Quiet, uninterrupted sleep … it’s what every snorer and partner of a snorer longs for every night. Snoring has been comedic fodder for decades in TV and in movies, but if you’re someone who experiences it from either perspective, it’s anything but funny. If you snore, you wish you didn’t, but if you’re the partner of a snorer, you’ve likely stopped at nothing to solve the problem. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there were some sort of elixir or magic potion that would end that awful wheezing noise and allow you to sleep again? Okay, so there’s no magic to preventing snoring, but there are things folks can do to reduce or even eliminate it. It’s just a matter of finding the cause and taking the necessary steps to prevent that awful snoring once and for all. Easier said than done, right? Here are some tips on potential causes of your snoring as well as possible solutions.
Maintain a healthy weight
One of the main contributing factors of snoring is obesity. Individuals who are significantly overweight often have difficulty breathing, which can cause wheezing and snoring when they’re asleep. It can also be a sign of sleep apnea, a sleep disorder characterized by infrequent breathing or pauses in breathing during sleep. This disorder can result in an inadequate supply of oxygen to various organs in the body. Do you struggle to breathe during sleep (do pauses in breathing awaken you)? Do you have high blood pressure? Do you feel drowsy or lethargic throughout the day? If you’re overweight and you’re experiencing any combination of these symptoms, you may have sleep apnea. You should see your doctor to get on a diet and exercise program that will help you to lose those extra pounds and breathe more easily, both day and night. This can cut down or even eliminate snoring.
Adjust your sleep position/head elevation
Sometimes all it takes is an alteration in your sleep position. Because breathing typically happens more effortlessly while sleeping on your side than on your back or stomach, it is recommended that back or stomach sleepers who snore switch to sleeping on their sides in order to breathe more easily. Changing your pillow may also help. Try a pillow that elevates your head better. A body pillow may also help because these can help to aid stomach and back sleepers move to side sleeping more comfortably.
Treat your congestion
Do you get congested a lot? Chronic nasal congestion can also lead to chronic snoring. Nasal strips that can be purchased at any drug store and most grocery stores can alleviate snoring because they help to open up nasal passages. Another remedy for this problem can be inhaling steam before going to bed. Additionally, you can try putting a humidifier in your bedroom, as this can help to moisturize your throat and relieve congestion.
See your family dentist
Your family dentist can form-fit you for an oral device that will fit into your mouth and help to alleviate snoring. This appliance works by preventing your tongue from falling back into your throat, which will open up your airway. When you go back for your next regular dental visit, be sure to take the device with you and ask your dentist to check to make sure the fit is still correct.
Family doctor or a sleep disorder specialist
For some individuals, snoring is caused by an underlying health issue. As mentioned above, sleep apnea may be the cause of snoring, especially for individuals who are significantly overweight. Abnormalities in the nasal passages also could be the cause. Did you have a traumatic injury in the past that involved your nose? Surprisingly, fractures can occur that a patient doesn’t even know about because there is no current pain involved. Enlarged adenoids or tonsils can also be to blame for snoring. If you have searched for causes and/or cures for your snoring without resolution, see your family doctor or a sleep disorder specialist.
Snoring doesn’t have to cause you to lose sleep. Whether you’re a snorer or the drowsy partner of a snorer, there are things you can do to help prevent snoring and get back to sleep. If you’ve tried nasal strips, appliances, losing weight, and other methods of ending the annoying wheezing and sleep-robbing noise and yet nothing seems to work, you may have a medical condition that needs to be detected and addressed. Contact your family dentist or doctor to schedule an appointment to find out if your snoring is caused by a situation that can be remedied.