Categories: Sleep Disorders

Subsiding the Snoring for a Better Snooze Tonight

For all the topics we’ve discussed on sleeping patterns and problems, there’s one we haven’t touched upon and it’s one of the most common: snoring. It’s a problem most of us try to sweep under the rug, but if you’re sleeping with a significant other it will definitely affect your sleep and theirs. Let’s look at some natural ways to stop snoring before it becomes a problem rather than just a nuisance.

WebMD has come up with some helpful tips for naturally stopping the snore from experts Daniel P. Slaughter, MD, an otolaryngologist and snoring expert at Capital Otolaryngology in Austin, Texas and Sudhansu Chokroverty, MD, FRCP, FACP, program director for Clinical Neurophysiology and Sleep Medicine at JFK Medical Center in Edison, N.J. Here are a few of them broken down:

Change Your Sleep Position

Lying on your back makes the base of your tongue and soft palate collapse to the back wall of your throat, causing a vibrating sound during sleep. Sleeping on your side may help prevent this.

“A body pillow (a full-length pillow that supports your entire body) provides an easy fix,” Slaughter says. “It enables you to maintain sleeping on your side and can make a dramatic difference.”

Taping tennis balls to the back of your pajamas can also stop you from sleeping on your back, Chokroverty says. “Or you can recline the bed with the head up and extended, which opens up nasal airway passages and may help prevent snoring. This may cause neck pain, however.” If snoring continues regardless of the sleep position, obstructive sleep apnea may be a cause. “See a doctor in this case,” Chokroverty says.

Avoid Alcohol

Alcohol and sedatives reduce the resting tone of the muscles in the back of your throat, making it more likely you’ll snore. “Drinking alcohol four to five hours before sleeping makes snoring worse,” Chokroverty says. “People who don’t normally snore will snore after drinking alcohol.”

Lose Weight

Weight loss helps some people but not everyone. “Thin people snore, too,” Slaughter says.

If you’ve gained weight and started snoring and did not snore before you gained weight, weight loss may help. “If you gain weight around your neck, it squeezes the internal diameter of the throat, making it more likely to collapse during sleep, triggering snoring,” Slaughter says.

Stay Well Hydrated

Drink plenty of fluids. “Secretions in your nose and soft palate become stickier when you’re dehydrated,” Slaughter says. “This can create more snoring.” According to the Institute of Medicine, healthy women should have about 11 cups of total water (from all drinks and food) a day; men require about 16 cups.

Practice Good Sleep Hygiene

Poor sleep habits (also known as poor sleep “hygiene”) can have an effect similar to that of drinking alcohol, Slaughter says. Working long hours without enough sleep, for example, means when you finally hit the sack you’re overtired. “You sleep hard and deep, and the muscles become floppier, which creates snoring,” Slaughter says.

While these may seem easy and in some cases, like no brainers, they really can make all the difference when it comes to a good night sleep versus a night full of snores. Always remember, a good mattress can make all the difference when it comes to sleeping peacefully. Look into the talalay mattress for supreme comfort.

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Amber Merton

Amber Merton writes exensively regarding green living and sleep. She has been an author on the PlushBeds blog for the past 7 years.

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