Do you or your partner snore? If so, I’m sure you’ve had a conversation (or several) about it. If you sleep alone, you may not know whether you snore or not, but it’s a good idea to find out; try recording yourself while you sleep to determine whether you’re a snorer. I recommend that you consider some options to minimize or end snoring if you do discover that you are a snore monster!
The truth is that your snoring could be doing some harm. It can cause problems in your relationship if your partner is unable to sleep due to your snoring, for example. It could also mean that you aren’t sleeping as deeply as you need to in order to be fully functional, meaning you’re less productive and more irritable than you would be if you didn’t snore. Finally, snoring can be a sign of illness, and ignoring the problem could make you more unwell.
The first course of action is to see a doctor to determine whether or not this last point is actually the case. Once this is done, you can work on how to stop snoring so everyone – including you – can get a good night’s sleep. Read on for some useful suggestions.
Sleep on Your Side
Your sleeping position can have a big impact on snoring. Studies have shown that people who sleep on their backs (also known as the supine position) will tend to snore more than those sleeping in other positions. This is probably due to the position of the head; when you are lying on your back, you need to breathe more deeply to inhale enough oxygen, and that could lead to snoring.
In contrast, lying on your side (in the lateral position) makes it easier to draw in enough oxygen. Your breaths don’t have to be as deep, and you are much less likely to snore. Plus, the position of your head is likely to help open things up more. If you find it hard to sleep on your side, try placing pillows behind you, as this will stop you from rolling over in the night. In my experience, this one change from my husband has tended to minimize or end snoring enough that I can sleep.
If you are overweight, it could be a snoring culprit. Talk to your doctor about your ideal weight and what you can do to get there. If you do discover that losing weight is a good idea for you because of other health reasons, consider doing it to minimize or end snoring as well.
Studies have shown that people who have a high BMI (body mass index) are usually snorers, but once they have lost weight and their BMI is measured in the ‘normal’ range, their snoring seems to stop a lot of the time.
Snoring isn’t the only reason to stop smoking, but it certainly can be one of them. The problem comes from the way that smoking inflames the tissues in your nose and airways. This makes it harder to breathe, hence the sound that snoring makes.
When you stop smoking, your body can start to repair itself, and it does so astonishingly quickly. This means that the tissues in your airways will return to normal within a short time, leading to quieter nighttime breathing and less snoring.
Avoid Alcohol Near Bedtime
Perhaps you’ve noticed that someone who doesn’t normally snore definitely does after they have been drinking. If it happens to them, it makes sense that it would happen to you too. When you drink alcohol, your muscles relax. This includes the muscles at the back of the throat. When relaxed, these muscles tend to restrict airflow and can be problematic. When these muscles are closed, it takes more effort to draw in oxygen, much like the issue with smoking.
This might seem like an extreme solution to snoring, but it could actually be the best thing for you. Of course, your doctor will be able to advise on this option and if it’s a good one for you. If you’ve ever asked the question- is a nose job worth it ? – in this case, it might be.
There are also other surgeries that have been successful at curbing or stopping snoring altogether. Ask your doctor for information about reconstruction surgery that can stabilize the throat. Additionally, a nerve implant to contract the tongue might be an option as well.