sleep. It gently increases air pressure in your throat to prevent it from collapsing while you sleep. CPAP is an easy way to stop snoring. It takes a while to get used to wearing a mask at night while you sleep but if you’re patient the results can be life-changing.
The thought of using a CPAP machine can be daunting. But the good news is that having a Sleep Therapist to help you through the process makes a big difference. Treating snoring and sleep apnea is so much easier when you have a caring professional guiding you until your breathing has been restored back to a normal, healthy pattern.
If you struggle with snoring it may be hard to imagine how great your life could be. Treating snoring and sleep apnea is so easy and can be life-changing. What are you waiting for? Try these snoring remedies today and if all else fails, take our self-assessment questionnaire and start living the life you want to.