Nobody likes to be told they snore. Yet it is an increasingly common problem that affects Australians of all ages and many people seek answers for how to stop snoring.
If you snore, it is not only a cause of embarrassment, especially if you share your bed with a partner – it can also be very detrimental to your health as it negatively impacts the quality of your sleep.
The good news is that there are ways you can prevent snoring, minimise its impact, and help yourself (and those you live with) to achieve a better night’s sleep.
The first step is understanding why you snore in the first place.
Why Do People Snore?
People snore for an array of reasons.
Snoring results when the upper airways of the mouth and throat partially close during sleep. This occurs when the muscles of the neck relax too much; not enough air can flow between the mouth and the lungs and the body doesn’t receive enough oxygen to function properly. Snoring is not only the rattle caused by the relaxed tissues of the throat vibrating as you breathe; it is one way the brain alerts the body it is not getting enough air. Many people wake as a result, not enough to actually remember doing so, but just enough to disrupt sleep.
People may snore due to:
- Enlarged tonsils
- Excess weight in the neck
- Enlarged tongue
- Individual nasal or mandibular anatomy
- Flaccid oral and pharyngeal tissues
- Sleeping on the back
- Sleep apnoea
Why Do I Snore?
Figuring out the cause of your own snoring is important to properly address the problem. By understanding the abovementioned causes of snoring, you can better identify what applies to your own circumstances.
It may be very helpful to consult with your GP or a sleep specialist to properly establish exactly why you snore so that you can then address the problem more effectively.
How to Prevent Snoring
There is an array of ways to prevent snoring – both natural lifestyle changes as well as some clever tips which can help at bedtime.
Simple night-time habits like having a warm shower or bath before bed, using an anti-snoring pillow, or diffusing essential oils such as eucalyptus oil in your room can help you reduce the inflammation which can cause your airways to swell. So too can using a stop snoring sleep device help alleviate snoring.
There is also a number of lifestyle changes that can help you stop snoring naturally.
How to Stop Snoring Naturally
- Lose Weight: Weight gain can cause a higher percentage of fatty tissue in the neck and throat, and this narrows your airways. If you are a snorer and you are overweight or obese, losing weight may be the single best way to stop snoring.
- Sleep on your side: Sleeping on your back is a definitive snoring risk factor, as your tongue can relax back into the throat and block your airway. Sleeping on your side mitigates this risk.
- Elevate your head: Use a higher pillow or even slightly elevate the head of your bed to enable a better flow of air through your airways.
- Exercise: Not only does exercise help you maintain a healthy weight, but it can also promote better quality sleep. Additionally, by improving your overall muscle tone, your throat and soft palate will be better able to maintain their ideal shape as you sleep.
- Drink plenty of water: Our bodies are at least 60% water when we are adults. By being properly hydrated, our bodies function properly and part of this is healthy mucus formation. This is important as dehydration can cause more, thicker mucus to develop in the throat and mouth – which can block the airways and cause snoring.
- Avoid alcohol and other drugs at night: Alcohol consumption late at night or in excess can inhibit your ability to get a good night’s sleep, even though it may make you feel sleepy initially. So too, other drugs can compromise your sleep quality – including stimulants. Even sleeping pills can cause disturbed sleep by making snoring much more likely.
- Don’t smoke! We all know tobacco smoking is bad for your overall health. It is also very bad for quality sleep. Smokers tend to experience more intense snoring and are also more likely to develop insomnia and sleep apnoea.
- Eat well: Maintain a healthy diet of plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, fibre, and limit fatty, processed foods. Sugar and high-fat, high-carbohydrate meals, especially large meals later at night, can overload your system and impact healthy digestion, impacting sleep.
- Manage allergies: Seasonal allergies, in particular, can lead to nasal stuffiness and this, in turn, causes snoring. Use antihistamines as directed by your doctor; vacuum your room and wash your linen frequently; consider investing in an air filter. If you are affected by allergies, keep your pets out of your bedroom.
For more information about the lifestyle factors that influence snoring, see our sleep help section. If all else fails, see your doctor for advice.
Stop Snoring Solution: SnoreMD
SnoreMD could be the solution you seek to help you stop snoring.
SnoreMD is a patented, medical-grade oral device that has been developed by biomedical engineers and medical scientists. Worn in the mouth while you sleep, it has helped many thousands of people worldwide to stop snoring for a better night’s sleep. Comfortable to wear, it is a natural method of alleviating snoring.