Sleep Health

How Do I Stop Snoring? Eight Proven Methods That Are Sure To Work

UPDATED
July 15, 2024
Author
Esther Lee
Reviewer

How Do I Stop Snoring? Eight Tips For A Peaceful Night

Snoring is a common issue that affects many people and can disrupt sleep for both the snorer and their partner. It occurs when airflow through the mouth and nose is partially blocked during sleep, causing the surrounding tissues to vibrate and produce that familiar, often frustrating sound! While it might seem like just an annoyance, snoring can have underlying health implications and impact the quality of your sleep. Fortunately, there are several science-backed strategies to help reduce or even eliminate snoring.

Why Do People Snore?

People snore for various reasons, often caused by the vibration of tissues in the throat and airway as air flows through during breathing. Here are some common reasons why people snore:

Obstructed Nasal Airways

Nasal congestion or a blocked nasal passage can make it difficult to breathe through the nose, leading to snoring. This can be due to allergies, a cold, sinus infections, or a deviated septum. When the nasal passages are blocked, extra effort is required to breathe, which can cause the tissues to vibrate and produce the snoring sound.

Poor Muscle Tone in the Throat and Tongue

When the muscles in the throat and tongue are too relaxed, they can collapse into the airway, causing partial obstruction and leading to snoring. This relaxation can happen during deep sleep, after consuming alcohol, or when taking sedatives.

Excess Throat Tissue

Excess tissue in the throat can narrow the airway and lead to snoring. This can be due to being overweight, as fat deposits around the neck can increase the risk of airway obstruction. Enlarged tonsils and adenoids can also contribute to this problem, especially in children.

Long Uvula or Soft Palate

A long uvula (the hanging tissue at the back of the throat) or a long soft palate can narrow the opening from the nose to the throat. This can cause these structures to vibrate and bump against each other, leading to snoring. The vibration of these tissues during breathing creates the characteristic snoring sound.

Best Methods To Stop Snoring

Are you looking for ways to stop snoring instantly? Here are some of the best methods to try:

1. Change Sleep Position

One of the most effective ways to avoid snoring is to change your sleep position. Sleeping on your back can cause your tongue and soft palate to collapse to the back of your throat, leading to a vibrating sound during sleep. To prevent this, try sleeping on your side. This position keeps your airways open and reduces the likelihood of snoring. You can use a body pillow to help maintain this position throughout the night. Some people even sew a tennis ball to the back of their pajamas to prevent rolling onto their back while asleep. This simple change can make a big difference in reducing snoring.

2. Lose Weight

Excess weight, especially around the neck, can put pressure on the airway, causing it to narrow and leading to snoring. Losing weight can help decrease this pressure and improve airflow. Even a small amount of weight loss can make a difference. A balanced diet combined with regular exercise can help you shed the extra pounds. Focus on eating more fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains while avoiding high-calorie, sugary foods. In addition to reducing snoring, weight loss can also improve your overall health and reduce the risk of many diseases.

3. Avoid Alcohol Before Bedtime

Alcohol relaxes the muscles in your throat, increasing the likelihood of snoring. To minimize this effect, try to avoid drinking alcohol at least two hours before going to bed. While a nightcap might help you fall asleep faster, it can also disrupt your sleep later in the night and worsen snoring. Instead, opt for a calming herbal tea or a glass of water. By steering clear of alcohol before bedtime, you can help keep your throat muscles toned and avoid snoring.

4. Establish a Regular Sleep Routine

Having a consistent sleep schedule can improve the quality of your sleep, and it’s among the best methods to stop snoring. Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day helps regulate your body’s internal clock. This consistency ensures that you get enough rest and can reduce the likelihood of snoring. Aim for at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Create a relaxing bedtime routine that signals to your body it’s time to wind down, such as reading a book, taking a warm bath, or practicing gentle stretches. A regular sleep routine can lead to better sleep and less snoring.

5. Use Nasal Strips or an External Nasal Dilator

Nasal strips or external nasal dilators can help open up your nasal passages and improve airflow, reducing snoring. Nasal strips are adhesive bands placed on the outside of your nose that help lift and open your nostrils. An external nasal dilator is a device that sits across the nostrils and keeps them open. Both options can be effective, especially if nasal congestion or structural issues cause snoring. They are easy to use and can provide immediate relief from snoring by helping you breathe more easily through your nose.

6. Treat Nasal Congestion or Allergies

Nasal congestion and allergies can block your airways and cause snoring. To reduce or even avoid snoring, it’s important to treat these underlying issues. You can use over-the-counter allergy medications, nasal sprays, or saline rinses to clear your nasal passages. Keeping your bedroom clean and free from dust mites, pet dander, and other allergens can also help. Consider using an air purifier to improve air quality. By addressing nasal congestion and allergies, you can reduce the blockage in your airways and decrease snoring.

7. Avoid Taking Sedatives Before Bed

Sedatives and sleeping pills relax your muscles, including those in your throat, which can lead to snoring. If you struggle with insomnia, try to find alternative methods to improve your sleep, such as practicing good sleep hygiene, reducing caffeine intake, and creating a calming bedtime routine. If you must take medication, consult with your doctor to find an option that doesn’t affect your throat muscles as much. By avoiding sedatives before bed, you can relax your throat muscles and learn how to stop snoring.

8. Change Your Pillows

Allergens in your pillows and bedroom can contribute to snoring. Dust mites, pet dander, and other allergens can accumulate in pillows over time, causing nasal congestion and airway blockage. Change your pillows every six months to keep them clean and allergen-free. Use hypoallergenic pillow covers to create a barrier against dust mites and allergens. Additionally, consider elevating your head with a firmer pillow to keep your airways open. Keeping your pillows fresh and clean can help reduce nasal congestion and is one of the best methods to stop snoring.

Final Verdict

Snoring doesn’t have to be an inevitable part of your nightly routine. By making simple changes such as adjusting your sleep position, losing weight, avoiding alcohol before bedtime, and treating nasal congestion, you can significantly reduce or even stop snoring. These methods are backed by science and are easy to implement. Not only will you benefit from better sleep, but so will your partner.

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