Many people live with snoring, or a snoring partner for years without ever attempting a fix. Not only is this annoying to you and the people around you, snoring could also be an indicator of something more serious.
Luckily, however, snoring is not always indicative of a serious condition, but rather the tongue falling back during sleep and blocking the airways either completely or incompletely. The resulting sound is forceful inhalation or exhalation of air, which sounds quite obnoxious.
But all hope is not lost- this does not mean that you have to put up with unbearable snoring all the days of your life, as there are simple remedies you can try to stop snoring, which are bound to offer you some relief. There are numerous remedies, which include making lifestyle changes, trying natural remedies and modifying the way you sleep.
Excited to learn about these? Great, then let’s go!
1. Choose A Different Sleep Position
In the majority of instances, snoring occurs while sleeping on your back, as this is the position the tongue can most naturally fall backwards. The soft palace actually collapses, which when covered with the tongue makes that annoying vibrating sound as air passes through. The fix? Sleep on your side, or on your belly. This usually fixes the issue in no time flat. Having a hard time staying on your side? Tape tennis balls to the back of your pajamas, behind your ankles- this will force you to lay in any position besides on your back.
2. Elevate Your Pillows
This is a quick fix that usually remedies snoring, no heavy investment required. You can either prop up your pillow by using more than one, or adjust your bed so that your sleeping position resembles an incline. That way, your tongue and soft palate will not collapse onto your airways, and the likelihood of snoring is greatly reduced. Better yet, get an adjustable bed whose angles can be changed by the click of a remote. It is a worthwhile investment if snoring is unbearable.
3. Consume A Lot Of Vitamin C
Vitamin C is known to boost your resistance to the common cold and other infections of the respiratory tract, but may also offer some assistance in treating snoring. The way Vitamin C helps prevent snoring is by keeping your sinuses healthy. Snoring tends to become worse during an active sinus infection, or cases of sinusitis. Sinus infections force us to breathe through our mouths, and also increases mucus production- both of which may result in obstruction of the airways.
4. Try A Humidifier
It’s surprising that many homes do not have a humidifier, especially in dry climates, such as those in desert or arctic zones. The reason for this is simple- a humidifier treats circulating air by increasing its moisture content. Untreated air can easily dry out the mouth and airways, and make snoring many times worse. Plus, dry air can result in irritation and a sore throat or even an infection.
5. Avoid Dairy Products- Especially At Night
Many people are not aware that dairy boosts mucus production, and is not advised during periods of active sinus infections. Consuming dairy during this time will most definitely make snoring worse, and even under normal circumstances will cause mucus to be produced during sleep. Mucus contributes to blockage of the airways and can make it more difficult to breathe. You may also have a low grade dairy allergy that increases mucus production and inflammation, which can cause congestion and immune reactions.
6. Try To Lose Weight
People with a high BMI have a higher chance of snoring and experiencing sleep apnea that normal weight individuals. The more you weight, the greater the amount of fat that accumulates around the neck. This excess fat constricts the airways and narrows the throat when laying on your back. It was found that people with a neck circumference exceeding 17” have a much greater chance of developing sleep apnea and snoring than normal weight persons. It is important that you try to get your weight down, as snoring associated with sleep apnea is not to be taken lightly.
7. Drink Lots Of Water
We all know that water is vital to all aspects of our health, but did you know that water can reduce the likelihood of snoring as well? It boils down to the thickness of mucus, and how moist the airways are. As previously mentioned, dry airways are much more likely to result in snoring, but so too can thick mucus. By making sure you drink enough water during the day (and not necessarily too close to bed), the likelihood of another long night of snoring is reduced immensely.
8. Use A Vaporizer
A vaporizer is an extremely useful medical device to have in your home, especially if someone suffers from asthma or chronic sinus sinusitis. The way it works is simple; it is filled with water and an aromatic oil, such as peppermint of menthol, following which a heating element found in the vaporizer causes the water to boil and the oil to be dispersed in steam. It may generate some amount of heat, but it can clear your sinuses like magic. If you do not have a vaporizer, making a direct steam inhalation with a kettle can be used before bedtime, although its effects may not last throughout the night.
9. Try A Saline Nasal Spray
Saline is an all-natural decongestant that helps to constrict the dilated blood vessels of the nose and facilitate free breathing. This is especially useful when suffering from the flu or a cold, or from someone with allergies or sinusitis. Chronic congested nostrils are a great contributor to the problem of snoring, but saline can reduce the inflammation going on. Saline nasal sprays are safe to use nightly if so desired, as it does not contain synthetic medications that carry the risk of harsh side-effects.
10. Try Goldenseal
Goldenseal is a popular herb used mostly for its immune boosting properties, however it can bring a lot to the table when tackling your snoring. Goldenseal stimulates the immune system to better ward off foreign infections, especially those of the respiratory tract. Plus, goldenseal is a natural decongestant, reducing blood vessel inflammation in the nostrils and allowing you to breathe through your nose. Breathing through your nose, as opposed to your mouth significantly helps reduce snoring.
11. Try Pranayama Yoga
Yoga is known to possess a multitude of health effects, ranging from toning the body to improving flexibility and reducing stress. But what yoga also teaches, especially the Pranayama variety, is proper breathing techniques. Focused breathing not only alleviates stress, and can reduce your heart beat and anxiety, but in terms of treating snoring it strengthens the muscles of the airways and the throat and mouth. Most of the muscles of these areas (excluding the tongue) are of the involuntary variety, meaning that we cannot directly dictate when they contract and relax –as you would when lifting weights. However, deep focused breathing; emphasizing deep inhalations and exhalations to better recruit the muscles of the airways and back of the throat. Stronger airways and the tongue are less likely to cause snoring.