“Laugh and the world laughs with you, snore and you sleep alone.” – Anthony Burgess
As many as 20% – 30% of women and 40% – 50% of men snore regularly, while nearly 59% of people have a snoring partner. The risk and prevalence of snoring also increase with age.
If you are among these people, you are probably aware of the disastrous consequences of snoring.
For starters, nothing can ruin a good night’s sleep like a snoring. Snoring is a nuisance that can create major problems which put stress on emotional and physical aspects of your relationship.
It can also be a symptom of obstructive sleep apnea. It is a condition in which your breathing becomes very shallow or stops completely while you are asleep. Fortunately, there are various ways to get rid of this snoring problem.
Here are 9 tips that will help you and your partner sleep better.
1) Change your sleeping position
When sleeping on your back, the base of your tongue and the excess tissue under your chin collapse to the back wall of your throat. As a result, it squashes your airways and results in a vibrating sound during sleep.
The easiest way to avoid this problem is to change your sleeping position. Try sleeping on your side if possible. You can use a body pillow to support your posture while sleeping on your side. Another way to make sure you don’t roll on your back while sleeping is to use the tennis ball trick.
You can either fasten tennis balls to the back of your pajamas or sew a tennis ball into the pocket of an old t-shirt and wear it back-to-front. Whenever you roll on your back, the tennis ball will make it uncomfortable lying on back forcing you to sleep on your side.
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2) Keep your nostrils open
Blocked nostrils are one of the most typical causes of snoring. Stuffy nose causes difficulty in breathing which in turn creates a vacuum in the throat leading to snoring. The only way to resolve this type of snoring problem is to keep your nasal passages open.
If your nose is choked up, taking a hot shower before going to bed might help keep the nasal airways open. Alternatively, you can also rub a few drops of essential oils such as eucalyptus, marjoram or thyme inside your nostrils to keep them open.
You can also use nasal dilators or nasal strips to prevent nose clogging. The only difference is that dilators go into your nostrils while strips adhere to the outside of your nose.
Sometimes, however, none of these tricks may prove helpful. In such a case, you should consult your physician to check if a medical condition such as sinusitis is responsible for your snoring.
3) Close your mouth
If your mouth stays open during sleep, it can lead to loud snoring. Of course, there is no way you can keep your mouth closed when you nod off. However, there are devices you can try such as anti-snoring mouth guards or chin straps.
4) Lose weight
Weight gain can also cause snoring. If you didn’t snore before the weight gain, you are more likely to have this problem. Excessive weight gain or obesity can lead to higher fatty tissue around your neck which in turn increases the possibility snoring.
It also increases your risk of developing sleep apnea. Losing weight is the only way to address this type of snoring problem. Consult your doctor or a certified dietician and start working on losing weight today.
5) Eat a light dinner
Sometimes, snoring may be caused merely by eating a large meal before going to bed. An overstuffed stomach puts pressure on your chest muscles resulting in breathing difficulty. The inability to breathe normally can cause snoring.
Apart from snoring, eating large portions in the evening can also lead to weight gain that further results in a host of cardiovascular problems and sleep apnea. In other words, you should have a light dinner before going to bed. Eat slowly as well, so you can know as soon as your stomach is full.
6) Avoid drinking before bed
All types of alcoholic beverages make your muscles relax more than usual. The over relaxed muscles in your throat increase the likelihood of snoring to a great extent. In short, you should avoid drinking before going to bed. If you have to, drink at least 3-4 hours before the bed and limit yourself to one drink only.
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7) Quit smoking
You should also reduce or quit smoking altogether if possible. Smoking leads to inflammation of nasal airways causing a buildup of mucus. Thus, air flow through your nose is interrupted resulting in snoring. Consult a rehab center or a counselor if you are unable to quit smoking on your own.
8) Consult your doctor
As mentioned before, if a medical condition is the cause of your snoring you should consult a doctor. Sometimes, allergic reactions to animal hair, dust, and bedding material can also cause snoring. Avoid self-medication or taking sleeping pills. Consult your doctor and get the best treatment to eliminate your snoring problem.
9) Stay hydrated
Not drinking enough water can cause your airways to dry out and become sticky, leading to snoring. However, don’t drink too much water right before going to bed or you will be spending most of the night in the bathroom.
To avoid this, drink plenty of water throughout the day. There’s no hard and fast rule on how much water you need to drink daily. However, it is always recommended to opt for water over packed juices, soft drinks, and the likes.
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Whether you are doing it to save your relationship or to improve your own health, you should leave no stone unturned to address the issue of snoring. The above tips will prove helpful in this regard.
These simple practices can make an immense difference in your snoring habit. However, if the problem persists, you should consult a doctor specializing in this area to get a solution tailored to your own health and lifestyle.