Be honest. Do you know you keep your partner awake at night with snores that could only be described as akin to those a farm animal makes? Or are they the ones who get an elbow to the ribs when they let out an echoing snore around the bedroom? Whoever the culprit is, it would be helpful to get some tips on how to stop it, right?
Here are the best tips to stop snoring with some simple lifestyle changes.
1. Maintain a healthy weight and diet
Being overweight by just a few kilograms can lead to snoring. Fatty tissue around your neck squeezes the airway and prevents air from flowing in and out freely.
2. Try to sleep on your side
Try to sleep on your side rather than your back. While sleeping on your back, your tongue, chin and any excess fatty tissue under your chin can relax and squash your airway. Sleeping on your side prevents this.
3. Avoid alcohol before going to bed
Avoid alcohol before going to bed. Alcohol causes the muscles to relax more than usual during a normal night's sleep. This added relaxation of the muscles makes the back of the throat collapse more readily, which then causes snoring.
4. Quit or cut down on smoking
Quit or cut down on smoking. Cigarette smoke irritates the lining of the nasal cavity and throat, causing swelling and catarrh. If the nasal passages become congested, it's difficult to breathe through your nose because the airflow is decreased.
5. Keep your nasal passages clear
Keep your nasal passages clear, so that you breathe in through your nose rather than your mouth. If an allergy is blocking your nose, try antihistamine tablets or a nasal spray. Ask your pharmacist for advice, or see your GP, if you're affected by an allergy or any other condition that affects your nose or breathing, such as sinusitis.
If your snoring persists, it might be necessary to seek medical help. For some cases of snoring, surgery to fix structural problems in the airways, such as enlarged adenoids, is necessary If your snoring is caused by looseness in your soft palate (the soft upper part at the back of the mouth), a technique called radiofrequency ablation, which uses heat energy to tighten the palate, may help without resorting to surgery.
7. The tennis ball trick
The worst snoring often occurs while laying on your back. While rolling on your side does lower the chance of it, what happens when you roll back on your back? One trick is to use a tennis ball. Sew it into an item of clothing so that it makes it uncomfortable to sleep on your back. This will limit the chances of rolling from your side. Possibly a bit drastic, but if it works then that's all that matters.
8. Tongue exercises
Brazilian scientists have revealed a set of tongue exercises designed to stop people snoring. Here are some of the moves they suggested performing every day:
- Push your tongue against the roof of the mouth and slide the tongue backwards.
- Suck your tongue and press it against the roof of the mouth.
- Press your tongue against your front teeth and force it against the mouth's floor.
- Open wide and said the vowel 'a'.
Possible causes of snoring
What produces that rattling sound in your sleep? Snoring occurs when your tongue, mouth, throat or your nasal airways vibrate as you breathe. These parts vibrate when your body relaxes, causing your airways to narrow as you sleep. But you're more likely to snore due to various lifestyle choices:
- If you're overweight
- If you smoke
- If you drink too much alcohol
- If you sleep on your back