Snoring is defined as the vibration of respiratory structures, which results in loud sounds due to obstructed air movement while breathing in your sleep. About 45% of normal adults snore at least occasionally or know someone who does. On top of being a nuisance, 75% of people who snore have a condition called obstructive sleep apnea, in which breathing is interrupted during sleep for short periods, which then puts them at risk for the development of heart diseases.
There are several over the counter sprays and pills available on the market that claim to be able to treat snoring, but take caution before purchasing. Check with your doctor before taking any medication. Alternatively, you can tweak your lifestyle or avail of a few natural tricks to stop snoring.Here are a few Natural Snoring Solutions:
- Changing your sleeping position can help diminish snoring, as lying on your back makes the base of your tongue and your soft palate to press against the back wall of your throat, causing the vibrating noise that is a snore. One way of making sure you sleep on your side throughout the night is by sleeping next to a full-body pillow, or taping a tennis ball to the back of your clothes. Finally, you can choose to recline the bed with the head up and extended, which helps open up the nasal airway passages.
- If you've recently gained weight and started snoring, but didn't used to before, try losing that weight. Gaining weight around your neck squeezes the internal diameter of your throat and makes it more likely to collapse during sleep, which in turn causes snoring.
- Drinking alcohol reduces the resting tone of the muscles in the back of your throat, increasing the likelihood of your snoring. Drinking four to five hours before going to bed makes it worse, so try to avoid it if possible. You can also try reducing your intake or completely doing away with caffeine, as well as abstaining from consuming rich food before going to bed.
- Did you know that singing or playing an instrument that employs the use of your mouth can help alleviate snoring? It tones the muscles of your upper airways, so go ahead and indulge in a little music throughout your day.
- Taking a hot shower or bath before bed will not only help you sleep deeper, it will also clear your nasal passages before sleeping, which could help lessen your snoring if it starts in your nose. Keep a bottle of saltwater rinse in your shower and rinse your nose out with it while you're showering to really open up those passages. You can also consider investing in a neti pot, which rinses out the nasal passages with a saltwater solution.
- Keep a tidy bedroom. Clean it regularly and make sure you change your sheets periodically. Dust mites that accumulate in pillows and other bedding, as well as your fans and the rest of your room, all contribute to blocking your nasal passages and could cause allergic reactions that could lead to snoring. Letting your pets sleep in bed with you may also be a factor. Try to minimize the allergens by fluffing your pillows regularly and replacing them every six months.
Remember: see your doctor if you snore loudly and find yourself exhausted most of the day. If you also catch yourself gasping, choking, or stopping breathing while sleeping in any way, it could be a good time to start consulting a professional. The same goes if you wake up with a headache and have trouble concentrating.