Snoring is more than just a funny noise you often see being made fun of in cartoons. It’s actually the sound that your throat makes when the airway is obstructed. The obstruction causes the tissue in the back of your throat to vibrate. Although snoring is common (nearly 50% of people snore), it’s not a health issue you should ignore—especially if you’re snoring night after night. Snoring impacts your overall quality of sleep which can impact your overall health. To get a good night of sleep and stop snoring for good, we recommend trying these 10 tips.
1. Sleep On Your Side
One of the easiest ways to stop snoring is to simply change your sleep position. When you sleep on your back, all of the soft tissue in the back of the throat can easily fall into your airway as a result of gravity. This is because when you fall asleep, those muscles relax. If you change your sleep position from your back to your side, the soft tissue won’t fall into your airway and obstruct it.
If you find it difficult to stay sleeping on your side, there are a few ways to train your body. For one, you can use a body pillow. Using a body pillow will require you to stay resting on your side to use it. Another option is to place a tennis ball on your back under your shirt. If you roll onto your back at night, it will feel uncomfortable due to the tennis ball and you will immediately roll back to your side.
2. Avoid Alcohol and Relaxants
Another way to stop snoring for good is by avoiding alcohol and relaxants such as muscle relaxers or sedatives before bed. You should avoid these substances because they can cause the muscles in the back of your throat to relax even more than they already do. As a result, you will snore more. By avoiding these relaxants, the muscles in the back of your throat won’t obstruct your airway as much.
3. Lose Weight
One of the top reasons people snore habitually is because they are overweight. When you are overweight, the excess weight doesn’t just go to one spot on your body—it’s distributed throughout. One of the areas that your body can gain weight at is your neck. When the neck begins to accumulate extra fat, the airway naturally becomes much narrower. Losing weight can help widen your airway and allow you to sleep snoreless again.
4. Improve Your Sleep Habits
Your sleeping habits might also be to blame for your snoring. For instance, if you wait until you’re exhausted to go to bed at night, your muscles will relax too much and cause you to snore. Instead, we encourage you to go to bed and wake up at the same time every night. If you’re feeling a little extra tired one day, it doesn’t hurt to go to bed a little early instead of waiting until you’re exhausted to fall asleep.
5. Change Your Pillows
If your pillow isn’t designed to help you sleep on your side, you need a new pillow. Otherwise, you will feel uncomfortable sleeping on your side and will instead continue to sleep on your back. It’s also smart to get a new pillow every six months. Over time, pillows lose their shape and collect allergens that can irritate your sinuses. In between buying new pillows, placing your pillow in the dryer on the fluff cycle is a great way to reduce allergens and keep your pillow in the correct shape.
6. Open Your Nasal Passages
You might be snoring as a result of obstructed nasal passages. For instance, if you suffer from allergies or have a cold, your nasal passages won’t be clear. In these cases, taking allergy or sinus medication might benefit you. Taking a hot shower before bed is also a great way to open up your nasal passages. Unfortunately, if a deviated septum is the cause of your nasal passage blockage, you will need surgery to resolve the issue.
7. Stay Hydrated
When your nasal passage is too dry, it increases your chance of snoring. One of the reasons it’s too dry is because you don’t drink enough water. Increase your water intake and stay hydrated to keep your airway and nasal passages nice and wet.
8. Use a Humidifier
Another reason why your nasal passage is dry is that your home lacks humidity. If your air conditioner or heater is always on and fresh air never comes in, your home likely won’t have much humidity. Turning on a humidifier while you sleep is a good way to add humidity to the air and prevent snoring.
9. Quit Smoking
Another reason why you might snore is that you smoke cigarettes. Smoking causes irritation in the throat and nose membranes which can obstruct the airway. By quitting smoking, the irritation will no longer occur and snoring can stop.
10. Get Sleep Apnea Treatment
The last way you can stop snoring for good is by getting sleep apnea treatment. If you snore on a nightly basis, you might have sleep apnea and not even know it. Sleep apnea is a result of an obstructed airway and can cause you to stop breathing repeatedly throughout the night. With sleep apnea treatment from our Fort Atkinson dentist, your airway will stay open and you will sleep without snoring. Other signs of sleep apnea include gasping or choking during sleep, restless sleep, low energy during the day, difficulty concentrating, memory problems, and weight gain.
If you suspect you may have sleep apnea or haven’t found a snoring treatment that works yet, please contact Bite Align to book an appointment with Dr. Stafford. Dr. Stafford will refer you for a home sleep test to help you get diagnosed with sleep apnea if needed. Then, she will explore the different snoring and sleep apnea treatments available at our dental office.
Call (920) 563-7323 to book an appointment for snoring treatment in Fort Atkinson today.