How to Stop Snoring
Snoring — we all do it from time to time. We probably don’t even notice it when it happens, but the people who live with us sure do. Snoring affects the quality of your sleep as well as the sleep of your partner. Poor sleep quality is just as bad as not sleeping at all, in terms of its impact on your body. Poor sleep and snoring always lead to fatigue, bad moods, and even the increased risk of serious health problems like heart attack and stroke. Let’s not forget the personal impact of a snoring problem, namely that no one wants to sleep with us. Snoring’s a big deal and it seems like there’s nothing you can do to stop it.
The reality is that there are many different treatments that are effective for stopping snoring. You may not have tried the right method yet, or you haven’t found the method that works for you, but all is not lost. To figure out how to stop snoring, you need to figure out the cause of your snoring and match the cure to the cause. Stopping snoring will increase your health, your energy level, your relationship with your spouse, and your sleep patterns..
Identify the Cause of Snoring
Snoring is a lot like sneezing in that it can be caused by many different things. Sometimes you sneeze from allergies, sometimes you sneeze when you get dust in your eyes or your nose, and sometimes you sneeze when you have a cold or the flu. Snoring’s just like that — people snore for different reasons. Once you figure out why you snore, you can find a solution and enjoy better sleep.
What Causes Snoring
In general, snoring is caused by having a narrow airway, either from anatomical issues in the throat itself, poor sleep posture or even illness or lifestyle. Your narrow airway gets in the way of normal breathing and that’s where the “gasping” sound of snoring comes from.
Most people who snore have a simple anatomical problem in their throat — too much throat and nasal tissue, or what doctors call “floppy” tissue. People with larger amounts of throat or nasal tissue or people with floppy tissue are more prone to snoring because their airway is more prone to vibrating.
Another issue with snorers is the position of the tongue — if your tongue is in a certain part of your mouth, it restricts normal breathing.
To figure out the specific cause of your snoring, you need to keep track of how and when you snore. Your partner should be able to help you with that one. Write down the time and the type of snoring for a few days. Once you see a pattern in your snoring, you’re ready to figure out the root cause of your snoring problem.
If you notice more closed-mouth snoring, you probably have a problem with the placement of your tongue.
If you are more of an open-mouthed snorer, you may have anatomical problems in the throat that cause snoring.
If you snore more when you sleep on your back, this is the most simple type of snoring, and can usually be altered with very minimal lifestyle changes.
Closed-mouthed Snoring Cure
You’re going to have to start doing some simple exercises if you really want to stop snoring. Your problem is your tongue — it is either too big or too loose in your mouth while you sleep. But there’s hope — try repeating the vowels (A E I O U) out loud for a few minutes each day to work out your tongue. You may feel silly doing this, but it could be the trick that stops your snoring\.
Open-mouthed Snoring Cure
Have you ever fancied yourself a singer? Ever wanted to try your hand at karaoke? Good news for you, Mr. Open-mouthed Snorer, it’s time to take up singing. Sure, there are over-the-counter snore remedies for sale at the local pharmacy, but why not enrich your life and stop your singing all at the same time by singing a ditty or two? Join the church choir, take private vocal lessons, or just sing out loud whenever you have a free minute. The more you sing, the more developed your throat muscles become, and you’ll sing away your snores.
Back Snoring Cures
If you’re a light snorer, or find that you mostly snore when you lie on your back, you have the easiest cure of all. Stop smoking. Lose a pound or two. Stop eating spicy food after 6 pm. Don’t drink too much. That’s all — sound advice that any doctor can get behind. If you really want to put your snoring to bed for good, you’ll just have to clean your act up a little.
Other Reasons for Snoring
Age — As we get older, our throat become more narrow, and our muscle tone in the throat gets worse, all leading to snoring.
Ear, Nose, and Throat — Infections or blocked airways make it hard to inhale, and the vacuum created in the throat makes a snoring sound.
Weight — Being overweight or even just out of shape can lead to snoring.
Lifestyle — Drugs, drinking, smoking (even second-hand), or anything that causes muscle relaxation makes snoring much worse.
Medical Treatments for Snoring
There can be other snoring causes, some serious. If you’re concerned about your snoring or your sleep, consult with your doctor.
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (known as CPAP) — This is a device that keeps your airway open during sleep, a small machine that sits at your bedside and blows pressurized air into a mash that you wear while sleeping.
Dental appliances — There are any number of oral devices worn during sleep that attempt to fix problem snoring. These devices alter your lower jaw-position and look like a boxer’s mouth guard. These devices have been shown to help keep the airway open. Devices also exist to fix tongue related snoring — these push the tongue forward while you sleep.
There are all sorts of snore stoppers being tested right now, high-tech stuff like something called “Laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty” and plastic surgery options like somnoplasty that actually change the anatomy of your palate or throat to stop snoring where it starts. Now that we’re getting lasers involved, I think it’s clear that snoring is a real problem. Hopefully, one of the remedies above will let you enjoy more restful sleep — and maybe your wife will finally sleep in the bed with you at night.