It’s noisy, annoying and can disrupt your sleep night after night. We’re talking about snoring, the exasperating sound many of us make that can even cause problems in our relationships. But do you know how to stop snoring? Though snoring is not indicative of any life-threatening health issue, it can be a sign of some problem with the throat, nasal passage or tongue. Let us learn some more about snoring before we share some tips to help solve this problem.
What causes snoring?
We snore when our upper airways narrow too much. This causes turbulent airflow which makes the surrounding tissue to vibrate and produce noise. This narrowing can occur in the nasal passage or the back of the throat. The narrower the passage becomes, the louder are the snores.
Once you understand the cause of snoring, you can take appropriate measures to control it.
- Recommended read: What is DSPS or Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome
External factors that cause snoring
Alcohol is also a muscle relaxant. When you drink the tissues of your throat, slacken, and this can cause loud snores.
Extra fat around the neck and throat can narrow the airways and can make you snore.
Muscle relaxants like lorazepam(Ativan) and diazepam(Valium) can make your snores worse. Antihistamines, on the other hand, help reduce snoring as they alleviate nasal congestion.
When you lie on your back, the tissues in the upper airways can droop and constrict breathing. This may cause snoring.
- Also read: How to fall asleep fast?
Smoking can irritate the air passage, and this can result in snoring.
Natural remedies for snoring
There are many products available in the markets to stop snoring like nasal strips, but research backs few of them. Some people also go in for outpatient surgical procedures like laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty, palatal implants, and somnoplasty.
However, it is better to try these natural and inexpensive remedies before you opt for such methods.
1. Remove allergens
It is possible that your allergies may be the reason for your snores. Some common irritants that can contribute to allergies are pet dander, dust and dust mites. Keep your pets away from your bedroom and dust your room thoroughly every day.
Replace your pillow every six months and put it in the dryer every few weeks.
2. Use humidifier
If the air that you breathe is dry, there is a good chance that you will begin snoring. Extremely dry air can irritate the membranes in our airways and restrict our natural breathing rhythm.
This makes the loose tissues vibrate when we breathe. To prevent this use a humidifier with a HEPA filtration system.
3. Change sleeping position
If you sleep on your back, the chances of you snoring increase. When you sleep on your back, it causes the throat tissues to relax, which blocks the airway slightly.
Buy a body pillow which can help you maintain a side sleeping position. You can also tape a tennis ball to the back of your pajamas to prevent you from sleeping on your back during the night.
4. Lose weight
Excess fat in your neck area can narrow the airways and cause snoring. Talk to your doctor about a healthy fat loss approach, and you will be able to get rid of snoring along with your weight.
5. Avoid alcohol and sedatives
Alcohol and sedatives can affect your central nervous system and relax the muscles in your jaw and throat. In such cases, your tongue can block the airway and make you snore. Avoid alcohol consumption too close to your bedtime to avoid snoring.
6. Stop smoking
Snoring can irritate the upper airway, and this can result in snoring. Stop smoking to ensure that you do not snore at night.
7. Open blocked nasal passage
If your nasal passage is blocked due to a cold, the air moves inside at a faster pace and can cause snoring. Take a hot water shower to open up your nasal passage for a peaceful night of sleep. Nasal strips may also work in this case open up your nasal passage.
8. Stay hydrated
Dehydration makes the secretions from the nose and palate thicker, and this can result in snoring. So drink water and stay hydrated.
- Suggested read: How much water should I drink every day?
9. Use nasal valves and oral devices
If nothing else works, use FDA approved nasal valves. These expand your nasal passages and make your breathing more comfortable. These valves can be used only one time and can turn into an expensive solution.
Some oral devices are like mouthguards that move the jaw slightly. They can be helpful for people who snore but can be costly.
Snoring should not be taken lightly. Often snoring is an indicator of something that is not right in our body. It can also be an indicator of sleep apnea. Patients with sleep apnea stop breathing during the night. Receiving an accurate diagnosis from the doctor is essential.