Have you ever slept beside a snoring person? Most likely, you have. Snoring is so common, and most people have experienced it at one point in their lives, if not their entire lifetime.
When you have a snoring problem, you are scolded a lot by those around you. Remember all the times you’ve become the brunt of jokes in your family get-togethers. On such days, you are allowed to sleep alone, even if the beds are few since no one can stand your snoring. They’d rather use the couches for the night. If you snore excessively, here is a quick guide to help you stop snoring.
Natural Ways to Stop Snoring
Here are some natural, self-help remedies to help you stop your snoring.
1. Change your sleeping position
Lying on the back feels nice, especially after a long day of working or driving. But, it’s not the best position if you have a snoring problem. This posture causes your soft palate and tongue to collapse at the back of your throat, obstructing airflow, and increasing vibrations. The best position is to lie on the side. In this posture, the tongue stays in place, and it doesn’t block the air. But, for old habits die-hards, it can be an uphill task for you to stop sleeping on your back. To help you with this, buy a body pillow or elevate the head of your bed. They will help you to maintain a side position when sleeping.
2. Cut some weight
Snoring is more prevalent in overweight individuals than in people with a healthy weight. So, what’s the relationship between weight and snoring? When you have excess weight, your nasal cavities are likely to be lined with fat, which makes them narrow. This means the air will not flow as it should. Enrolling in a gym or starting a workout routine can help solve the snoring menace. And while at it, find a healthy diet plan.
3. Exercise regularly
Exercise helps you in more ways than just losing weight. It helps in toning muscles around your body. And as your abs, legs, and arms are toned, your throat muscles benefit as well. Working helps to tone the muscles in the throat and soft palate and helps to maintain them in great shape. As you exercise regularly, you will experience improved breathing during sleep and ultimately stop your snoring.
4. Limit alcohol before bedtime and ditch smoking
Alcohol is said to be a sleep-inducer. But, on the flip side, it can affect the quality of your sleep in several ways. First, alcohol increases the need to visit the washroom frequently, which means interruption of your rest. Secondly, alcohol relaxes the muscles in the throat, making them “floppier”. This leads to disruption of airflow and ultimately snoring. Smoking is harmful to your health as well as your sleep. Cigarette smoke irritates your throat and causes it to swell, which can lead to snoring. So, steer away from the temptation of bedtime wine and find ways of quitting smoking.
5. Check what goes into your mouth
It has always been said that eating large meals at night isn’t healthy. The reasons are simple; you don’t need so much energy at night. Also, eating a lot of food increases irritation and inflammation of the throat, which results in snoring. Try to eat smaller portions of food, and you’ll truly improve your snoring. Also, be keen on what you include on your dinner plate. Gluten and dairy foods are well-known throat irritants that you should avoid eating at night.
6. Try throat and tongue exercise
You must have noticed how the tongue relaxes when one is sleeping. This happens to everyone. When you are sleeping, the throat and tongue muscles are overly relaxed, just like other organs. Now, this is a potential cause of snoring. By strengthening these muscles, you will remedy your snoring problem. Singing is one of the best throat exercises. Even if you’re not a vocal star, get into the habit of singing because it’s medicine to your throat. For your tongue muscles, practice simple oropharyngeal exercises daily.
7. Clear nasal passage
Nasal congestion and a deviated septum can lead to snoring. Therefore, clearing your nasal passage can do the trick. A simple way to do this is by using a facial steam bowl. Fill a bowl or small bucket with hot water. Lower your head above it, but not too close to avoid getting burned. Then, you need to cover your head with a towel for a few minutes and try to inhale the hot steam. The congestion should be cleared by the time you are done steaming.
8. Sleeping the recommended hours
The recommended sleeping hours for an average adult is 6 to 8 hours. During this sleep-time, your body is able to recover and rejuvenate for the next day’s activities. The opposite happens when you fail to get enough rest; you’ll be exhausted. Exhaustion causes throat and tongue muscles to flop, and this sets you up for snoring. With that in mind, find a good sleeping pattern.
9. Take a hot shower before bed
Taking a deep in your bathtub or letting the water from the showerhead run through your body is a great sleep-time habit. Not only is it good for hygiene, but it’s also beneficial for those who snore. This is for the obvious reason – the heat emanating from the hot water opens up the airways, improving airflow. And while at the shower, throw yourself a concert and sing along your favorite playlist to help your throat.
10. Keep your bedroom humid
Another surprising cause of snoring is the dryness of the nasal cavity. The membranes in the throat and nose get irritated by dry air. Besides that, dry air exacerbates congestion caused by cold or allergies. And, as you know, congestion encourages snoring. It would help to invest in a humidifier. It will keep the air in your bedroom warm and moist.
11. Drink plenty of water
There are many health benefits of taking plenty of water. One of them is that it curbs snoring. If you are experiencing excessive snoring, think about the amount of water you take every day. If you don’t score well, dehydration might be the reason behind your snoring. Drinking plenty of water keeps your mouth and throat hydrated. It also prevents the accumulation of thick mucus along the cavity, which is known to cause snoring.
12. Practice some bedroom hygiene
When did you last dust your bedroom furniture? Have you replaced your pillows? And, have you dusted the overhead ceiling fan? Pillows are good habitats for dust mites. And as you know, dust mites cause allergies, which can set you up for snoring.
The same goes for dust and animal dander. They are potent allergens that might intensify snoring. Staying away from these harmful substances starts with bedroom hygiene. Occasionally put your pillows in the air fluff cycle to remove pet hair, lint, dust, and dust mites. And replace them as often as possible. Also, wipe off the dust from surfaces and vacuum your bedroom carpet regularly.
Finally, your bedroom should be out of bounds from any pet. It can be hurting, but you must do it if you truly want to stop your snoring.
Now that you know potential ways to stop snoring, I think it is a good idea to explain the causes of snoring and what it really is.
Perhaps you got used to people scolding you for your infuriating snoring. But, snoring is more serious than you think. It is not just an irritating noise produced by millions of people at night. Sometimes, snoring is a sign of an underlying medical problem. And in other scenarios, it can be a cause of life-threatening diseases. For these reasons, you shouldn’t ignore your snoring problem.
So, what is snoring? Snoring happens when there is an obstructed flow of air through the nose and throat when sleeping. This causes the tissues at the back of the throat to vibrate and produce the snoring sound. Nearly everyone snores occasionally, but for some people, it is a chronic issue.
Why Do I Snore?
Yes, you understand that your snoring is annoying, but have you ever stopped and asked what exactly causes it. Knowing the potential causes of snoring is a good place to start when finding a solution. Here are some of the common causes:
- Bad sleeping posture: Some sleeping positions, such as lying on the back, have been associated with snoring.
- Excessive eating, drinking alcohol, and smoking: These practices cause muscle relaxation and obstruction of airflow in the nasal cavity.
- Medical conditions: These include sinusitis and allergies that cause inflammation of the nose and throat.
- Genetics: Some people are born with larger adenoids, cleft palates, narrow throats, or even excessive nasal and throat tissue. These factors lead to excessive snoring.
- Excess weight: This leads to nasal fatty tissues, which in turn affect muscle tone along the nasal cavity.
- Age: The throat of an older person is narrower, which makes them prone to snoring.
Can Snoring Be Cured?
Yes, snoring can be cured. However, treatment will depend on the major causes of your snoring problem. It’s important first to see a doctor before you can seek any intervention. Typically, the doctor will review your medical history, signs, and symptoms. They might also interview your close family to determine the severity of the problem.
Afterward, they may request a sleeping study or imaging to diagnose the problem. The diagnosis will determine the course of treatment. This can be lifestyle changes, surgery of the upper airway, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), or oral appliances.
Is Snoring Bad?
Snoring is bad for several reasons. The first obvious one is the annoyance it causes. Snoring is so bad that it has caused marriages to break. Yes, some people can’t stand a snoring spouse. But, more worrying is the fact that snoring can cause myriad medical issues, including:
- General fatigue
- Restless and inadequate rest
- Gasping for breath when sleeping
- Chest pain at night
- Poor attention span and concentration
- High blood pressure
- Morning headaches
Now you know what causes snoring and how it can be remedied with some simple, natural tricks. But how can you tell which method will work for you best? The answer is, try them all. People respond to these remedies differently. What works for another person, even if they are close family, might not work for you.
Try one method after another until you find the one that works. Or, perhaps two or three remedies that you can combine to help you stop snoring once and for all. Indeed, it’s a long process but worth the trial. So, don’t give up until you hit your goal.