Do you snore? Or maybe it’s someone in your household, like your partner, who’s the snorer. In either case, you’re a member of a very large club.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, at least 90 million Americans are affected by snoring. And 37 million of those people are affected by snoring on a regular basis.
Snoring is a problem that affects people of all ages. And while men are more likely to snore than women, there are plenty of women out there who snore too.
Snoring can keep everyone in the household from getting a good night’s sleep. As a result, everyone will be so tired that they can’t fully function during the day.
And, if you snore, it can be harmful to your health. For example, many studies have linked snoring to heart disease.
Some people feel there’s nothing they can do about their snoring. That it’s a problem they’ll just have to learn to live with.
The good news is that there are plenty of ways to prevent snoring. And, below, you will find 7 remedies that are both popular and effective.
To understand how you can prevent snoring, you need to know what causes snoring in the first place.
What Causes Snoring?
When you sleep, the muscles in your throat relax. As a result, your airway becomes more narrow. And if your tongue relaxes enough to fall back into your throat, it will partially obstruct the air passage, making it narrower still.
As you inhale, the walls of your throat will vibrate. That vibration is the sound people hear when you snore. And the more narrow your airway is, the more forceful (and loud) those vibrations will be.
That’s what causes snoring.
Effective snoring remedies work by opening up the airway, and keeping the air passage free of obstruction.
7 Ways to Prevent Snoring
There are many ways to prevent snoring. Even surgery is a possible option.
Surgery can sometimes be an effective treatment for snoring. But many of these surgeries are expensive, invasive, and involve a long and painful recovery process. Not to mention the fact that there’s no guarantee surgery will actually stop you from snoring.
Before opting for a surgical solution to your snoring problems, here are some less invasive snoring remedies you should try.
1. Lose Weight
Many medical experts believe that being overweight is the number one cause of snoring. And even if being overweight isn’t what’s causing you to snore, it might be making your snoring worse.
Excess body weight means excess weight around your neck. This excess weight can result in a narrowed air passage. It also increases the likelihood that your throat muscles will collapse while you sleep and cause you to start snoring.
That being said, not everyone who is overweight snores, and not everyone who snores is overweight. But if you didn’t start snoring until you put on a few extra pounds, that weight gain could be the culprit.
In any case, if you’re overweight, losing a few pounds will make your snoring less frequent and severe.
2. Don’t Sleep On Your Back
When you lie on your back, gravity can cause your tongue and soft palate to collapse into your throat. And, when that happens, you’ll start to snore.
Sleeping on your side is an easy solution to this problem. But it’s easier said than done, especially if you prefer sleeping on your back, and have been doing so for years (or possibly decades).
Here’s a typical scene. A snorer goes to bed fully intending to sleep on their side. But at some point during the night, they’ll roll over onto their back. And, since they were asleep at the time, they can’t exactly stop themselves from doing it.
Not long after that, the sound of them snoring will begin to fill the room.
If this sounds familiar, you can try the tennis ball trick.
Using a piece of strong tape (like duct tape) attach a tennis ball to the back of your pajama top or nightgown. Now, if you roll over onto your back in your sleep, the ball will dig into your back. And it will be so uncomfortable that you’ll roll back onto your side, maybe even without fully waking up.
3. Avoid Alcohol and Sedatives Close to Your Bedtime
You should stop consuming alcohol at least 2 hours before your bedtime. Actually, stopping 4 or 5 hours before going to bed would be even better.
What Type of Snorer Are You?
There are 3 types of snorers and each need their own treatment. Take our 40 second test to see what type you are.
Alcohol causes all of the muscles in your body to relax, including your tongue and throat muscles. This will either cause you to snore, or make your snoring worse.
Sedatives can have the same effect as alcohol. These medications depress your central nervous system, and relax the muscles throughout your body. This helps you feel more calm and relaxed. But it also relaxes the muscles in your throat, which can cause you to snore
4. Try Nasal Strips
If your snoring is caused by a narrow or obstructed nasal passage, nasal strips might be the snoring remedy for you.
Nasal strips are applied to the bridge of your nose using an adhesive. The strip, which is made of a stiff, springy material, will gently pull your nasal passage open. This will allow you to breathe easier. It will also make you less likely to snore.
You can find nasal strips to fit just about any preference. If you find the smell of lavender relaxing, you can buy lavender scented nasal strips. You can even buy nasal strips made especially for people with sensitive skin.
Nasal Dilators are also very effective. They are small cones of silicone that goes in your nostrils and expand them for better nasal breathing.
5. Eliminate the Allergens
Allergens in your home, and especially in your bedroom, can cause you to snore. So try to keep your sleeping environment allergen free.
Your first step is to get rid of as much dust as possible. Vacuum or sweep regularly. And if there’s a ceiling fan in the room, dust it at least once a week.
If you have dogs or cats, keep them out of the bedroom. Or, at the very least, keep them off of your bed.
If your pillow is more than 6 months old, it’s time to get a new one. If there are dust mites in your current pillow, they can cause you to have an allergic reaction and make you snore.
Even a relatively new pillow can contain dust mites or other allergens. So, every 2 or 3 weeks, run your pillows through the fluff cycle in your dryer. And if your pillows are washable, wash them following the manufacturer’s instructions.
6. Use an Oral Device
Oral devices can be extremely effective at preventing snoring. In fact, studies have found that some oral devices can stop or eliminate snoring in up to 80% of cases.
Two of the most popular oral devices used to prevent snoring are MADs and TSDs.
A MADs, or Mandibular Advancement Device, moves the lower jaw forward slightly. Advancing the jaw in this way opens up the airway, and prevents air passage obstruction.
A TSDs, or Tongue Stabilizing Devices, moves the tongue forward slightly and holds it in place. This opens up the airway, and prevents the tongue from falling back into the throat.
Which one is right for you?
It depends on how severe your snoring is. These two devices differ in terms of comfort and effectiveness. Many find it’s easier to get used to sleeping with a TSD. However, MADs tend to be more effective, especially in cases of moderate to severe snoring.
CPAP is one of the most effective snoring remedies. In fact, CPAP makes it virtually impossible to snore.
CPAP, which stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, is typically used to treat those suffering from OSA. Obstructive sleep apnea is a serious medical condition that can have a negative effect on your health. And, for some people, it is the underlying cause of their snoring.
People with sleep apnea stop breathing for brief periods throughout the night. This cessation of breathing is caused by some kind of blockage or obstruction of the airway.
CPAP is the most effective treatment for OSA.
Patients are given a CPAP machine, or pump. This machine sends air through a tube and into a mask that the individual wears over their nose or mouth, or possibly both. Air pressure keeps the airway open, so the patient won’t stop breathing as they sleep. And, as an added bonus, they also won’t snore.
CPAP is extremely effective at stopping snoring, but it has its drawbacks. Some CPAP machines, especially older models, are so loud that they make it difficult for anyone in the bedroom to sleep.
Also, it can take a while to get used to sleeping in the CPAP mask. But most do get used to it eventually. And many find that a little discomfort is a small price to pay for being able to sleep through the night without snoring.
Snoring is a problem that can negatively affect your health and your relationships. It can also hurt your performance at work or at school. Luckily, there are things you can do to prevent snoring. Any of the remedies above could help to make your snoring less frequent and severe. And some of these solutions could stop you from snoring altogether.