Snoring is a breathing condition that is more common than we think it is. Throughout your life, you may have had trouble sleeping due to a snoring friend, snoring parents, or even a snoring bed partner. Or maybe it’s been the other way around and you woke up one morning with your partner looking at you dead serious (or dead-eyed) after a long, sleepless night caused by your incessant, loud snoring. But snoring can be more than just a harmless nuisance between spouses – it can impact your daily life, as you are not able to fully rest, or it can lead to severe sleep disorders like sleep apnea, which can cause high blood pressure and heart disease if left untreated. Either way, snoring is a condition that should be addressed; therefore, in this article we will show you different ways you can put an end to your snoring problems.
Easy ways to solve your snoring problems
Usually, snoring is caused by the relaxation of the tongue and the muscles on the back of our throat and the vibration this creates when we breathe out. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do at home to prevent this relaxation and alleviate your snoring at night:
- Try to sleep on your side: Sleeping on your back causes your tongue to fall back into your throat and narrow down your airway, leading to snoring. If you sleep on your side, your tongue will rest in its place instead of falling back into your throat.
- Avoid alcohol consumption: as alcohol is a sedative, it relaxes the muscles in your throat, which may lead to snoring. You can try to quit drinking alcohol altogether, or at least before you go to bed.
What can I do if the snoring persists?
If you are sleeping on your side and you have stopped drinking alcohol before bedtime but the snoring still persists, you can use a removable mouthpiece, which will keep your jaw, tongue and soft palate in place, thus preventing snoring. You can also try over-the-counter medication like intranasal decongestants or intranasal steroid sprays, which will improve your breathing conditions while you sleep, especially if the snoring is caused by allergies or a cold.
Surgical intervention to solve your snoring problems
If you have tried all the previous solutions but your sleep is still disrupted by your snoring, the problem may need a surgical solution. One of these methods is the pillar procedure, a minor surgery designed to relieve snoring and treat sleep apnea. On the other hand, if the snoring is caused by nasal breathing difficulties, like having a deviated septum or nasal valve obstruction, you may have to undergo septal or nose surgery (rhinoplasty) to improve the function of your nose and consequently improve your breathing. We recommend you see a specialist for more information.
Snoring can be quite a problem if it disrupts your daily life, drives a wedge between you and your partner, and can be a bigger problem if it results in severe sleep disorders like sleep apnea; however, it can be easily solved by changing some of your daily habits. Bear in mind that OTC medication and even more so surgical intervention should not be the first solution. You should discuss your snoring problem with your doctor, who will guide you throughout the process and recommend the right solution for you.