I have been told a time or two (or a hundred) that I snore when I sleep. I don’t hear it, so I’m pretty sure those people are lying. But, just in case there is some truth to the claims, I did research to find out what I could do to stop snoring.
It turns out that there are a few things someone with a snoring problem can do to stop snoring and make sure the other people in their house get a good night’s sleep. In addition to a few simple hacks, there are also some lifestyle changes that will help fix the problem for good.
Here are nine things you can try to help stop the nasty snoring rumors your family members are spreading about you.
1. Use A Snoring Aid
Impaired nasal breathing is a major snoring trigger for many people. If you snore because you can’t get enough air through your nose, an easy fix is to use a nasal strip like Breathe Right or Sleep Right. Wearing these strips will reduce your snoring by mechanically opening your nasal passages and decreasing the resistance to incoming air.
Taking a hot shower before bed can also help with your nasal breathing, and using a saltwater rinse in your nose during your shower will help fix the problem.
2. Stop Sleeping On Your Back
Another easy way to increase your snoring is to sleep on your back. That sleep position makes your airway less stable and more likely to collapse, according to Brandon Peters, M.D., a board-certified neurologist and sleep medicine specialist. Not only can sleeping on your back lead to snoring, but it can also result in a much more serious condition called sleep apnea, which occurs when the airway collapses completely.
The simple solution is to change your sleep position and sleep on your side.
Of course, you can’t really control your sleep position throughout the night. So, if you need some help with this and have some money to throw at the problem, try a Night Shift Sleep Positioner to help keep you off your back. You could also try a body pillow that will support your entire body and keep you sleeping on your side.
If you are looking for a cheap way to change your sleeping position, Peters suggests sewing a pocket into the middle of the back of a tight-fitting T-shirt and then sleeping with a tennis ball in the pocket. Every time you roll over on your back, the ball will cause you to shift back to your side.
Research from the United Kingdom shows that people who sing are much less likely to snore than those who don’t. This is because singing strengthens the muscles in your soft palate and upper throat, and that makes them less likely to collapse.
Singing for just a few minutes each day can help with your snoring problem, so don’t be afraid to belt out your favorite tunes in the shower or during your commute.
4. Use A Mouth Guard
Most people snore because they are breathing through their mouth instead of their nose when they sleep. Not only does mouth breathing trigger snoring, but it is also less healthy than breathing through your nose.
The best way to fight mouth snoring is to use a mouth guard. It will prevent mouth breathing during sleep and allow your body to breathe through your nose instead.
5. Drink More Water
When you are dehydrated, the secretions in your nose and soft palate become stickier, so consuming enough water every day can help reduce your snoring. According to the Institute of Medicine, healthy women should drink at least 11 cups of water each day, and men require a minimum of 16 cups.
6. Minimize The Allergens In Your Bedroom
When was the last time you replaced your pillows or dusted the ceiling fan in your bedroom? Allergens can contribute to snoring, and dust mites can accumulate in pillows, which can cause an allergic reaction that leads to snoring.
Another common irritant is pet dander. If you allow your pets to sleep in your bed, you will breathe in that dander.
If you want to stop snoring, toss your pillows in the dryer once every week or two to keep the dust mites to a minimum. And keep the fur babies out of the bedroom.
7. Stop Drinking Alcohol So Close To Bedtime
We are not endorsing day drinking here, but the Sleep Foundation claims that those who drank alcohol right before bed snored more and louder than those who avoided the booze.
Alcohol isn’t a great sleep aid, since it relaxes your muscles and blocks the air passage in your throat. This means that people who don’t normally snore may snore after a night of drinking. And alcohol makes snoring worse for those who already snore.
To prevent alcohol-induced snoring, give yourself at least a couple of hours between your last drink and hitting the hay.
8. Quit Smoking
Quitting smoking is a major lifestyle change that has a ton of health benefits, and stopping snoring is just one of them. A Howard University study revealed that smokers are twice as likely as nonsmokers to snore.
Smoking irritates your nasal passages and decreases airflow, which makes it difficult to breathe through your nose.
9. Lose Weight
First off, we should make it clear that thin people snore, too, so weight loss doesn’t help everyone. But if you have gained weight recently and started snoring, weight loss could be the key to stopping the snoring.
According to Harvard Health, a study by the Hopkins University School of Medicine found that losing weight over a six-month period greatly improved the sleeping habits of 77 overweight, troubled sleepers, with the reduction of belly fat being the biggest indicator of improved sleep.
Although it is not guaranteed to stop your snoring, losing weight is good for your overall health.