How to Stop Snoring Immediately [Fast Solutions & Tricks]
While the snorer takes a peaceful trip to dreamland, those around them are kept awake by a rattling sound.
With 30% of people aged thirty and above reporting that they snore, rising to 40% after middle age, we all know someone who snores.
Maybe your loved ones have told you that you’re the culprit. Snoring not only inconveniences others but could be a sign of a more severe health complaint.
It can even lead to serious health issues. These ten tips will outline steps you can take to curb your snoring and what to do when you can’t stop sawing wood.
What exactly is snoring?
Before discussing how to stop, it’s important to understand what causes snoring in the first place. Understanding the different types of snoring can lead to a more effective diagnosis and treatment. In scientific terms, snoring occurs when the muscles in the back of the throat relax enough to vibrate as air flows past them.
There are four different types of snoring:
- Mouth snoring is caused by having the mouth open during sleep.
- Tongue snoring happens when the tongue slumps back and obstructs the throat.
- Nose snoring means that the nasal passages are restricted or congested.
- Throat snoring is the root cause of snoring, as described above. Since the problem is not caused by the mouth, tongue, or nose, this type of snoring should encourage you to seek medical advice.
As a general overview, there are some factors that contribute to the cause of snoring; some of which can be avoided and some which can’t. For example, age and gender are risk factors in snoring with older people and men being more prone to it. As we age, our airways reduce in diameter, and muscle tone is lost. Even from a younger age, men generally have narrower airways than women.
While these physiological factors can’t be helped, the tips below outline lifestyle changes that can reduce the discomfort of snoring. These habits include: staying in shape, reducing alcohol intake and adopting the correct sleep posture. Read on for ten useful tips that you might consider trying when the nightly grind is too much. These might even help you to stop snoring immediately!
Change your sleeping position
It won’t surprise you to know that there are certain sleeping positions that can exacerbate the problem. Lying on your back can cause or worsen your snoring. This is because your tongue and palate are more likely to fall back in your throat, amplifying that vibrating sound.
One adventurous solution has been to attach a blocker to your back; some suggest sewing tennis balls into your pajamas, for example. That way, every time you try to shift on to your back, you will meet resistance and roll back. After a while, your body will learn that it can’t get to that position and you will train yourself to stay on your side.
An updated version of this method is the full body pillow. It works on the same principle as attaching something to your back, only the obstruction is not attached to you but already in place. Whenever you try to roll over, the body pillow will be in the way, so your body will retreat back to a side or front position.
Control your weight gain
As previously mentioned, weight gain can be a contributing factor to snoring. If you’ve noticed that you began snoring, or the intensity increased, when you gained weight, it may help to drop those few extra pounds. Increasing weight around your neck can reduce the size of the airways which is a cause of snoring.
A study found that participants showed a positive correlation between a higher Body Mass Index (BMI) and loud snoring.
These results seem to suggest that less weight, especially around the neck, could decrease the severity of snoring.
It’s always advisable to lose weight in a safe manner. This should only be an option if you have started snoring since you gained weight or can afford to lose some. Before trying any weight loss measures, it’s a good idea to consult a trained specialist who can advise on a healthy fitness regime.
Avoid alcohol, smoking and sedatives
If alcohol, cigarettes and sleeping pills are all causes of snoring on their own, together they are a recipe for a very loud night! Alcohol and sedatives relax your muscles and in turn facilitate snoring. In fact, drinking alcohol at least four hours before sleeping can increase the risk of snoring. If you only seem to snore after you’ve been drinking or have taken a sleep aid, try to reduce your intake. Try to have a cutoff point for drinking before bedtime, only drink at the weekend or at times when you won’t be sharing your bed. As for sedatives, try to find a non-medical alternative to help you sleep. Check out our top tips to help you drop off peacefully.
Smoking can inflame the membranes of the airways which narrows the passageways and curbs healthy airflow.
Cutting down on smoking can help, but the best option is to give up. Quitting smoking is not as simple as throwing your cigarettes in the trash, but knowing that it could help end your snoring problem might be the extra motivation you need.
Talk to a doctor about quitting, sign up for programs online or even download apps to help you. It may end up being a long process but the rewards will be worth it!
Invest in an anti-snoring pillow
Anti-snoring pillows are based on having an optimized sleeping position, but you don’t train your body not to shift onto your back. Instead, these pillows help you get comfortable in the right position and support you if you wriggle out of it.
Snore-reducing pillows elevate your head slightly, and thus your jaw, to keep the airways open and unblocked.
They do this through the shape, material, and, in one case, through a noise detector and inflatable pump! It can be difficult to know which pillow to choose as they will all help to address a different cause of snoring and different designs will work for different people. Check out websites like Snorezing and SnoringHQ who test and review several different types of pillow.
Practice good sleep habits
It’s important to go to bed in a calm and relaxed state to get the most restful night’s sleep. If you often have trouble sleeping, you become sleep-deprived. Then when you finally do manage to drop off, your body overcompensates and causes you to need more deep sleep. During deep sleep, our muscles relax causing them to vibrate, leading to that snoring sound. Develop a good sleep routine to get quality rest every night and you won’t end up being overtired.
Check out our tips and tricks to help you get the best night’s rest. The recommended amount of sleep is between 7-9 hours, so try to get your body into a routine where you can get this much rest each night.
The most important factors are to get into a routine where you leave the day’s worries behind; try writing a to-do list or journal, and keeping your work and sleep space separate. Avoid disruptions by eating large meals well before bedtime and try not to drink liquids for at least an hour before bed.
We all know that there are endless benefits to staying hydrated, but did you know that you can add it to the “how to stop snoring” list? When you are dehydrated, the mucus in your throat becomes thicker and thus clogs the airways making it more difficult for air to pass through smoothly.
Advice on how much water we should drink varies between men and women, location, and amount of physical activity we engage in.
For example, the NHS suggests that UK residents should drink at least 1.2 liters of water per day, whereas Mayo Clinic suggests that 2.7 – 3.7 liters is adequate in the US.
The best way to determine the correct amount for your individual needs is to check with a local health service. Alternatively, you could try using an online calculator that will take into account your weight, gender, age, and lifestyle.
Whilst you can over-hydrate, it’s best to try and drink as much water as you can during the day to keep your snoring levels down. You’ll also want to stop drinking an hour before bed as you don’t want to interrupt your snore-free rest with regular bathroom breaks!
Treat your allergies
By now we know the importance of keeping airways as smooth as possible to reduce snoring, so it makes sense that allergies can cause it. Allergens irritate and inflame the nasal passages, restricting airflow.
We associate allergies with a high pollen count, but allergens can be present in your home all year round. Consider that allergies might be the cause of your snoring if you exhibit some of the following symptoms: itchy, watery or red eyes, a runny, itchy nose, sneezing, blocked or congested sinuses and headaches.
If you are only noticing these problems during warmer months, you may have a pollen allergy. This is treatable with over the counter allergy medicine, nasal sprays and antihistamines. In the case that your allergies are seasonal, your treatment options are limited outside of medication. Some people try acupuncture or holistic remedies or a humidifier. Allergies are worse in dry air, so moistening the air will help to decongest the nasal passages.
When these symptoms persist year-round, the allergies could be caused by something at work or home, such as dust, mold, or animal hair. You can eliminate the source of the problem by keeping your workspace spotless; clean your desk and the floor on a regular basis. Do the same at home; clean your bedroom often and wash your pillows, duvet and mattress as well as your sheets. Make sure your home is mold-free by checking humid areas such as the bathroom or any outside walls.
Try throat exercises
If you’re not sure what the source of your snoring is and you want to try and eliminate it without purchasing any products, try doing some simple throat exercises. These exercises strengthen the throat muscles so that even when they do relax, they are still strong enough to ensure the quiet passage of air.
A 2015 study showed a positive correlation between the practice of mouth exercises and an improvement in snoring, noticing a reduction of up to 39%.
This can be an unobtrusive way to deal with snoring have a spare few minutes before bed. There are six exercises in this article and for a little variety, you’ll find some more actions over at SnoringHQ. Think of these exercises as a temporary measure while you try to figure out and treat the cause.
Try these anti-snoring remedies
- Wearable devices
Mouth Guards or Mouthpieces are mainly worn like a retainer, over your teeth, to manipulate your mouth into an ideal position. There are so many different types so be sure to check out the American Sleep Association’s comprehensive guide on how to choose a device and their product reviews.
The Chin Strap is kind of like a sling for your head. It attaches around your chin, all the way up your jaw around the back of your head. This item keeps your mouth closed and tilts your chin forward which creates a more natural position for the muscles in the back of the throat.
Moving up to the nose, Nasal Dilators can help out chronic snorers. This product is specifically designed for people who are nose-snorers and whose rumbling is caused by allergies and congestion. The dilator does exactly what it says – inserted into the nose, it opens up the nasal passageway for air to flow through freely.
For nose snorers, there are several products that will help you clear your nasal passageways. One snore-specific product is a nasal strip, which sticks to the bridge of your nose and keeps your nostrils open while you sleep. Other ways to keep your nasal passages clear are: taking decongestant medicines, rinsing your nostrils with saline solution and using menthol rub.
Anti-snoring sprays target the throat by moistening the key muscles that cause us to snore. These sprays are administered either in the mouth or the nose and contain safe ingredients, usually essential oils. Some essential oils are touted for their anti-snoring properties and can be used in different ways to eliminate the problem. Check out Essential Oil Benefits’ guide to which oils help with snoring and how to use them effectively.
In any case, these products should be used as a temporary measure when lifestyle changes are not possible or while you figure out what is causing your snoring. These devices aren’t a replacement for diagnosing the cause of your snoring, just in case it’s an indication of a more serious health problem.
Consider a corrective procedure
When you’ve exhausted all your options, made your lifestyle changes and tried the anti-snoring products, you might need to turn to a doctor. Sometimes snoring can simply be caused by abnormal tissues in the throat and these procedures are the only way to fix that. If you are considering one of these options, be sure to consult with an ENT specialist who will be able to advise you on the best course of action.
Non-surgical procedures include Laser-assisted Uvulopalatoplasty and Somnoplasty. LAUP involves using a laser to shorten the uvula and make small cuts in the surrounding area to harden the tissue as it heals. Somnoplasty is the use of radio waves to heat up and subsequently shrink the tissues involved in snoring.
Procedures that involve surgery are Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, Tonsillectomy/Adenoidectomy, Thermal Ablation Palatoplasty and Palatal Implants. The first three of these surgeries are similar in that they involve the removal or correction of the tissues involved in snoring. Palatal Implants is the insertion of small rods into the palate to stop it from collapsing.
Solutions for your partner
While you’re on the way to a deep slumber, there are solutions to help minimize the stress felt by non-snorers. Here are three steps that can provide some temporary respite for a sleep-deprived bedmate:
- Separate rooms. It might seem extreme but it could be the best solution in the short term. If you have the luxury of a spare bedroom, have your partner take advantage of it for a peaceful night’s sleep. If the idea of sleeping separately isn’t appealing, you could designate some nights where you sleep apart or they could wait until you drop off to retreat to a snore-free zone.
- Eliminate the noise. Have your suffering SO try earplugs, a sleep sound machine, or listening to a podcast until they fall asleep. That way they can block out the source of their insomnia.
- A change of mindset. We manage to fall asleep with other intrusive sounds such as traffic or noisy neighbors, so why not snoring? We attribute stress and negativity to snoring so that once it starts we’re on edge and can’t relax. Most people have a tendency to think that they’ll be unable to drop off because of the noise disruption. Instead of dreading it and feeling defeated when it starts, have your partner try to think of it like a neutral sound that won’t disrupt their sleep.
When snoring is affecting your relationship
It’s hard not to take it personally when your partner tells you that they can’t take another night of disrupted sleep, so communicating about this issue can be tense. They probably feel resentful that they are not getting their eight hours, even though you can’t help it. When you do come to discuss the problem, it’s important to keep these points in mind to avoid the discussion escalating into an argument:
- You’re not doing it on purpose; remind yourself and your partner of this. You don’t need to feel guilty and this will help your loved one keep things in perspective.
- Try not to take your partner’s negative feelings to heart; they’re tired, and sleep deprivation comes with its own issues. They’re inevitably going to be frustrated, so let them express how they feel and keep in mind that it’s not a personal attack.
- Avoid talking about it before bed or after waking up, when you will both be on edge. If your partner wants to talk at these times, suggest that you make time to sit down and address the issue at another time of day.
- Be open to your partner’s suggestions; it’s important to show your partner that you care about their wellbeing. So be accommodating to their ideas, even if they might seem a little out there. After all, their health is also at stake so you need to be willing to work together to overcome this problem.
When snoring is more serious
It has long been thought that snoring can either be a sign of an underlying health problem or actually lead to one.
Snorerx reports that snoring can increase the risk of some health complaints such as diabetes, dementia, high blood pressure, and heart failure.
They explain that issues that arise from snoring are a contributing factor in the development of these health complaints. A 2015 study investigated whether snoring negatively affects sleep quality, leading to adverse health effects. The results suggest that there is a positive link between snoring and the onset of some more serious health problems.
The act of snoring is often associated with the more serious health condition Sleep Apnea. This is an obstructive disorder which disrupts your regular breathing pattern. Having this disorder can cause problems such as fatigue, which reduces concentration levels and can lead to depression. It can also lead to problems such as diabetes and liver disease. Other than snoring, other symptoms of sleep apnea are headaches and sore throat upon waking, gasping or choking during sleep and feeling tired even after a full night’s rest.
Using tips and tricks is only part of addressing a snoring problem; it’s a great way to identify problems that we can resolve with a lifestyle change. But it’s important to consider what the underlying cause of the snoring is. If you try these suggestions with no luck, it may be time to check in with a medical professional. Especially if the above tips and tricks haven’t lead to a silent night.
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