How to Stop Snoring
Snoring: it’s not something we really tend to think about unless we’re sleeping in the same bed with another person or living in close proximity to others. However, if it turns out that we do snore, it can be something that inconveniences those around us, becoming a source of stress for both them and ourselves. Moreover, snoring can contribute to a wide range of health problems, including fatigue from poor sleep, not getting enough oxygen during the night, and even increasing our risk for a wide range of diseases including high blood pressure (which might lead to stroke or a heart attack) and type 2 diabetes.
If you’re someone who snores, you’re not alone. Research indicates that approximately 45 percent of people snore occasionally, and a quarter of people snore regularly. Fortunately, it’s not something that you have to tolerate. There are ways to stop snoring and get a good night’s sleep (especially one that doesn’t regularly disrupt the sleep of those closest to you). If you’re looking for solutions, let’s dive into an exhaustive list of how to stop snoring so that you can begin tackling solutions that work best for you!
Look for Ways to Improve Your Quality of Sleep by Changing Your Lifestyle
Unsurprisingly, the choices that you make throughout your lifetime impact other areas of your health. This is something that applies to snoring as well. Before you start looking for snoring solutions (or if you’re trying snoring solutions and they’re still not helping), try these first.
Cut out smoking and alcohol.
While the occasional glass of wine isn’t something that’s going to dramatically impact your overall health, those who drink or smoke regularly and excessively do put themselves at risk for numerous health problems. In regards to cigarettes, cigarette use directly correlates with snoring more, while those who end up putting down their cigarettes snore less over time (this appears to apply to children of smokers who are regularly exposed to smoke because of those who smoke in the vicinity of them).
Meanwhile, alcohol can increase snoring and potentially cause obstructive sleep apnea, even if you don’t already have it. This doesn’t mean that you have to give up certain things that you love. However, if you enjoy them too much and they’re proving to have a major impact on your sleep hygiene, it might be time to cut back. If you’ve been looking for an incentive to quit either of these substances, the ability to put your snoring to rest might very well be the motivation that helps you put an end to smoking and drinking!
Exercise more and eat healthily.
Exercise is great for a number of reasons. It helps you feel and look better, it produces endorphins, and it ensures that you’re able to move with ease as you age. The problem? Not everyone exercises, and it can cause sleep issues like snoring. Individuals with obesity are especially at risk of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea.
The biggest barrier for those who might want to lose weight is the belief that exercise has to be difficult and enjoyable. This simply isn’t true. Getting started on your weight loss journey is as easy as making an effort to squeeze more movement into your day. This might mean walking in the mornings, finding new ways to commute to work, and beyond. Once you’re more accustomed to exercising, you can then develop a plan that helps you best meet your goals. Exercise may also tire you out more so that you sleep restfully.
With all this in mind, exercise is only half the battle. The other half lies in your eating habits. If you consistently eat foods that are fattening and lack nourishment, this will only continue to contribute to your weight issue. Work on figuring out which foods are good for you (you might even wish to create filling meal plans to make the transition easier), keep more of these in the kitchen, and eliminate temptation by removing any snacks that might be bad for you. A few things here and there that aren’t so good aren’t a problem, but you will want to change your eating habits entirely.
It’s a lot of work, but it’s certainly worth it if you want to reduce your snoring and improve your quality of life!
See if there are mouth exercises that will help you reduce snoring.
Mouth exercises? Yes, mouth exercises! Also known as oropharyngeal exercises, there are mouth exercises out there that focus on improving the strength of various parts of your mouth, including your tongue, your throat, and your palate. While it might sound strange, it’s proven to be an effective remedy for snoring, and you might want to talk to a specialist to learn how you can do it and see if it works for you!
Practice better sleep hygiene.
Everything that you do up until the point you go to bed can have an impact on your sleep quality. While we’ve covered some good practices and habits to get into above, there are other things that you can do to try to make you feel more rested or decrease your chances of snoring once your head hits that pillow. Here are just a few tips to improve your sleep hygiene.
- Don’t use electronics when you’re about to go to bed.
- Make sure that you’re in a quiet, light-free space where you won’t be distributed.
- Avoid caffeine at least six hours before bedtime.
- Make sure you’re active during the day to promote better sleep.
- Give yourself enough time in your schedule to get the restful sleep you need.
Sleep hygiene can be difficult to promote after engaging in certain habits for so long, but it’s more than possible to improve your sleep health starting now.
Look for Ways to Stop Snoring Once You Lie Down
While the above can help, you still might snore regardless. This is especially true if your poor sleep and snoring are related to certain conditions like obstructive sleep apnea (and if you need certain things like a CPAP machine to get through it). That being said, there are strategies out there designed specifically for those who have trouble putting their snoring to bed. Let’s take a look at a few that might help you with your snoring problem.
Consider sleeping on your side if you currently sleep on your back.
This is actually quite a simple strategy. Back-sleepers are quite common, but while there are purported benefits of back-sleeping, this isn’t the case for those who snore. In fact, sleeping on your back might be contributing to your snoring. The easiest solution is to switch things up and sleep on your side. Now, getting into the habit of sleeping in a different position can take some time to get used to, so you might wish to look for ways to support your new sleeping style. This can mean getting a body pillow, sleeping against a wall where you can push yourself against something to stay in position until you fall asleep, or even building a wall of pillows to keep you on your side throughout the night.
Look for tools designed to stop snoring in its tracks.
Are you someone who prefers using tools in their nightly routine to get better sleep? If so, you might have an easier time stopping your snoring with these types of products. There are several options out there, but here are a few of note.
- Nasal Strips (Internal or External): Nasal strips are one of the more well-known products on the market, and you’ve likely come across them before. Nasal strips, also known as nasal dilators, can either be applied internally or externally. External strips expand the nasal passages by pulling the skin of your nose outward. Internal nasal strips instead achieve the same goal by pushing out.
- Mouthpieces: Certain types of products are easier to get used to than others. Whereas nasal strips are simple to apply, mouthpieces might be a bit more aggressive for those who can’t seem to stop snoring. These types of mouthpieces will generally move the jaw slightly forward when applied or push down on the tongue to hold it in place so that you don’t snore. If you don’t mind trying something new in the hopes that it can improve your sleep, you might want to try anti-snoring mouthpieces.
- Mouth Tape: Mouth taping is a relatively new concept, but one that’s very simple to understand and apply. Mouthtaping uses mouthtape to seal your lips shut and force you to breathe through your nose. This is designed to stop snoring, but also address other problems like bad breath and dry mouth or throat. There are several kinds of designs, including those that go around the lips, those that connect your lips vertically or horizontally, and those that fully cover the lips so you don’t have to worry about gaps forcing your mouth tape open at any time of the night.
These types of products each have their own unique advantages and disadvantages. Make sure you speak with your doctor or a specialist before trying any of them out for yourself!
Seek Out More Permanent Treatments (If You Need Them)
If snoring won’t go away no matter what you do, it might be time to consider something a bit more permanent, like surgery. An initial consultation with a specialist will tell you everything you need to know about the surgery and whether or not it’s a good fit for your needs. Some surgical procedures out there that address snoring include:
- Somnoplasty: Somnoplasty is a surgical procedure that employs radio waves to change the form of tissues in your mouth and in your throat. What does this achieve? By reshaping these tissues, it might help some people impacted by snoring successfully stop it in its tracks. That being said, it’s not effective for everyone. However, given that it’s a non-invasive procedure, it shouldn’t be too much of an issue should it not produce the desired results.
- Laser-Assisted Uvulopalatoplasty: This type of surgical procedure might sound scary, but it’s also non-invasive and quite simple. A surgeon will laser to gradually strip tissue away from your uvula (the dangling sac found at the back of the throat) as well as the soft palate. In doing so, the surgeon creates more space in the throat so that you can stop snoring. There is one issue, however. While this type of treatment was quite commonly used for sleep issues like sleep apnea, there has been an uptick in negative side effects as a result of the surgery in recent years. Many surgeons do not offer laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty because of this. If you do happen to find a surgeon that will suggest this type of surgery to you, make sure that they provide you with the full list of potential side effects (while also doing personal research to see how others were impacted).
- Palatal Implants: If laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty is not an option, there’s another choice: palatal implants. Palatal implants function in the same way as laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty as it’s a non-invasive procedure designed to stiffen the soft palate. These are quite effective at reducing snoring overall and are often recommended as a treatment for obstructive sleep apnea.
Surgeries are a permanent solution to snoring troubles. However, they do come with their fair share of risks. Always consult an authority on these types of surgeries and weigh the benefits and disadvantages before you pursue anything permanent.
Ready to Work Towards a Better Quality of Sleep? Try Hostage Tape!
Are you ready to begin your journey to better sleep and less snoring with something a bit less aggressive than surgery? If so, you can start here with Hostage Tape! Hostage Tape is mouth tape that keeps your lips closed to encourage breathing through your nose while sleeping. CPAP-friendly, irritation-free, and easy to take off in the event of an emergency, you get 30 easy-to-apply mouthtaping strips with each package. If you’re interested in mouthtape as a solution to your snoring issue, Hostage Tape is the way to go!
Join our Facebook Group here to have discussions and get sleep hacks with like minded people suffering from snoring, sleep apnea, and mouth breathing.
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