Just about everyone snores occasionally, but if snoring happens frequently it can affect the quantity and quality of your sleep and that of your family members and roommates. Snoring can lead to poor sleep and daytime fatigue, irritability, and increased health problems. If your snoring keeps your partner awake, it can also create major relationship problems. Thankfully, sleeping in separate bedrooms isn’t the only remedy for snoring. There are many other effective solutions available.
As snoring is often related to lifestyle, there are some simple changes you can make to minimize it.
Snoring self-help tips:
- Maintain a healthy weight and diet. Being overweight by just a few kilograms can lead to snoring. Fatty tissue around your neck squeezes the airway and prevents air from flowing in and out freely.
- Try to sleep on your side rather than your back. While sleeping on your back, your tongue, chin and any excess fatty tissue under your chin can relax and squash your airway. Sleeping on your side prevents this.
- 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.
- Quit or cut down on smoking. 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.
- Keep your nasal passages clear, so that you breathe in through your nose rather than your mouth. If an allergy is blocking your nose, try antihistamine tablets or a nasal spray. Ask your pharmacist for advice, or see your GP, if you’re affected by an allergy or any other condition that affects your nose or breathing, such as sinusitis.
Commercial stop-snoring devices
There are a range of stop-snoring treatments and devices on sale. These include nasal strips, which open the nostrils wider, throat sprays and devices known as mandibular advancement devices (MAD), which reposition the jaw to ease airflow.
Your pharmacist can tell you what’s available, or you can visit theBritish Snoring and Sleep Apnoea Association’s website for a list of available products.
The causes of snoring: Identify the cause to find the cure
Not all snoring is the same. In fact, everyone snores for different reasons. When you get to the bottom of why you snore, then you can find the right solutions to a quieter, deeper sleep.
People who snore often have too much throat and nasal tissue, or “floppy” tissue that is more prone to vibrate. The position of your tongue can also get in the way of smooth breathing. Evaluating how and when you snore will help you pinpoint whether the cause of your snoring is within your control or not. The good news is that no matter how and when you snore, there are solutions to making your snoring better.
Don’t let snoring damage your relationship
No matter how much you love each other, snoring can put a strain on your relationship. If you’re the one lying awake at night as your partner snores away, it’s easy to start feeling resentful. And if you’re the snorer, you may feel helpless, guilty, or even irritated with your partner for harping on something you can’t consciously control.
When snoring is a problem, relationship tension can grow in the following ways:
- Sleeping in separate beds. If you or your partner snores, one of the easiest solutions is for you to sleep apart in different rooms. While this may be a solution for some couples, it can also take a toll on emotional and physical intimacy. And if you’re the one snoring, you might feel lonely, isolated, and even punished for something you feel you have no control over.
- Irritability due to sleep loss. Disrupted sleep isn’t just a problem for the non-snorer. Snoring is caused by disordered breathing, which means the snorer’s sleep quality also suffers. Poor sleep takes a toll on mood, thinking skills, judgment, and your ability to manage stress and conflict. So is it any wonder that communication often breaks down when trying to talk about the problem?
- Partner resentment. When a non-snorer feels he or she has done everything possible to sleep through the night (ear plugs, sound machines, etc.) but his or her partner does nothing to combat his or her own snoring, it can lead to resentment. Working as a team to find a snoring cure can prevent future fights.
If you value your relationship, make it your priority to find a snoring cure so you can both sleep soundly. Working together to stop snoring can even be an opportunity to improve the quality of your bond and become more deeply connected.
Medical help for snoring
For some cases of snoring, surgery to fix structural problems in the airways, such as enlarged adenoids, can help.
If your snoring is caused by looseness in your soft palate (the soft upper part at the back of the mouth), a technique called radiofrequency ablation, which uses heat energy to tighten the palate, may help.
This article is for informational purposes only, and is educational in nature. Statements made here have not been evaluated by the FDA. This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please discuss with your own, qualified health care provider before adding in supplements or making any changes in your diet. PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.