According to some statistics, around 45% of people are occasional snorers, and around 25% snore on a regular basis. If you’re reading this, I’d guess that either you or a loved one falls into one of these categories. You are probably here to fix that. So let’s get into the remedies. For more general information on snoring, read our article about what causes snoring.
For those of you new to your research on snoring, I want to briefly introduce the physiology of that awful noise that keeps your bed partner up at night. Basically, snoring occurs when air is having trouble passing through your breathing airway. Air moves through your relaxed muscles in your throat, which causes the excess tissue in that area to vibrate. Snoring may seem somewhat harmless, but that is a dangerous assumption.
You want to get rid of your snoring? Here’s what to do.
How to stop snoring
Stop snoring by changing your bedtime behavior:
1. Change your sleeping position
A simple fix for snoring may be as easy as a switch from sleeping on your back to sleeping on your side. Lying on your back increases that chance of collapse in your throat, which in turn will produce that vibrating sound when you breathe and air passes through. A few tips for sleeping on your side: Get a full body pillow. This is an extremely comfortable way to make the switch, and you will never want to go back. Another thing you can try is attaching a tennis ball to the back of your pajamas. Just place a tennis ball in a sock and connect the sock to your shirt with a safety pin. If you roll over to your back at night, the discomfort will encourage you to turn back to your side. If this sounds like a hassle, try shoving tennis balls into a pillow, and place the pillow behind your back to achieve the same result.
2. Clear your nasal passages
Stuffed nasal passages can contribute to snoring. If you have a stuffy nose, try rinsing your sinuses with saline before bed. You can also try using a neti pot, nasal strips, or nasal decongestant to improve your breathing.
3. Moisten bedroom air
Try using a humidifier to moisten the air when you sleep. Dry air can irritate membranes in the nose and throat, which can lead to snoring.
Stop snoring by making some lifestyle changes:
4. Lose some weight
Weight loss can help remove some of that excess tissue around the throat area. Excess fatty tissue causes the diameter of the throat to shrink, which means less room for air to pass through. This is incredibly conducive to snoring. Lose some weight around the neck area and say goodbye to that snoring sound.
5. Avoid alcohol and other sedatives
Alcohol and sedating drugs can interfere with breathing because they relax the throat muscles, which can lead to snoring. Try cutting these out before bedtime. If you are taking any medication, consult your doctor and ask if it affects sleep in anyway.
6. Quit smoking
Smoking is an unhealthy habit for a number of reasons. Smoke can irritate the membranes in your nose and throat making snoring more likely.
Stop snoring by making some medical changes:
If changing up your lifestyle and your bedtime routine doesn’t stop the snoring, you may want to seek a medical solution, depending on the severity of your snoring.
7. Pillar Procedure
This minor procedure involves the insertion of small implants into the soft palate to stiffen it, which helps prevent the collapse that can lead to snoring.
Septoplasty is a surgery to correct a deviated septum. A deviated septum can lead to snoring due to its effect on the passage of air through the nose.
9. Injection snoreplasty
A less invasive surgery to stop snoring, injection snoreplasty entails injecting a chemical into the soft palate to break down tissue and reduce size.
Somnoplasty uses radio-frequency heat to remove tissue from the soft palate and uvula that vibrate during snoring.
11. Laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty (LAUP)
Laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty is a minor surgical procedure that involves the use of a laser to reduce the size of the soft palate and uvula, which helps to widen the throat.
12. Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP)
Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty is a more extreme surgical procedure and requires a general anesthetic. It entails removing all or part of the uvula, tonsils, and soft palate. Like LAUP, this procedure also helps to widen the throat to decrease snoring.
13. Nasal strips
If the snoring problem exists in the nose and not the soft palate, nasal strips can help eliminate or reduce snoring. Nasal strips lift the nasal passages and open them up to allow for easier breathing.
14. Custom-fitted dental devices
- Vestibular Shield- A vestibular shield is worn in the mouth and encourages the person to breathe through their nose instead of their mouth to prevent snoring.
- Mandibular advancement device- A mandibular advancement device is also worn in the mouth. It moves the tongue forward, which may reduce snoring if the person’s tongue is blocking the back of the throat during sleep.
15. Treating allergies
Allergies can cause congestion and blocked airways, which leads to snoring. If you snore, you should treat your allergies.
If you suffer from sleep apnea, a CPAP is your best bet to stop snoring. CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure, and it helps to keep your airway open during sleep.
Stop snoring for good
Untreated sleep apnea can have devastating side effects. Chronic, loud snoring is an excellent indicator that you may have this disorder. If you think you may have sleep apnea, download our app, Ognomy – The Sleep Apnea App, to schedule an appointment with a board-certified sleep practitioner.
Again, snoring can be loud and annoying. Sometimes you may treat the snoring, but leave the sleep apnea unresolved. This may leave you at risk for stroke, high blood pressure, heart disease, and even death. Snoring is not always a laughing matter.