You may be among the adults who snore at least occasionally or you likely know someone who does. He or she may be the brunt of jokes at gatherings, but snoring is serious business.
For one, a snoring spouse often keeps the other person from a good night’s sleep, which can eventually lead to separate bedrooms. Snoring can create real problems in a relationship, especially marriages.
There is no miracle cure for snoring, but some lifestyle changes can minimise it.
Below are a few natural tricks that could help minimise snoring:
1. Sleep on your side
Lying on your back makes the base of your tongue and soft palate collapse to the back wall of your throat, causing a vibrating sound during sleep. Sleeping on your side may help prevent this. A body pillow (a full-length pillow that supports your entire body) provides an easy fix, it enables you to maintain sleeping on your side and can make a dramatic difference.
2. Lose Weight
Weight loss helps some people but not everyone. Fatty tissue around your neck squeezes the airway and prevents air from flowing in and out freely. If you’ve gained weight and started snoring and did not snore before you gained weight, weight loss may help.
3. Avoid Alcohol
Avoid alcohol before going to bed. Alcohol causes the muscles to relax more than usual during a normal night’s sleep. This added relaxation of the muscles makes the back of the throat collapse more readily, which then causes snoring. Alcohol and sedatives reduce the resting tone of the muscles in the back of your throat, making it more likely you’ll snore. Drinking alcohol four to five hours before sleeping makes snoring worse. People who don’t normally snore will snore after drinking alcohol.
Cigarette smoke irritates the lining of the nasal cavity and throat, causing swelling and catarrh. If the nasal passages become congested, it’s difficult to breathe through your nose because the airflow is decreased.
5. Practice Good Sleep Hygiene
Poor sleep habits can have an effect similar to that of drinking alcohol. Working long hours without enough sleep, for example, means when you finally hit the sack you’re overtired. You sleep hard and deep, and the muscles become floppier, which creates snoring.
6. Open Nasal Passages.
If snoring starts in your nose, keeping nasal passages open may help. It allows air to move through. Imagine a narrow garden hose with water running through, the narrower the hose, the faster the water rushes through.
If your nose is clogged or narrowed due to a cold or other blockage, the fast-moving air is more likely to produce snoring.
A hot shower before you go to bed can help open nasal passages, also, keep a bottle of saltwater rinse in the shower. Rinse your nose out with it while you’re showering to help open up passages.
Nasal strips may also work to lift nasal passages and open them up — if the problem exists in your nose and not within the soft palate.
Keep your nasal passages clear, so that you breathe in through your nose rather than your mouth.
7. Change Your Pillows
Allergens in your bedroom and in your pillow may contribute to snoring. When did you last dust the overhead ceiling fan? Replace your pillows?
Dust mites accumulate in pillows and can cause allergic reactions that can lead to snoring. Allowing pets to sleep on the bed causes you to breathe in animal dander, another common irritant.
Put your pillows to air once every couple weeks and replace them every six months to keep dust mites and allergens to a minimum. And keep pets out of the bedroom.
Beware before spending money on special pillows designed to prevent snoring. They may work if it props up your head, which fixes nasal issues, but can cause neck pain.”
8. Stay Well Hydrated
Drink plenty of fluids. Secretions in your nose and soft palate become stickier when you’re dehydrated. This can create more snoring. According to studies, healthy women should have about 11 cups of total water (from all drinks and food) a day; men require about 16 cups.
Overall, get enough sleep, sleep on your side, avoid alcohol before bedtime and take a hot shower if nasal passages. These simple practices can make a huge difference in reducing snoring.