You may be able to break your snoring habit with these simple but effective snoring remedies.
Remember, it’s not just your partner who has to deal with the effects of your snoring. Although it seems harmless, snoring is associated with a couple of serious health issues, from sleep apnea to cardiovascular disease. In other words, it’s something you shouldn’t just write off as a small annoyance. Explore the most common reasons for snoring and get the lowdown on the best snoring remedies.
Why do people snore?
First, let’s deal with the basic biological mechanism behind snoring. When you’re asleep, the muscles in your throat and neck relax. This decreases the amount of space in your throat. As you breathe, the tissues around your upper airways vibrate. Any part of the upper airway can cause these sorts of vibrations, including the back of your tongue, the back of your throat, or the soft palate. This produces a rattling, harsh sound, otherwise known as snoring. But why do some people snore, while others barely make a peep all night? There are a wide range of factors to consider.
Gaining weight around your neck squeezes your throat’s inner diameter and compresses your airways, making you much more likely to start snoring. If your shirt collar is a size 16.5 or above, chances are you’re a snorer, or at least predisposed to sawing logs! Of course, plenty of thin people suffer from the snoring bug too, but if you’ve noticed an uptick in your snoring directly following weight gain, there’s a pretty good chance that they’re related.
Solution? Losing weight may help. There are lots of different things you can do, including following a healthier diet and exercising.We’ve even got a blog post to help determine which diet is most efficient for your age, gender, and BMI. Remember, it’s always a good idea to check with a doctor before you begin a new fitness regimen, particularly if you’ve got an existing medical issue.
It’s not your imagination: you/your partner probably are snoring a little more loudly than you were 10 or 20 years ago. But why? It’s due to a variety of factors, including menopause-induced hormonal changes, nasal congestion, weight gain, and reduced muscle tone.
Solution? Sorry, not too much you can do about this one! You can’t exactly turn back the clock. Over-the-counter products tend to be ineffective, but adjusting your sleeping position and losing weight might help to reduce or prevent snoring.
People who sleep on their backs are much more likely to snore. Gravity plays a key role. When you’re on your back, your tongue and soft palate can fall back into your throat, blocking your airflow and increasing your chances of snoring. Check out our post about the pros and cons of each sleeping position for a bit more information.
Solution? Sleeping on your side tends to be much better for snoring, so switching your sleep position may be a good choice. Although stomach sleeping can ease snoring, it’s generally regarded as the worst position to sleep in, so that’s probably not the best move, even if you are a heavy snorer!
Drinking and smoking
Anyone who likes a nightcap before bed might want to take note! Because alcohol is a muscle relaxant, it can make snoring more likely. Smoking can also cause problems, inflaming the tissues of your upper airway and upping the chances that you’ll develop a snoring problem.
Solution? For smoking: quit. For drinking: cut back on your alcohol consumption and avoid drinking for at least 4 hours before you go to bed.
Why do people snore? Sometimes, it’s in the genes. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)—a common condition associated with snoring—can actually be passed down from parent to child. It’s caused by a couple of different factors, including the size of your airways, obesity, and blood markers, all of which have a genetic component.
Solution? Just like you can’t change your age, you can’t change your genetics.
However, there are a variety of treatments available for OSA, including oral appliances, surgery, or upper airway stimulation, while lifestyle changes like weight loss and quitting smoking can also help to reduce the severity of your sleep apnea.
So if you’re a heavy snorer and want to stop, consider some of these simple snoring remedies and start making the most of your Zzz’s.