Do you snore?
If so, you’re in good company. Experts estimate that up to 50% of all adults snore on occasion.
And the numbers are probably higher than that because a lot of people who snore probably don’t even know it. So snoring is a lot more common than most of us realize.
However, some snorers have it worse than others. Someone whose snoring is mild probably won’t be all that affected by it.
But if your snoring is severe, disruptive, and happens on a regular—even nightly—basis, it‘s probably impacted your life in several negative ways.
Chances are you have a hard time getting a good night’s sleep.
Either you can’t sleep deeply enough to get the kind of rest you really need, or snoring interrupts your sleep, waking you up at least once or twice every night.
The sleep deprivation most snorers suffer from can have many unpleasant side effects.
If you’re sleep deprived, you probably find it hard to concentrate or focus.
You might even have trouble remembering things, like a password, or what your coworker just said to you.
Those who are sleep deprived usually aren’t as alert as they’d like to be, making them more prone to making mistakes and having accidents.
Sleep deprivation can also make you feel stressed, cranky and irritable, so you’ll spend a lot of more of your time in a bad mood than you’d probably like.
Those whose partners snore don’t get much rest either. And that alone can be enough to have a negative impact on a relationship.
Imagine two sleep deprived, cranky people trying to deal with each other on a daily bases.
Snorers often feel guilty about depriving their partners of rest by waking them up at all hours of the night.
Often, the couple will end up sleeping in separate rooms, just so the non-snorer of the pair can get some rest.
But, if a person’s snoring is loud enough, even that might not help, so even family member’s sleeping in other rooms might have trouble sleeping at night.
So now you have an entire house filled with grumpy, tired people.
And one of the worse things about snoring is that, unlike conditions that get better with time. No, snoring just tends to get worse as you age.
That is, unless you do something about it.
Fortunately, there are many snoring aids that can help alleviate, or even eliminate, your snoring problem.
And the best news is that many of them are safe, easy to use, and affordable.
And to understanding how these snoring aids work, you need to know why you snore.
What Causes Snoring?
Snoring is caused by a partial obstruction of your breathing while you sleep.
When you sleep, the muscles in your tongue, throat, and soft palate (a.k.a. the roof of your mouth) relax.
If these muscles relax too much, they’ll block your airway. That will cause the muscles to vibrate as your breathe, and that’s what causes the buzzing sound associated with snoring.
The more narrow your airway is, the more the muscles will vibrate, and the louder your snoring will be.
Anything that narrows your airway, or obstructs the airflow through your nose, mouth and throat can either cause you to snore, or make your snoring worse.
That’s what causes snoring in a nutshell. But there are some more specific things that can cause you to snore, or make your snoring worse.
Your anatomy. The way your mouth and sinuses are made could be causing you to snore.
Having a thick or long soft palate could make your airway more narrow. Having adenoids, or large tonsils, can also narrow the airway.
And if you have an elongated uvula (which is that triangular piece of tissue that hangs from the soft palate and dangles at the back of your mouth) it can obstruct your airflow as you sleep.
Nasal problems. Nasal deformities can cause snoring.
For example, a deviated nasal septum is a crooked partition between the nostrils. A deviated septum can limit the flow of air so it feels like you can’t get enough air by breathing through your nose.
To get more air, you breathe through your mouth instead. And this will increase the likelihood that you’ll snore.
Being overweight. Some snorers who are overweight have extra tissue at the back of their throats. And this extra tissue can narrow and partially block the airway.
Sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation won’t just make you tired, cranky, and unable to concentrate. It can also cause you to snore, or make your snoring worse.
When snoring causes you not to get enough sleep at night, you’ll be tired throughout the day.
When you go to bed that night, you’ll probably be so exhausted that you’ll fall into a hard, deep sleep, which sounds like it would be a good thing.
But sleeping that deeply can cause the muscles in your mouth and throat to become even more relaxed and floppy than usual, so your snoring might be even worse on those nights.
The snoring might keep waking you up, making it hard for you to get enough sleep.
Then you’ll be tired throughout the next day, and fall into a hard, deep sleep that night, starting the cycle all over again.
So snoring keeps you from getting enough sleep. And not getting enough sleep can cause you to snore.
Various medical conditions. Many medical conditions can cause you to snore, or make your snoring worse.
These include allergies, colds, and sinus infections. And a major cause of snoring is obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA.
Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition where the throat tissues partially or even completely block the airway.
When they are asleep, those who suffer from this condition aren’t able to breathe for short periods of time.
Fortunately, this pause in breathing wakes the sufferer up.
As you might imagine, the blockage of the airway that causes OSA can also cause snoring.
There are many other things that can cause snoring, including the position you sleep in, what you drink before bed, and how much water you drink during the day.
Luckily, while there are many things that can cause snoring, there are many remedies and snoring aids that can help to solve or alleviate your snoring problem.
5 Popular Snoring Aids
Here are 5 popular snoring aids. How effective each one will be will often depend on what specifically is causing you to snore.
But many snorers (and former snorers) swear by these snoring aids.
Specially designed mouthpieces and mouth guards can help keep you from snoring while you sleep.
In fact, many find snoring mouthpieces to be one of the most effective anti-snoring aids.
These dental mouthpieces work by adjusting the position of your soft palate, tongue and jaw.
This helps keep your air passage open and clear.
Anti-snoring mouthpieces have come a long way.
Those made today are much more comfortable than those made years ago.
And mouthpiece manufacturers are constantly working to make these form-fitting oral appliances even more comfortable for their users.
There are different kinds of anti-snoring mouthpieces, and they work in slightly different ways.
Mandibular Advancements Devices (or MAD mouthpieces) move the lower jaw and tongue forward, so there is less tissue to block airflow.
MAD mouthpieces also open the airway at the back of the throat, so the passageway isn’t as narrow. Basically, a MAD mouthpiece keeps the airway open and unobstructed while you sleep.
Zquiet is a popular MAD mouthpiece that is often recommended by doctors.
One reason for its popularity is the fact that it can be custom molded to perfectly fit your mouth, lessening the chances of a user experiencing any discomfort.
Tongue Stabilizing Devices (which are sometimes referred to as Tongue Retaining Devices) suck the tongue forward.
The result is the tongue is kept stabilized and out of the way, so there is more space at the back of the throat, and less tissue blocking the airway to vibrate and cause snoring.
Good Morning Snoring Solution is a popular TSD mouthpiece. Not only is it effective, it’s also affordable.
Its advice snorers hear all of the time. If you want to stop snoring, then you need to sleep on your side
But what if you don’t want to sleep on your side? What if you prefer sleeping on your back?
Or maybe you don’t mind sleeping on your side. But no matter what position you’re in when you fall asleep, you always end up on your back, whether you like it or not.
In either case, a snoring pillow might be just what you need.
Snoring pillows are designed to support the neck, holding it in a position that reduces constriction, and helps keep the airways at the back of your throat open.
Most snoring pillows are made of memory foam, a soft, pliable material that is now commonly used in mattresses.
Not only is memory foam comfortable, but a snoring pillow allows you to move around as you sleep.
We recommend trying out the Smart Nora anti-snoring pillow insert.
An essential oil is a natural, organic compound that has been extracted from a plant. Many have always believed that essential oils had healing properties.
And there have been many scientific studies that have backed up some of those claims.
Over the years, using essential oils in home remedies for various ailments has become more and more common.
And there are many essential oils that can help stop or alleviate your snoring, especially if that snoring is caused by chest or nasal congestion.
Two of the most popular and effective are peppermint oil and eucalyptus oil.
Peppermint oil can relieve congestion of the nasal passageways, which is why it’s often used as an ingredient in anti-snoring nasal sprays.
Peppermint oil works by reducing the lining in your nostrils. This creates more space in your nose, which helps you breathe more easily, and makes you less likely to snore.
Eucalyptus oil, an herbal decongestant, is another good essential oil for snorers. Breathing in eucalyptus oil helps to open up the air passageways, allowing you to breathe better and more easily.
There are many ways you can use essential oils. One is by using an essential oil diffuser, a small device that can disperse essential oils into the air.
Not only will this help keep you from snoring, your bedroom will smell wonderful.
You can also put a few drops of essential oil in a bowl of steaming hot water. Just lean over the bowl and breathe in the steam.
And, to make this method even more effective, you can use a towel to form a tent over your head and the bowl.
Just stay under the tent for about five minutes, and let the steam do its thing.
Many companies also make essential oil sprays.
These are usually blends of different essential oils that are designed to alleviate specific ailments, like snoring.
Snoring chin straps work by aligning your jaw, holding it in an optimal position to prevent airway blockage.
A chin strap also keeps your tongue from sliding back into airway.
These snoring aids also hold your mouth closed, another thing that will help keep you from snoring.
You can think of a chin strap as a sling that wraps around your head, face and chin. And that’s one of its biggest drawbacks.
Some might not be comfortable having something wrapped around their face as they sleep at night.
But many users say it doesn’t take long to get used to this.
CPAP, or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, is most often used by those whose snoring is caused by obstructed sleep apnea.
So, how does CPAP work?
Well, you wear a pressurized mask over your nose or mouth as you sleep. The mask is attached to a CPAP machine, which pumps forces through your airway.
The increase of air pressure in the throat keeps the airway from collapsing which keeps the airway open.
CPAP is more expensive than some other snoring aids. Some find wearing a mask to sleep at night uncomfortable, especially at first.
And it can take some time to adjust to the noise the CPAP machine makes.
But many find those small prices to pay in order to stop snoring.
Other Things That Can Help You Stop Snoring
Along with the snoring aids above, there are other things you can do if you want to stop snoring.
Palatal Implants. Also called the pillar procedure, this medical procedure involves a doctor injecting braided strands of polyester filament into the soft palate.
As a result, the soft palate is stiffened, which should stop or reduce snoring.
Somnoplasty. Radiofrequency tissue ablation, or somnoplasty, is an outpatient surgical procedure, unlike more traditional anti-snoring surgery.
During a somnoplasty, the patient is given a local anesthetic.
Then a trained physician uses a low-intensity radiofrequency signal to shrink soft-palate tissue, so there is less tissue to obstruct the airway.
UPPP (or uvulopalatopharyngoplasty). This is probably the surgical procedure most people think of when they hear the words “snoring surgery.”
During a UPPP, the patient is given a general anesthetic. Then a surgeon carefully trims and tightens excess throat tissues, decreasing the amount of tissue that could block the airway.
Some patients have had great success with UPPP procedure. However, as with all surgeries, there are some risks and drawbacks.
Patients usually experience pain after the surgery, and there is the risk of infection, as there is with most surgical procedures.
Surgery of any kind can be expensive. And, sometimes, a UPPP just doesn’t work.
For this reason, this type of snoring surgery is considered by most to be the last resort, something they’ll only turn to if other snoring treatments and snoring aids don’t work.
Anti-Snoring Exercises. There are exercises that can help strengthen and tighten throat and tongue muscles, so these muscles won’t relax enough to obstruct your airway while you are sleeping.
Some exercises can also open up a narrow throat, which can also help to stop or alleviate your snoring.
If you’d like to give anti-snoring exercises a try, take a look at the Stop Snoring Exercise Program.
The creator of the program gives you dozens of exercises that are based on the exercises classical singers use to strengthen and improve their voices.
And studies have found that singing on a regular basis can improve muscle control of the upper throat and soft palate.
In fact, in one study, over 80% of snorers who started doing throat exercises regularly either stopped snoring altogether, or saw a dramatic decrease in the severity of their snoring.
Quick Tips to Help You Stop Snoring
Along with the snoring aids, medical treatments, and exercises programs mentioned above, there are some simple lifestyle changes you can make that will help alleviate your snoring.
These changes might not be a “cure,” but they can help you deal with your snoring problem while you look for a more long-term solution.
Lose weight. There’s no guarantee that losing weight will end your snoring problems, but there’s a chance it could help.
In fact, if you didn’t snore—or didn’t snore as severely—before you put on that extra weight, there’s a very good chance that those extra pounds are contributing to your snoring problems.
So losing some weight is definitely an option you should consider.
Don’t drink alcohol before bed. Just as alcohol can make you feel more laid back and relaxed, drinking alcoholic beverages can also relax your throat muscles, increasing the chances of your airway being obstructed while you sleep.
So if you’re enjoying a night out on the town, or enjoying a quiet get together with friends, try to stop drinking alcohol at least 2 to 4 hours before you intend to go to bed.
Get more sleep. It’s hard to believe you can be too tired when you go to bed at night.
But if you’re a snorer, that can definitely be a problem. If you go to bed truly exhausted, and fall into a particularly hard and deep sleep, you are more likely to snore.
Unfortunately, snoring makes it hard for you to get the rest you need, which is why you might go to bed truly exhausted.
One possible solution is to try to get more rest to make up for the rest you don’t get at night because snoring disrupts your sleep.
If possible, try to take a nap at some point during the day.
Unfortunately, midday naps will be out of the question on days you have to go to work.
So you might want to consider changing your bedtime to an hour or two earlier than you currently go to bed.
You might feel like you have too much to do to spend another hour or two a day in bed.
But if it helps to alleviate your snoring, it just might be worth it.
Drink more water. Making sure you drink plenty of water is good for you, especially if you are a snorer.
If you’re dehydrated, the secretions in your nose and soft palate will be thicker and stickier. This could not only cause you to snore more often, it could make your snoring louder.
So make sure you drink enough water every day. You don’t necessarily have to drink the eight 8 ounce glasses of water a day we’ve all heard about.
But if you feel thirsty, it means you’re already dehydrated, so it’s time to grab a glass or bottle of water.
Actually, you can drink anything that will alleviate your thirst. But if you want to hydrate fast, drinking some plain old water is usually the best bet.
Yes, snoring can be a problem, one you sometimes feel you’ll never get rid of.
But as big a problem as snoring might be, there are solutions. But there are solutions, like the 5 popular snoring aids listed above.
It might take some time to find the snoring aid that works best for you.
But, once you do, your nights will be filled with hours of restful, uninterrupted sleep.