Everybody snores sometimes. Half of all American adults snore, and it is a perfectly natural occurrence. It happens when air passes through your throat as you sleep, causing tissues to vibrate, which creates the harsh, annoying sounds associated with snoring. (Image Credit: Claudio Scott/Pixabay)
In most cases, it is harmless, but it can be problematic. Snoring can disrupt your sleep, or your partner’s, potentially leading to sleep deprivation. The severity of your snoring may be influenced by a poor sleeping position or the consumption of alcohol before bed. In the worst cases, it could be a sign of a health issue such as sleep apnea, obesity, or a problem with the structure of your ears, nose, and throat.
If you suspect your snoring may be caused by a more serious condition, you should get it checked out by an ear, nose, and throat doctor, but if your snoring is more benign, there are several steps you can take at home that may be effective as a remedy.
1. Change your sleeping position
Snoring is most likely to occur when you sleep on your back, as the tongue can move to the back of the throat and create a partial obstruction to airflow. By changing the position in which you sleep, you open your airways and allow your breath to pass in and out unencumbered. Sleeping on your side is recommended. You could also consider raising the head of your bed or using an extra pillow.
2. Lose weight
Obesity is one of the primary causes of snoring, as it means there is more tissue that could get in the way of your airflow. By losing weight, you will be reducing the amount of tissue and allowing freer airflow. You could achieve this by making changes to your diet or following an exercise regime. Talk to a doctor or nutritionist about steps you can take to lose weight.
3. Stop drinking before bed
When you drink alcohol at night, it relaxes your throat muscles when you sleep, worsening the effects of snoring. If you want to stop your noisy sleeping habits, try to limit your alcohol intake before bed, or better still, cut it out entirely.
4. Treat allergies
Many common allergies, such as hay fever, restrict the airflow through your nose, causing you to breathe through your mouth when you sleep. By treating your allergies and clearing your nasal passage, you avoid this problem. Talk to your doctor about allergy medications you could take to reduce the effects.
5. Use nasal strips
Nasal strips can be purchased in any pharmacy and are highly effective at preventing snoring. You stick them to the bridge of your nose, and they create more space in your nasal passage, allowing you to breathe without obstruction.
If none of these solutions work, it is possible that your snoring is caused by something more serious. Structural problems in your nose, such as a deviated septum, could be causing your snoring or obstructive sleep apnoea, which restricts your airways. If you suspect any of these conditions, you should get in touch with a doctor immediately.