Tips on How to Stop Snoring
Snoring can be problematic, especially if it wakes you up often or keeps a partner awake at night. This can lead to tiredness and irritability during the day as well as increased health problems for you both. People snore for different reasons, so to cures for snoring that work for some people won't work for others. The trick is to work out why you are snoring and then you can find the cure for your particular problem. It's important to consult your physician, particularly if you notice that yourself or a partner stops breathing whilst asleep. Snoring can be a sign of sleep apnea, so get yourself checked out to be on the safe side.
Causes of Snoring
Common causes of snoring include the age of the person (throat muscle tone decreases with age and the passage becomes narrower), fitness (overweight people can have a build up of fat in their airways), sex (men are more likely to snore as their air passages are narrower than women's), genetics (enlarged adenoids, a particularly narrow throat or a cleft palate, which can cause snoring, are often hereditary) and sleeping position (the throat muscles relax and can narrow our airways when we lie on our backs). Drinking, smoking and certain medications can also cause snoring as they make our muscles relax more. Nasal and sinus conditions are also possible causes of snoring as the congestion blocks the air passages, making it harder to breathe.
Study Your Snoring Patterns
Get your partner, or someone close to you, to study when you snore and how you are sleeping when you do so. You will then get some clues about why you are snoring.
Think About What May Be Causing Your Snoring
Think about the possible causes of your snoring problem. You usually know if your fitness isn't all it could be (if you are overweight, for example) as well as whether you drink and/or smoke too much or have nasal congestion problems. If you can establish the main underlying cause then you can work on becoming fitter, quitting drinking and smoking or seeing the doctor for treatment for nasal conditions. Your general medical practitioner may be able to advise you if a medication you are on might be a cause of your snoring. Ask if there are any alternatives that don't have that side-effect.
Changing Your Sleeping Position May Help
If you snore because you sleep on your back there are various devices and special pillows on the market that can help. However, a simple and cheap traditional remedy for this is to sew a tennis ball on the back of your pajamas or night-dress. Use a piece of cloth to hold it in place. Whenever you roll on your back the tennis ball will make you uncomfortable or wake you up. You will automatically change your sleeping position and stop snoring. After a while you can usually dispense with the tennis ball, once you are used to sleeping on your side and have stopped snoring.
Sprays and Devices to Help You Stop Snoring
Throat sprays (which lubricate the throat's soft tissue) and nasal sprays (which reduce swelling of nasal passages and lower congestion) to cure snoring are also available commercially. These do help some people to stop snoring. Plastic devices or adhesive nasal strips can also be bought to help keep the nasal passages open wider throughout the night. Different products work for different people. Sometimes they don't work completely, but do reduce the loudness of the snoring, and this can be enough to enable the snorer and their long-suffering partner to sleep better.
Some people who don't find a simple answer to their snoring problem seek more extreme solutions. Devices can be fitted by some dentists to keep the tongue or lower jaw in a more forward position, thereby increasing the width of the air passage and stop the snoring. Continuous Positive Airways Pressure (CPAP) machines users wear a mask over their face and air is blown through their nostrils to keep their breathing constant and stop their snoring. Some people even have implants put in their soft palates, or have them scarred surgically to stiffen them in their efforts to quit snoring.
Other snorers try aromatherapy, hypnosis, homeopathic remedies and other alternative, or complementary, therapies to help with their problem. Again, people have varying success with different approaches.
It will largely depend on what is causing the problem as to which cures for snoring will work for any particular person.