Let’s be honest; there are only two possible reasons for you to read about snoring and getting a good night’s sleep.
A – You are tired from full time work and try to sleep peacefully but your partner sleeps like a baby and snores loudly to keep you awake.
Or, B – You snore loudly and are ashamed to keep your partner disturbed at night. In either case, there’s good news for you.
A few simple techniques can help you and your partner sleep peacefully. But first, let’s look at what really causes snoring, which will put you in a better position to reduce or control it.
What causes snoring?
Snoring is loud, noisy breathing while you sleep. For some people, it’s an occasional thing, while others do it regularly. In any case, it’s nothing to worry about. But it can be very irritable for your bed partner or roommate.
People snore for different reasons, but the most common is blocked airway that makes inhalation difficult and creates a vacuum in the throat, leading to heavy breathing sounds also known as snoring.
Although using a CPAP device that blows air into your airways seems the most logical solution to reduce snoring, there are other ways to deal with it too. Let’s take a look at how a CPAP device works and what other ways you can use to get rid of snoring.
How to reduce or control snoring?
There are plenty of proven techniques that can help reduce or control snoring. But it may take a while to find out what technique is right for you, so you need to be patient with it and keep experimenting.
- Change your sleeping position. Try elevating your head a couple of inches using a well-stuffed pillow. This may ease breathing by causing your tongue and jaw to move forward and preventing vacuum development. Specially designed pillows are readily available that help prevent snoring by making sure your neck muscles are not crimped.
You can also try sleeping on your side rather than on your back. If it works, try to make it a habit and find ways to stick to this.
- Try clearing your nasal passage. If you have a stuffy nose, rinse the sinuses with saline before bed. Using a neti pot for rinsing or wearing nasal strips might also ease breathing while you sleep.
- If you have any allergies, reduce dust mites and try to keep the bedroom air moist. Dry air and dust particles can irritate your nose and throat. This can get even worse if you have swollen nasal tissues. Try using a humidifier to add moisture to the air.
- CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. It is a machine that rests on your bedside and blows pressurized air into your mouth through a mask that you wear over your nose or face. This keeps your airways open throughout the sleep, prevents vacuum development, and keeps snoring at bay.
- If you aren’t helped by CPAP, you can try using oral anti-snoring devices. These dental devices are fitted in your mouth by a dentist or orthodontist and help improve sleep and reduce the frequency and loudness of snoring.
The most commonly used devices are:
- a) Mandibular advancement device (MAD)
- b) Thornton Adjustable Positioner (TAP)
- c) Tongue retaining devices
Lifestyle changes that help stop snoring
If you are not comfortable using devices or changing your sleeping position, you can try making some changes to your lifestyle.
Sometimes, bad habits directly impact your sleep and muscles, which leads to snoring.
- Being overweight can lead to a thickening of the tissues in your throat, making them more likely to collapse during sleep, triggering snoring. Work on ways that can slim you down a bit.
- Smoking irritates the membranes in the nose and throat, blocking the airways and increasing the chances of snoring. Quitting smoking might bring instant relief to your snoring.
- Avoid alcohol and sedatives (or sleeping pills) because they relax the muscles in the throat and interfere with breathing, increasing the chances for you to snore.
- Exercise, in general, can reduce snoring, even if it doesn’t lead to weight loss. Toning your body muscles might lead to toning the muscles in your throat, which can help reduce snoring. Also, there are specific exercises to strengthen the muscles in your throat. You may want to check them out.
If you’ve not had any success with self-help solutions for snoring, don’t lose hope. Medical treatments for snoring exist and can be very helpful.
Talk to your general physician or an otolaryngologist (or ENT) about it and discuss possible solutions. But remember, surgery or treatment alone might not cure your snoring unless you combine it with positive lifestyle changes!