Because snoring is caused by an obstructed airway, remedies tend to focus on opening or widening the respiratory passages to allow for the free flow of air to and from the lungs. There are many home, prescription, over-the-counter remedies for snoring. Let's explore some of the more popular options.
Shifting sleep positions
Sleeping one one's back, face up, can cause snoring, as gravity causes the soft tissues of the throat to collapse and the tongue to fall back in the throat, making it difficult for air to flow. Sometimes, simply rolling onto your side can relieve the problem. However, when you're sleeping, you can't consciously control your sleep position. Some recommend sewing a tennis ball to the back of your pajamas, to prevent you from rolling on to your back at night. Using a bed wedge or an adjustable bed with the upper half raised to elevate your upper body when lying on your back is also helpful. This will reduce the effects of gravity on the soft tissues of the throat to help reduce their collapse which can result in the narrowing or closure of the airway.
A dentist can fit you for an anti-snoring mouthpiece, an option that offers the benefit of medical supervision, but may be prohibitively expensive, from $800 to $3,000, especially since they often need to be replaced yearly. The VitalSleep anti-snoring mouthpiece is an FDA cleared device at a much more affordable price that has also been effective at helping reduce snoring for thousands of users.
These special pillows are designed to position your head and neck to achieve the maximum airflow. There are several pillows on the market, with different constructions, and tend to cost between $50 and $100 or more. It may take some experimentation to find the pillow that works for you. A pillow's effectiveness will depend upon whether or not its design is compatible with both your sleep style and the reasons you snore, whether it is comfortable enough for you to sleep on, and whether you will maintain the proper position on the pillow as you sleep through the night.
Nasal Strips can be purchased over-the-counter, and are most effective for breathing difficulties caused by sinus congestion due to colds or allergies.
Over-the-counter nasal sprays that help reduce swelling in the nose or throat can be helpful in the short-term for temporary relief of light or situational snoring.
Chin or Jaw Strap
The anti-snoring chin or jaw straps claim to work by repositioning the jaw, however, across the board, these devices receive the lowest reviews from disappointed customers who find them to be ineffective and uncomfortable.
In rare cases of severe snoring – especially in the case of an anatomical abnormality, such as a deviated septum or nasal polyps – surgery might be indicated, but this expensive and painful option should be considered a last resort.
Excess weight, especially when it accumulates around the throat, can cause snoring. So, it makes sense to recommend losing weight as a remedy for snoring! However, weight loss does not happen overnight, and sleep deprivation (due to snoring!) can certainly make losing weight more challenging and it has been linked to weight gain and obesity. Consider exploring other remedies to stop snoring in the meantime, as you embark on your weight loss plan.