Last modified: August 2, 2019
Richard Honaker M.D.View Full Profile
Waking up in the morning feeling poorly rested or being told by a loved one how your snoring is affecting their sleep is more common than you may think. According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology, about 45% of adults snore occasionally while 25% are habitual snorers. So, if you’re wondering ‘how do I stop snoring’, some of the tips shared in this article can help you stop snoring.
National Sleep Foundation estimates that 90 million adults in America snore. While men are twice as likely to snore compared to women, the gap closes after menopause, and women snore in equal numbers. So if you’re a woman who’s feeling self-conscious because of snoring, here is how you bring the snoring under control.
Why Am I Snoring?
Simply put, snoring is triggered when air cannot freely flow through the passages at the back of the mouth and nose. This can be due to a number of reasons including obstructed nasal airways, poor muscle tone in the tongue and throat, bulkiness of the throat tissue or long soft palate and/or uvula.
If you’ve been snoring loudly, experiencing breathing issues, or excessive fatigue and daytime drowsiness, it’s important to consult a doctor as this maybe an indication of a more serious health condition. However, if you are experiencing mild or occasional snoring, some lifestyle changes can make a significant difference.
Tips to Stop Snoring
One quick fix is to change your sleeping position. Rather than lying on your back, try to sleep on your side. This is because while lying on your back, all thanks to gravity, the base of your tongue and soft palate collapse to the back of the wall of your throat causing you to snore.
To stay in the sideways position, through the night, you can use multiple pillows or a full length body pillow (recommended for use during pregnancies). In addition to sleeping on the side, elevating the head of your bed by a few inches can also do the trick.
A key contributor to snoring is obesity. There is a direct correlation between weight gain and snoring because when you have more mass on the neck pressing down on the airways it causes them to collapse. Hence, according to a study published by National Center for Biotechnology Information, losing weight can help in the long-run.
We all know that keeping weight in check can be a daunting task but you can start with eating healthier, including some form of physical exercise in your daily routine, and following some of these smart weight loss hacks.
To get rid of the unwanted snoring noise, you’ll also have to reduce alcohol consumption and smoking. While smoking irritates the soft tissues, causing inflammation and enlargement, alcohol makes muscles in the back of the throat more lax. Hence, it is advisable to avoid alcohol or consume it at least four to five hours before going to bed.
Additionally, small things like staying hydrated and warm baths can also have a substantial impact. Secretions in the nose and soft palate become stickier when you’re dehydrated, so by having at least 11 glasses of water you can ensure that your body gets the moisture it needs. Additionally, warm showers can help in keeping the nasal passages unclogged.
Lastly but most importantly, a good sleep routine is crucial for you to help you stop snoring. Sleeping fewer hours and having an irregular sleeping pattern can further fuel snoring, as well as cause some of these problems. So try to make sure you get at least seven hours of sleep at night.
What To Do if I’m a Loud Snorer?
These tips can reduce the frequency of snoring and may even completely stop you from snoring. However, sometimes snoring is caused by chronic congestion or sinus inflammation. Hence, it is important to tackle these issues to put an end to snoring.
Though, if you are experiencing loud snoring accompanied by pauses in breathing or excessive daytime sleepiness, this may be due to Obstructive Sleep Apnoea syndrome (OSA), a clinical disorder marked by frequent pauses in breathing during sleep. These pauses cut off the oxygen supply to your body for a few seconds, causing you to wake up.
OSA, if left untreated, can lead to serious health conditions such as irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure and higher risk of heart attack and diabetes. According to a study published in the Neurology journal, disruption of breathing during sleep can also cause memory problems and mild cognitive impairment.
Though, OSA can easily be managed once it’s diagnosed. So if you’re experiencing these symptoms, getting in touch with a healthcare professional, who can help in developing a personalized treatment plan to help you improve the quality of your sleep.
While over the counter options such as nasal strips and sprays are also available, it’s better to consult a doctor first to determine the underlying cause which could be anything ranging from nasal allergies and infections to nasal obstruction and enlargement of tonsils and adenoids.
If you have more questions about snoring, we have the answers. Our free doctor chat is just a click away and no payment details are required.
Author: Erum is a public relations professional who specializes in technology comms. She is an avid reader, a travel enthusiast, and a self-proclaimed story-teller. Before joining the content team at Your Doctors Online, Erum was the PR manager at Hill & Knowlton Strategies and was handling communications and content strategy for a diverse portfolio of brands. She is also a new mom who is finding her way around motherhood.
Disclaimer: This article provides general information and is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or medical condition. If you require specific advice, please consult one of our medical professionals through the app. However, in case of an emergency, please call 911.