What is Snoring?
Snoring happens when air flows through your airway when it’s blocked while breathing in your sleep. This causes the relaxed tissues in your throat to vibrate, resulting in a harsh sound. This is a common occurrence as up to half of all adults snore.
Although snoring is generally not a significant issue and may only disrupt your sleep or the sleep of your loved ones, lack of sleep can still lead to daytime fatigue, irritability, and increased health problems.
If your snoring disrupts your partner’s sleep, it can also create major relationship problems. Additionally, chronic snoring may be a sign of a serious underlying health condition such as Obstructive Sleep Apnea or Sleep Deprivation.
Common Causes of Snoring
When you sleep flat on your back, the flesh of your throat relaxes and blocks the airway.
Drinking alcohol and smoking:
Drinking, smoking, and intake of certain medications can lead to snoring by increasing muscle relaxation.
As you age, your throat naturally becomes narrower, and the muscle tone in your throat decreases.
Being overweight or out of shape:
In general, carrying excess weight is associated with having extra fatty tissues and poor muscle tone, contributing to snoring.
How you are built:
Some physical attributes contribute to snoring, such as a narrow throat, a cleft palate, and enlarged adenoids. Men tend to have narrower air passages than women, so they are more likely to snore.
8 Snoring Remedies
The case of snoring caused by benign factors can usually be treated with simple home remedies. However, it’s essential to consult a medical professional to address potential underlying problems associated with snoring.
Here are some remedies that are commonly used to treat and prevent snoring:
1. Lose weight if you are overweight.
Lowering your weight will help reduce the amount of tissue in the throat that may be causing you to snore. You can lose weight by being in a caloric deficit, by lowering your food intake, and by exercising more to burn calories.
2. Sleep on your side.
This position will allow you to have better tongue posture and clearer airways while you sleep, which may help to stop your snoring.
3. Sleep at an angle.
Using extra pillows at night so you’re at an angle may help reduce your snoring by keeping your airways open.
4. Use nasal strips or an external nasal dilator.
These products help increase the space in the nasal passage and reduce airflow resistance, making it easier to breathe and, therefore, reduce your snoring.
5. Treat chronic allergies.
Allergies may be the culprit behind your snoring as they can reduce the airflow through your nose and limit your breathing, causing you to breathe through your mouth. Breathing through your mouth increases the likelihood of snoring. Speak with your doctor about over-the-counter or prescription medication options to treat your allergies.
6. Limit or avoid alcohol before bed.
Don’t drink alcohol for at least two hours before sleeping to prevent snoring.
7. Stop smoking.
Smoking can worsen your snoring by causing difficulty breathing as well as damaging your lungs.
8. Get enough sleep.
Getting seven to eight hours of sleep each night can help prevent snoring.
Other Treatments for Snoring
1. Correct structural problems in your nose.
Some people may have a deviated septum, either the result of an injury or is simply something they’re born with. This is a misalignment of the wall in the nose that restricts airflow, causing mouth breathing and snoring. Speak with your doctor to see whether it is necessary to get correction surgery.
2. Use an oral appliance.
These are mouthpieces that help keep your airways open, allowing you to breathe easier. See your dentist about getting one of these devices made.
3. Use a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine.
This is a treatment that is often recommended for obstructive sleep apnea patients as it helps keep your airway open when you sleep.
4. Wear palatal implants.
This treatment stiffens your mouth’s soft palate to reduce snoring by injecting braided strands of polyester filament.
5. Get UPPP (uvulopalatopharyngoplasty).
This surgery reduces snoring by tightening throat tissues.
6. Radiofrequency tissue ablation (somnoplasty)
This treatment shrinks your soft palate using low-intensity radio waves.
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Written by: Sean Shih