Whether you snore or you’re sharing a room (or even a house with thin walls!) with someone who snores, you know that snoring is no fun. At best, it’s an irritation, but at worst it can disrupt sleep and interfere with people’s daily lives.
Snoring is also a prominent side effect of sleep apnea, which is a condition that can be dangerous to an individual’s health if left untreated. Fortunately, snoring and sleep apnea are both very treatable! Follow these ten tips to reduce your or a loved one’s snoring and improve everyone’s quality of life.
1. Position Your Head Higher While Sleeping
Whether this means a simple change of pillows or the slightly more involved act of elevating the head of your bed, sleeping with your head a few inches higher can reduce snoring and make it easier to breathe.
2. Sleep on Your Side
If you usually sleep on your back, it’s possible that your tongue is shifting towards the back of your throat as you sleep and partially obscuring your airway. Sleeping on your side can increase your airflow and reduce the odds of snoring.
3. Try Exercising or Losing Weight
Exercising is a great way to help your body feel better overall, and it could help you sleep better as well. Overweight people tend to snore more than their counterparts, possibly due to increased fatty tissue in the throat area that can limit airflow.
If you are overweight and in a position to safely do so, consider losing a few pounds. It can help reduce snoring and provide other health benefits as well. However, be sure not to exercise right before bed as that can make it more difficult for you to fall asleep.
4. Investigate Allergies
If you’re often stuffed up and sniffly during the day, you’re almost certainly experiencing the same symptoms at night, even if you’re unaware of them. Allergies make it harder to breathe through the nose, and snoring is much more likely to occur when you’re breathing through your mouth.
5. Reduce Smoking and Tobacco Use
Smoking makes healthy breathing harder, which can quickly translate to snoring. Any regular smoking or use of tobacco products will increase your risk of snoring, but avoid smoking before bed in particular!
6. Don’t Drink Before Bed
Drinking alcohol will relax your muscles. Drinking within two hours of bedtime can result in overly relaxed throat muscles, which makes snoring more likely.
7. Check for Structural Problems
This isn’t referring to a structural problem in your bedroom, but in your nose! If you have a deviated septum, which can come at birth or through injury, you’ll experience reduced airflow in your nose. Correcting a deviated septum can reduce snoring and make it much easier to breathe at night.
9. Wear Breathing Strips or an Oral Appliance
If your problem is based more in your nasal airway, breathing strips may help. They are sold in most grocery stores or pharmacies, and there are many different versions you can try. You place the strip on the outside of your nose and the strip will keep your nose open through the night.
On the other hand, if you suspect your snoring problem is based more in your throat, an oral appliance could help. The most common oral appliances are mouthguards designed to treat sleep apnea. These mouthguards will gently adjust your jaw to keep your airway open. This makes breathing easier and snoring less likely while you’re asleep.
8. Talk to Your Dentist About Sleep Apnea
Snoring is one of the biggest telltale signs of sleep apnea, a health condition that causes people to abruptly stop and start breathing while they sleep. Sleep apnea can cause headaches, lack of concentration, and tiredness in the short term, but can contribute to much more serious conditions like high blood pressure and stroke if left untreated.
Don’t hesitate to talk to your dentist if you think you might be experiencing sleep apnea—the sooner it’s treated, the sooner you can return to a good night’s sleep!
10. Use a CPAP Machine
The CPAP machine is another sleep apnea treatment designed to keep your airway open at night. The CPAP is much more involved than an oral appliance and involves wearing a mask over the nose while sleeping, but is also highly effective at treating even severe cases of sleep apnea.
Don’t Suffer From Snoring—Talk to Us Today About Sleep Apnea
Snoring makes sleep less restful, but it’s easier than you think to breathe easy at night again! Contact us today to learn more about sleep apnea and how to reduce your snoring.