Do you know how to avoid snoring? No, it’s not impossible, even though you’re asleep when it happens. A good night’s sleep might be more within your reach than you think.
If snoring is zapping you of a good night’s sleep, you’re not alone. It’s estimated that up to half of all American adults snore. While it may seem like nothing more than a harmless sound, snoring can be hazardous to your health, which is why you shouldn’t ignore it.
While a cure for snoring may seem as elusive as a unicorn, knowing how to avoid snoring starts with understanding its causes. If you can determine why you snore, you’ll be better able to combat this dream thief and trade your slumbering melody for a better night’s rest.
This guide provides you everything you need know about snoring and ways you can improve your sleep tonight.
- 1 What Causes Snoring, Anyway?
- 2 How to Avoid Snoring Naturally
- 3 In Closing
What Causes Snoring, Anyway?
The tricky part about snoring is that there is no single cause.
In some cases, your sleeping position could lead you to snore. Smoking, certain drugs, or drinking alcohol too close to bedtime can also cause snoring.
Age often plays a role in snoring. As you get older, muscle tone in your throat can decrease and your throat may become narrower.
Men are more notorious snorers than women because their air passages are more narrow. Physical attributes that contribute to snoring, such as a narrow throat, enlarged adenoids, or a cleft palate, are often hereditary and can increase a person’s likelihood of snoring.
In other cases, snoring can indicate a potentially serious health problem, such as obesity, sleep deprivation, obstructive sleep apnea, or an issue with your nose, throat, or mouth.
While you won’t be able to remedy some of these causes, you might be able to make simple changes that can help reduce or eliminate snoring.
How to Avoid Snoring Naturally
If you snore, you may need a doctor’s diagnosis to rule out any serious health conditions.
You may never be fully cured, but there are several natural remedies that can help treat snoring depending on its causes:
Sleep on Your Side
When you sleep on your back, your tongue may move to the back of your throat. This can partially block the airway, which can lead to snoring.
Sleeping on your side eliminates this obstacle and could provide enough airflow for you to reduce or avoid snoring.
Obesity is one of the leading causes of snoring.
Losing weight (if you’re overweight) can reduce the amount of fatty tissue in your throat, which helps open your airways for better airflow.
Before you change your diet or start a new exercise routine, it’s important you talk to your doctor about your goals to ensure your weight loss strategy won’t sacrifice other areas of your health.
You’re more prone to snoring if you smoke. Smoke inhalation can irritate the soft membranes of the throat and nose. This can block airflow while you sleep, which can lead to snoring.
If you need help quitting smoking, you can talk to your doctor about safe options, such as smoking cessation aids or counseling.
Avoid Alcohol Close to Bedtime
Alcohol is a depressant. Its effects make you feel relaxed, which is why many people choose to drink alcohol just prior to bedtime.
However, doing so relaxes the muscles in the throat, which can impact your breathing.
In addition, alcohol may help you achieve a deeper sleep, which can exacerbate your snoring.
One drink before bed might not be enough to put you into a heavenly snoring cycle, but try to avoid becoming intoxicated too close to time for lights out.
Elevate the Head of Your Bed
Some experts suggest raising the head of your bed by four inches to open your airways.
If you have an adjustable bed, you’re all set to put this theory to the test. Or, you could invest in some bed risers or small cinderblocks to do the trick.
Apply Nasal Strips Before You Sleep
Nasal strips are small pieces of plastic that adhere to the bridge of your nose. Their sole purpose is to keep open your nasal passages while you sleep.
This means you’re getting more airflow through your nose with less effort to help you reduce or eliminate snoring.
These strips are flexible enough to fit noses of all sizes. They’re also durable enough to remain in place throughout the night, no matter how much you move in your sleep.
You can find nasal strips over-the-counter at your local pharmacy.
Catch Up on Your Sleep
Are you sleep deprived? If so, finding out how to avoid snoring can be as simple as getting a full night’s rest on a consistent basis.
If you’re not getting enough sleep and feel tired all the time, you’re more prone to deeper sleep to compensate for the hours of sleep you miss.
Make sure you’re getting a full eight hours of sleep regularly to reduce your chances of snoring.
Don’t Drink Milk or Eat a Large Meal Before Bed
Research indicates that drinking milk or soymilk or eating a large meal can make your snoring worse.
Dairy products can make the body produce more mucus, which is usually at the heart of many respiratory issues, including snoring.
If you eat a large meal just prior to bedtime, you may be more susceptible to snoring due to acid reflux or indigestion. Stomach acids may irritate the throat, which can increase your chances of snoring.
Ask Your Doctor About a CPAP Machine
CPAP stands for “continuous positive airway pressure.” CPAP machines use a pressurized mask placed over your nose that keeps your airway open.
Commonly used to treat snoring caused by obstructive sleep apnea, these machines are prescribed by your doctor or otolaryngologist. These machines require only water and power to operate, making them a desirable alternative to surgery.
Snoring may affect you more than you think, but take comfort in knowing you don’t have to live with it. Understanding how to avoid snoring naturally gives you plenty of options to explore, especially before you consider costly, risky surgery.
Finding a solution may be the best thing you can do for your health.
For more insights on how you can get the good night’s sleep you deserve, visit our resources page.
Written by Dr. Gilmore. Cara is an expert in getting a good nights sleep.