After a long and exhausting day, crawling into bed for blissful sleep is exactly what you want to do. But if you’re dealing with a snoring partner, or you struggle with snoring yourself, sleeping peacefully can be a difficult task.
Snoring is one of the most common sleep issues with over 90 million Americans snoring each year. The great news is, snoring doesn’t need to be permanent.
While the act of snoring is unintentional, many seasoned snorers are able to reduce symptoms, and sometimes even stop snoring altogether. How do they do this? By understanding the root cause of the snoring, then trying a bunch of remedies until they can find the perfect fix.
What Causes Snoring?
The loud and often varying sounds of snoring occur as a result of restricted and obstructed airflow during sleep. As air struggles to pass through the throat muscles, it causes the tissues to vibrate leading to noise.
Quite a few factors can create difficulties with air flow during the night. Common causes of snoring, according to the Mayo Clinic, include nasal congestion, sleeping on your back, diet, lack of exercise, weight gain, excessive alcohol consumption, and sleep conditions such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
What Are The Symptoms Of Snoring?
The sound of snoring makes it difficult to hide the symptoms. Snoring isn’t bad unless it happens frequently and continuously disrupts the sleep cycle leading to sleep deprivation and other annoying sleep issues.
Some people snore on limited occasions, but for others, snoring is more permanent. Serious snorers can show additional symptoms that may reveal they suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), central sleep apnea, or complex sleep apnea.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
OSA symptoms display difficulty with concentration, constant drowsiness, chest pain, restlessness, and headaches in the morning. Those who suffer from OSA often display a unique snoring pattern which includes periods of silence between breaths.
When presented with these symptoms, the best thing to do is to consult a doctor to identify the best possible solutions.
Central Sleep Apnea
The other common type of sleep apnea is central sleep apnea. Unlike OSA which involves a blockage of the airways, with central sleep apnea, airways are clear, but you stop breathing because the brain fails to send signals to muscles that it’s time to breathe.
Complex sleep Apnea
The last sleep disorder directly linked to snoring is complex sleep apnea, which is a combination of both OSA and central sleep apnea. Sleep apnea snoring is different from regular snoring, and can often be more dangerous.
When such symptoms are presented, it’s best to consult an ear nose and throat doctor, also known as an otolaryngologist, for a proper diagnosis.
How Does Snoring Impact Sleep?
The noise of snoring can be really disturbing to people lying close to the snorer. Some snorers have no idea how disturbing they are, but others do - especially when diagnosed with a sleep condition.
Problematic snorers can disrupt themselves, just as much as those sleeping around them! Unless you want to be sleeping in separate bedrooms from your spouse, it’s in your best interest to prevent snoring.
If snoring is severe and diagnosed as apnea, quality of sleep is at risk. Snorers with apnea can frequently wake themselves up without realizing it throughout the night. These unwanted wake-up calls disrupt the sleep cycle making it much harder to fall back to sleep.
Any disruption to the sleep cycle is concerning as it can hinder REM sleep - the deepest and most restorative stage of sleep. If woken up in the middle of the REM sleep cycle, sleep inertia can set in. Sleep inertia is that grogginess you may feel in the morning that makes even the simplest tasks feel like a nightmare.
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How To Stop Snoring
The truth about snoring is that most cases are not harmful. Around 24% of the 90 million snorers in America are diagnosed with sleep apnea, leaving the majority in a no-risk category. In many instances, snoring is a result of faulty sleep habits or poor sleep hygiene.
While a comfy bed is a bedroom essential for all sleepers, getting the best mattress isn’t a sure-fire solution to stop snoring for good. The best bed, paired with other natural remedies such as diet, exercise, and sleep position, can make a positive impact on sleep health.
We’re detailing some of the most popular at-home remedies that may help turn down the volume in the bedroom, reduce snoring, and increase sleep quality for well-rested mornings.
6 Ways To Stop Snoring Naturally
For many, snoring comes and goes. But it can be really annoying for partners who might be unable to sleep due to the noise.
With some simple sleep hygiene adjustments, snoring less is definitely within reach. The following snoring solutions are easy enough to try at home to provide better sleep for yourself and your sleeping buddy who is getting sick of the snores.
1. Sleep on your side
Your sleep position determines how restricted your airways actually are. To keep the back of your throat clear, sleeping on your side is the best sleeping position to help you stop snoring.
Avoid sleeping on your back, since this can cause you to block passageways and cause snoring. The side sleeping position minimizes compression of the airways, allowing for easier airflow.
2. Make a comfy bed
Maintaining a side sleeping position is easier when you sleep on a contouring base such as a memory foam mattress. A gentle contour will hold your sleeping position in place and guide the body to the right position without putting extra strain on the spine.
3. Switch up your diet
Weight loss reduces the fatty tissues that vibrate and create noise while you sleep. Trying to lose weight, even a small amount, can make a big difference when you want to stop snoring. Try eating a low-calorie dinner for a week and see if it makes a difference.
Daily alcohol consumption can also lead to weight gain. Alcohol is a natural relaxant and causes the muscles at the back of the throat to inadvertently block your airway, causing snoring. It’s a good idea to avoid alcohol if you think this might be preventing you from a good night’s sleep.
4. Cuddle a pillow
A sleeping position can be an ingrained habit that’s hard to change. Like many people, you may start sleeping on your side, and then naturally roll onto your back as the night progresses. Sleeping on your back causes the airways in your nose and throat to be blocked, which is what prompts issues with snoring and sleep apnea.
Hugging a memory foam body pillow is a great way to remain in the side position throughout the night. Similar to a memory foam mattress, a foam pillow has contouring features that can hold you in place and help reduce snoring.
5. Anti-snoring throat workout
Physical workouts, as well as throat exercises, can strengthen the muscles in the throat making it easy for air to pass through.
A popular and easy anti-snoring exercise is repeating vowels (a-e-i-o-u) for three minutes at least 3 times a day. This focussed exercise is said to help reduce snoring by strengthening muscles in the back of your throat.
6. Position your head correctly
Studies show that tilting the head slightly away from the chest and maintaining a neutral position contributes to better airflow. If your pillow is tilting your head forward, it may be worsening your snoring.
The best way to ensure your pillow is perfectly aligned to your neck and shoulders is to use an adjustable pillow. You can completely customize the height and perfectly position your head to ensure airways are as open as possible.
Home remedies to prevent snoring are used by many as an easy and effective way to get more restful slumber. If you’ve been trying to reduce snoring but can’t seem to find a solution that works for you, it’s best to seek professional help so you can start getting a good night’s rest again.
Does natural remedies helps you stop snoring? Share your thoughts in the comments.
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Disclaimer. We love sleep and we want you to get the best sleep possible. But we do not provide medical advice. This blog is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical info, diagnosis, or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on our blog.