10 Strategies to Deal with Snoring 

Illustration by lilaplays.xyz 2017

Does your snoring wake up everyone in the house? Does your problem bother your spouse? If so, you're not alone. More than 45 percent of adults snore occasionally. About 59 percent of people say their partner snores. This condition is not just annoying but life threatening. Approximately 28 percent of those who snore also experience sleep apnea, a serious disorder that causes shallow breathing or pauses in breathing at night. 

Snoring affects your sleep cycle as well as your self-confidence. After all, who wants to go to bed with someone who snores? Believe it or not, snoring can kill you. The vibrations in your throat may lead to stroke. Luckily, there are ways to get rid of snoring and enjoy a better night's sleep. Simple lifestyle changes, such as switching positions in bed, changing up your pillows, and losing a few pounds, can make all the difference. 

Ready to give it a try? Here are 10 simple strategies with deal with snoring: 

1. Slim Down

Obesity and snoring go hand in hand. Overweight and obese people may have extra tissues in the throat, which in turn, triggers snoring. Weight gain can make this problem worse and contribute to sleep apnea. Even though slim people snore too, those who carry extra pounds are more likely to develop this condition. 

2. Ditch the Alcohol

Alcohol relaxes the throat muscles more than usual during sleep, which may lead to snoring. That's because alcohol has similar effects to GABA, a neurotransmitter in the brain. This chemical relieves anxiety and acts as a muscle relaxant. Alcohol not only resembles GABA in your body but also triggers GABA receptors. To get rid of snoring, avoid alcohol for at least four to five hours before sleeping.

3. Switch Positions

Sleeping on your back can make snoring worse because your tongue falls backward toward the throat. According to a study, more than 54 percent of snorers are positional snorers. If you're facing this problem, consider sleeping on your side. Use a full body pillow for increased comfort. If possible, elevate the head of your bed by five or six inches. Some people go as far as tapping tennis balls onto the back of their pajamas to keep them from sleeping on the back. 

4. Change Your Pillows

Your pillows are home to thousands of dust mites and harmful bacteria that may contribute to snoring. These pathogens trigger allergic reactions, irritate your throat, and cause inflammation in the sinuses. Change your pillows once every few weeks, and replace them about twice a year to limit your exposure to allergens. Eventually, you can use a special pillow that prevents snoring. 

5. Quit Smoking

Another simple way to relieve snoring is to quit cigarettes. The smoke irritates the lining of your throat and nose, causing inflammation. This reduces your airflow and triggers snoring. Additionally, cigarette smoking may increase the risk of sleep apnea and narrow your airways. This habit dries out the mucus membranes, causes dry mouth and throat, and affects lung function. 

6. Drink More Water

Surprisingly, dehydration is one of the main causes of snoring. When you're dehydrated, the secretions in your nose become stickier and your mouth gets dry. To prevent this problem, drink plenty of water throughout the day. Unsweetened herbal teas, fruit infused water, and homemade fruit juices keep you hydrated too. Just make sure you don’t drink too much water before bedtime as it may cause you to urinate more often at night. 

7. Use OTC Stop-Snoring Devices

Mandibular advancement devices, external nasal dilators, and nasal strips can help you catch more Zzz's and reduce snoring. These products help decrease airflow resistance wile increasing the area of your nasal passages. Some models must be applied on the nose, while others need to be kept in the mouth during sleep. They're comfortable and easy to use, offering temporary relief from snoring. 

8. Try NORA

NORA is a revolutionary device that detects and stops your snoring. All you need to do is to place it under your pillow. If you start snoring, NORA gently moves your head to stimulate the relaxed throat muscles and make breathing easier. It looks just like a small pump that inflates and deflates as you snore. Since it can be used with any pillow, it's ideal for those who travel frequently. 

9. Tweak Your Diet

Did you know that certain foods can stop snoring? Soy milk, honey, fish, onions, and olive oil can help you ditch this habit and have a better night's sleep. 

For instance, onion clears the nasal passages and serves as a decongestant. Fatty fish, such as salmon and tuna, prevent inflammation, which is a major contributing factor to snoring. Red meat, on the other hand, boasts anti-inflammatory properties and should be avoided. 

Soy or almond milk is a healthier alternative to cow's milk, which increases mucus ion the throat and causes snoring. As a rule of thumb, cut back on simple sugars, processed meat, grains, dairy, and other inflammatory foods. 

10. Have a Light Dinner

Eating a heavy meal before bedtime can make snoring worse. Big meals fill your stomach, causing it to push against the diaphragm. This affects breathing and promotes snoring. It may also lead to insomnia, digestive distress, and weight gain. All of these factors contribute to snoring. 

Avoid heavy and spicy meals for dinner, and keep your meals simple. Fill your plate with fish and veggies, tuna salad, soup, poultry with sweet potatoes, or turkey breast with asparagus. 

If you’re hungry before bedtime, eat a protein bar, Greek yogurt, or cottage cheese. Nuts and seeds are a great choice too. Or you can make a smoothie with leafy greens, avocado, and almond milk to keep hunger at bay. 

 

There are many other ways to relieve snoring. Regular exercise, meditation, yoga, and deep breathing can get you rid of this bad habit. Make sure you avoid stress, which is often the culprit behind snoring. Stay active through the day and commit to an exercise routine. Physical activity lowers the stress hormone cortisol levels and tones your tones, including those involved in snoring.

 

Author: Andra Picincu