Snoring is something that affects large numbers of adults so if you suffer from it then you’re not alone. For most people snoring is annoying but doesn’t indicate that anything more problematic is happening. However, it’s always worth getting your snoring checked out, as it could also be a sign that you have a more serious condition, such as obstructive sleep apnoea or problems with the structure of your mouth, nose or throat.
When you snore the soft palette and other soft tissue in your upper airway is vibrating and it’s this that causes the harsh sound that we associate with snoring. There are a number of different options for treating snoring and some of them are very simple.
- Change your sleeping position. If you regularly sleep on your back then this could be the cause of your snoring and moving to side sleeping could be a very simple way to stop.
- Treat your allergies. If you have allergies then this may result in a blocked nose that forces you to breathe through your mouth – this is a common cause of snoring and can be easily remedied by over-the-counter allergy medications.
- Take steps to reduce your bodyweight. Sometimes it’s the amount of tissue in the throat that can make snoring much worse and if you’re able to lose weight and reduce this it can take care of the snoring problem too. The best way to lose weight is a combination of healthy eating and exercise.
- Make some lifestyle changes. Avoiding alcohol in the two hours before you go to bed can make a big difference to whether or not you snore at night, as alcohol relaxes the muscles in your upper airway making snoring more likely. Giving up smoking is another very simple way to help reduce or eliminate snoring from your life.
- Elevate the head of your bed. For some people, raising their head by just four inches when sleeping is enough to open the airways and stop snoring completely.
- Use snoring tools. For example, nasal strips help to increase the space in the nasal passage and allow more air to pass and a nasal dilator will help to decrease airflow resistance in your nose and make breathing easier and quieter.
- Get a dental mouthpiece. These mouthpieces are designed to help position your jaws so as to keep your airways open and allow air to flow more easily. You’ll need to see a dentist to get a dental mouthpiece made.
- Try a continuous positive airway pressure machine. This is a mask that sits over your nose and delivers pressurised air through the night so that your airways stay open and snoring is minimised.
- Sleep more. If you’re not getting enough sleep then this can make snoring worse – aim for a minimum of 7/8 hours every night.
If you struggle with snoring there are lots of different simple solutions you can try to help keep your airways open and minimise the noise that you make when you’re sleeping.