Snoring can put even the strongest relationships under pressure, causing spouses to become sleep deprived, on occasion forcing them to sleep in another room. It can also have a negative impact on the snorer themselves, often resulting in sleep apnea, which in turn can lead to increased risk of heart disease. Given that snoring is not something we do by choice, breaking the habit can be difficult. Here are few different methods worth trialing out.
Drink less alcohol
Alcohol can affect even those that don’t usually snore by reducing the resting tone of muscles at the back of the throat. Drinking four to five hours before sleeping can even have this effect. If you’re having a beer or a glass of wine every night, it might be worth cutting this down and seeing the effect.
Drink more water
When you don’t regularly drink fluids, your nose and soft palate aren’t as hydrated and become stickier. This can cause snoring. Start drinking more liquid throughout the day and bring a glass of water with you to bed. Healthy women should drink 11 cups of water a day, whilst healthy men are expected to drink 16 cups. Start hydrating yourself more and see if there’s a change.
Change your sleep position
Those that sleep on their back seem to be the most rampant snorers. Try sleeping more on your side and see if there’s a difference. Side sleeping can be uncomfortable for some people, so you may want to shell out on a special pillow. You can find the absolute best pillows for side sleepers here. Body pillows can ensure that you stay on your side.
If you gain weight around the neck, this can squeeze the internal diameter of the throat and trigger snoring. Losing this weight could cause you to stop snoring. However, this may not be the case with everyone as some thin people regularly snore too. If you’ve recently gained weight and the snoring has only recently become a problem, this may give you a clearer indication that weight is the problem.
Open your nasal passages
A blocked nose or naturally narrow nasal passages can be a leading culprit when it comes to snoring. If the issue is a cold, you should consider using a vapour rub medicine such as Vicks before going to sleep, or having a shower to clear your airways. Herbal teas can also be good for unblocking your nose, although the caffeine might not be ideal before bed.
If you don’t have a cold, your nasal passages could be naturally narrow. Nasal strips may be one solution to this – these can help open up your passageways allowing more air to come through. For more extreme cases, a somnoplasty surgery may be in order. However, this should only be a last resort in which subsequent sleep apnea is causing real breathing problems.