7 Easy Ways to Help Stop Snoring
Getting enough sleep often isn’t the only nighttime concern people have to deal with. About half of adult men snore, and whether you realize it or not, snoring can disrupt the quality of your sleep. At the very least, your sleeping partner likely takes issue with the problem. There is no magic cure for snoring, but there are some easy things to try that frequently give snorers relief. If you are worried you may have sleep apnea or your snoring becomes a bigger issue, go see a doctor. There are a number of treatments your physician may prescribe, and there are also some surprising alternative healing methods for snoring, such as singing and playing the didgeridoo. If you’re just starting to look into some easy ways to curb your snoring, or if your didgeridoo skills aren’t up to par, check out these seven easy remedies.
1. Stay hydrated
Drinking plenty of water is an important way to prevent snoring. “Secretions in your nose and soft palate become stickier when you’re dehydrated,” Daniel P. Slaughter, M.D., told WedMD. “This can create more snoring.” Your water intake should be spread throughout the day, but if you feel dehydrated at night, it’s worth drinking several glasses of water before you settle in for bed.
2. Lose weight if you are overweight
Weight loss doesn’t help everyone, but if your snoring started after you gained weight, this might be the method for you. Extra weight around your neck can squeeze the throat and trigger snoring. Try incorporating more exercise and healthier eating habits into your daily routine if you think a weight problem may be the culprit.
3. Change your sleep position
Sleeping on your side instead of your back is a commonly cited snoring remedy. When you sleep on your back, the base of your tongue and soft palate can collapse to the back of your throat, causing a vibrating sound. Taping tennis balls to the back of your pajamas is recommended to prevent rolling onto your back. Elevating your head can also help with snoring by opening the nasal passages, but it may cause neck pain. If your snoring continues even after changing position, you may have sleep apnea and should see a doctor.
4. Stick to a healthy sleep routine
Poor sleep habits can exacerbate snoring, so try to get plenty of sleep every night, and always go to bed/wake up around the same time. Working long hours and skipping out on sleep doesn’t just make you cranky in the morning. When you go to bed overtired, Slaughter explained, “You sleep hard and deep, and the muscles become floppier, which creates snoring.”
5. Open nasal passages
Sometimes snoring starts in your nose, in which case opening the nasal passages is the best way to remedy the situation. Nasal strips can be helpful to raise and open up the nasal passages, and a hot shower before bed can do the same thing, in addition to relaxing your muscles to help you fall asleep. If you are particularly congested or have a cold, rinsing with a neti pot might be more effective.
6. Reduce allergens
Allergens in your bedroom could be the major driver behind your snoring problem. Keep your bedroom clean and dust-free, and pay special attention to your pillows. Dust mites can accumulate in them and cause allergic reactions that lead to snoring. Put your pillows in the dryer on the air fluff cycle once every few weeks and replace every six months to keep dust mites at bay. Animal dander can also be irritating, so you might want to try keeping pets out of the bedroom — or at least off of the bed.
7. Avoid alcohol and sedatives
Drinking alcohol four to five hours before bed can make snoring worse, and people who don’t normally snore will often snore after drinking alcohol. This happens because alcohol and other sedatives reduce the resting tone of the muscles in the back of your throat, making snoring more likely. Alcohol can also potentially keep you awake or disrupt your sleep in the middle of the night, so giving up drinking may be the cure to two of your sleep problems.