We tend to consider snoring a nuisance to our bed partners and family members; however, it is important to remember that snoring can be a serious problem. It can even be a sign that you may have sleep apnea. This is a condition where your breathing is interrupted while you are sleeping by partially or completely obstructed airways.
While sleep apnea can certainly be dangerous and lead to other health issues over time it is best to consult your doctor before diagnosing yourself. For the rest of us that suffer from snoring there are some home remedies to try before resorting to more invasive forms of treatment. Below are tips to stop snoring at night.
Snoring occurs when the structures in your mouth and throat, such as the tongue, soft palate, upper throat, and uvula vibrate against the tonsils and/ or the adenoids. There are many causes, including being overweight, drinking alcohol before bedtime, and general nasal congestion from a cold or allergies.
Here are some top tips to stop snoring at night:
1. Prop yourself up in bed: Purchase a few extra pillows to prop your upper body up at night rather than allowing yourself to lie flat on your back. This will keep your throat tissues from falling back into your airway.
2. Elevate the head of the bed: You can do this easily by placing several flat boards under the legs at the head end of the bed. Usually, a couple of short 2×8 or 2×10 under each leg should raise the bed enough.
3. Sleep on your side: This is a very easy remedy to try, but there is no guarantee that you will stay in that position. You can start by lying on your side with your arms wrapped around a pillow or body pillow. If the hugging does not help, try attaching tennis balls to the back of your pajamas so that as you sleep at night it prompts you to stay on your side if you begin to roll to your back.
4. Tape your nose open: This can be easily achieved with nasal strips from the drugstore.
5. Gargle with peppermint mouthwash: This will help shrink the lining of your nose and throat. It is particularly helpful if your snoring is caused by a cold or allergies.
6. Use a neck brace: While this may sound extreme it can help prevent you from snoring because it keeps your chin extended so your airway stays open better. A soft plastic one should help.
7. Reduce bedroom allergens: By vacuuming drapes and floors as well as changing sheets and pillows often can help reduce snoring.
8. Do not eat a heavy meal or drink alcoholic beverages before bed: Eating a heavy meal or drinking alcohol three hours before going to bed can cause your throat muscles to relax more than usual and therefore block your airway.
9. Quit smoking: If you are a smoker this habit may be the culprit of your snoring because tobacco irritates mucous membranes.
10. Use a humidifier or steam vaporizer: Sometimes having dry air in the bedroom can cause you to snore and by using a humidifier or steam vaporiser the air around you will moisten while you sleep. Just make sure to clean the machine regularly. If you do not have access to a humidifier you can try filling a bowl with hot water and then draping a toweling over your head, bend over the bowl so your nose is about 15 cm from the water and breathe deeply through your nose for a few minutes prior to sleeping.