How to stop snoring
By Richard Ryland*
age-well.org > Snoring Remedies
Table of Contents
Guide to Snoring Solutions
What Causes Snoring?
Lifestyle Changes as Snoring Solutions
Next Stages in Identifying Snoring Remedies
Final Stages in the Quest for Snoring Remedies
Sleep Apnoea/Sleep Apnea
Digaridoo for snoring
Full Breath Solution
Turbinate Coblation Procedure.html
Snoring is sometimes developed as a family joke but in reality it can be a sign of ill health and if ignored can be seriously damaging to relationships, as over-tired partners are often lacking in patience. Lack of intimacy might also become part of the problem when snoring drives a sleeping partner to another room to get some sleep.
This article for age-well.org is a largely self help guide to snoring and snoring remedies and includes useful tips on how to stop snoring.
Snoring can affect the quality and quantity of sleep so sleeping and not feeling refreshed should be a sign it is time to try and find some snoring solutions.
What causes snoring may be physical and physiological but the following paragraphs gives major causes and suggests possible snoring solutions.
As we age we have a tendency to relax our throat muscles more and this can result in snoring. Also putting on weight tends to make people snore. Often sinus problems, enlarged adenoids and nasal asymmetry (perhaps hereditary or acquired as in a broken nose) can be what cause snoring.
The use of alcohol, perhaps as a nightcap to assist sleep can be what causes snoring. Alcohol gives poor quality sleep. Smoking tends to cause snoring because of its effect upon the throat muscles. So it can be seen there are many answers to what causes snoring and lifestyle choices may improve matters dramatically or even eradicate the problem.
As a general rule, if the snore is with a closed mouth the issue may be the nose and if with an open mouth the throat. Sleeping on the back, face upwards will induce many people to snore. Sewing a tennis ball into the back of a pyjama jacket may help keep you off your back and after a while sleeping on the side becomes a learned sleep behaviour and you can dispense with the tennis ball. If snoring is present in all postures despite lifestyle changes then a medical consultation may be necessary to identify how to stop snoring and appropriate snoring solutions.
If you are a smoker, quit smoking, smoking has no real upside, it is all downsides. Avoid alcohol two hours before sleep and try to do without sleeping tablets which are also some of what causes snoring. If you are taking a sedative for anxiety or depression, consider taking this earlier in the day. Also avoid heavy meals two hours before sleep. If you are in any way overweight, then this may be what causes snoring and diet and exercise to lose weight could be your snoring solution. Snoring is more common in men than in women and the frequency of snoring tends to increase with increased neck circumference. Taking regular exercise will also help reduce snoring and may be your answer to how to stop snoring.
Some people find elevating the head helps reduce snoring, so if you normally sleep with one pillow try two pillows.
Try and get a good sleep routine, going to bed always at roughly the same time and try and wake up naturally. Sleep deprivation encourages snoring. Your sleeping partner may want to consider ear plugs.
If the lifestyle changes have not brought snoring solutions or you are still left with a problem we go to other snoring remedies. Those people who have nose problems could try nasal strips. Also people with nasal/sinus problems could try vapours in the bedroom at night to clear the airways. These kits are often sold for babies but are effective for nasal/sinus problems in many cases. Some people find installing a humidifier helps with sinus problems used in the bedroom at night. The use of Friars Balsam, Menthol or Eucalyptus will help clear sinuses. For those people with nasal/sinus problems, about 50% find regularly sucking menthol or eucalyptus sweets helps, whilst in about 50% of cases report no effect at all.
For people with throat problems you could try saying out loud the vowels a, e, i, o, u for about three minutes per day. Or as an alternative try singing, this can be done whilst driving or in the bathroom or take it up as a hobby. Singing will help tighten the throat muscles
If all of these snoring remedies have been given a fair try and you are still snoring loudly every night consider final stage treatment in your search for snoring remedies. You need to see a doctor, preferably a specialist in Ear, Nose and Throat. A doctor can prescribe nasal sprays for nasal and sinus problems. The doctor may also be able to prescribe or recommend throat sprays to tighten up the muscles before sleeping. You may need to be referred to a sleep clinic for sleep and snoring studies. This will pinpoint and quantify the problem. Some doctors will try decongestant tablets at night for people with nasal/sinus problems. It is also possible that the sinus problems could be an allergy. Careful investigation may help eliminate the offending substance but if not in some cases anti-allergy (antihistamines) tablets may help. Anti-allergy tablets have a tendency to make you sleep so can make the situation worse but there are non-drowsy anti-allergy tablets on the market.
Some doctors will actually consider Continuous Positive Airways Pressure (CPAP) but this is usually reserved for sleep apnoea. This is a mask like device which forces the recipient to breath regularly whilst asleep. For throat problems some doctors will prescribe a mouth shield (it is a bit like the gum shields which boxers wear) which is designed to bring the jaw forward. Often such mouth shields may be designed and fitted by dentists. There is also a range of surgical procedures which can help. For nose problems straightening the nose may help. For throat problems laser or surgery can be used to widen the throat. These are all quite drastic measures and the self-help options really need to be thoroughly tried first. I would take regular singing anytime compared to sleeping with a mouth shield in!
Mention of sleep apnoea must be mentioned in any discussion of what causes snoring. Sleep apnoea is the severe form of snoring and may be life threatening. People with sleep apnoea tend to hold their breath while sleeping or wake up gasping or choking.
Diagnosis is usually made via a sleep study.
But if you snore loudly and continuously whilst sleeping or fall asleep at inappropriate times, say during eating a meal or you are continually tired you may have sleep apnoea and should consult your doctor to identify appropriate snoring remedies for this condition.
For most people snoring can be reduced or eliminated completely by self-help. Snoring is not a joke and can cause serious relationship problems and be an indication that medical intervention is necessary to find out both what causes snoring and how to stop snoring. It must be accepted that for some people serious lifestyle changes are required in order to find snoring solutions; reducing weight, exercising more, singing in the car or bathroom, no alcohol two hours before bedtime and quitting smoking will be tough but necessary snoring remedies.
*Richard K Ryland is a former Registered Mental Nurse, General Nurse and Nurse Teacher from the United Kingdom. Richard also holds a Bachelor’s degree in psychology and a Master of Science in Nursing.
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