HOW TO STOP SNORING

If you or your partner snore regularly or occasionally, you may be wondering how to stop snoring. You are not alone. Among adults aged 30-60, 44% of men and 28% of women snore regularly1. About half of all people over the age of 60 snore regularly2.

Snoring is the sound of air passing through when the airways are partially blocked. The tissues in the upper respiratory tract touch each other and cause snoring3. Almost all adults snore occasionally.

For most people, snoring is nothing more than embarrassing or annoying. But for others, snoring can cause problems or indicate an underlying health problem. Different people snore for different reasons. Trying different tips can help you decide how to stop snoring while you sleep and whether you should talk to a doctor about your snoring.

Everyone responds differently to snoring therapy, but the most effective methods include:

Everyone responds differently to snoring therapy, but the most effective methods include:

Sleep on your side
Nose strip or dilator needle
Use an anti-snoring mouthpiece
Lose body weight
Try oral exercises
Stop smoking
Avoid drinking alcohol before going to bed
Adjust sleep time
Many sleepers can reduce or eliminate their snoring by making one or more simple nighttime adjustments.

Sleep on your side
The likelihood of snoring depends on your sleeping position. People are more likely to snore when they sleep on their backs4, also known as the supine position. In contrast, people snore less when sleeping on their side5, which is known as the side position. The tendency to snore may be due to head position rather than body position, and people snore less when their head is turned to the side.

If you know you snore at night and usually sleep on your back, sleep on your side. If you’re having trouble retraining your sleeping patterns, consider using a pillow to keep your body and head in a side position for comfort.

Nose strip or dilator needle
Internal and external nasal dilators are designed to improve airflow while you sleep. As a result, they can reduce snoring6. These small devices are available over-the-counter online and relatively inexpensively at most pharmacies.

Both types of nasal dilators are small, flexible strips that use tension to open the nasal passages. The nasal septum, or external dilator, attaches to the outside of the nose. As it tries to maintain its shape, it pulls outward, lifting the nasal skin and opening up the nasal passages. An internal nasal dilator works similarly, but from the inside. Instead of pulling from the outside of the nose, it pushes outward. Studies show that both types of dilators reduce snoring, but internal dilators are more effective.

Use an anti-snoring mouthpiece
There are many different types of braces available to relieve snoring7. These anti-snoring mouth devices are larger than nasal strips and take more time to get used to because they stay in the mouth overnight. Anti-snoring mouthguards are over-the-counter mouthguards and generally come in two types.

Jaw augmentation devices – often called MADs – are a common type of anti-snoring mouthpiece. These braces are usually fitted over your teeth and then adjusted to move your lower jaw forward. This minor chin correction helps reduce snoring sensation8.

Tongue detents or tongue stabilization devices – often called TRDs or TSDs – are another type of anti-snoring mouthpiece. Like the MAD, this mouthpiece will fit between the teeth. However, instead of adjusting the lower jaw, it holds the tongue. A small portion of the mouth uses suction to keep the tongue from falling back into the throat. One study found that a tongue retainer reduced the intensity of snoring by 68%.

In addition to reducing snoring, anti-dental devices have a positive effect on mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea. However, sleep apnea sufferers should not self-diagnose or treat sleep apnea. Only use braces to treat sleep apnea with your doctor’s approval.

Change your lifestyle
Some people even try to sleep on their side and wear nasal dilators or anti-snoring masks, but they still snore. If this is true for you, it’s time to consider a more significant lifestyle change.

Reduce body weight
Experts recommend losing weight10 as one of the first and most important remedies for snoring. Of course, this recommendation only applies to people who are overweight or obese. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute provides an easy chart to help you determine a healthy weight based on your height, weight, and waistline11.

If you’re overweight or obese, like nearly 74% of Americans12, consider losing weight. Obese people are more likely to develop snoring and sleep apnea13. A study found that losing weight in people with a high body mass index reduced snoring and sleep apnea symptoms.

Be sure to approach weight loss in a healthy way. Fad diets rarely work long-term and can be dangerous. Instead, follow the Centers for Disease Control’s recommendations for incorporating healthy eating14 and physical activity15 into your lifestyle.

Try oral exercises
In addition to general exercises, consider oral exercises to stop snoring. Clinically, these exercises are known as oropharyngeal exercises16 and have been shown to effectively reduce snoring.

Oral exercises repeatedly move the tongue and oral cavity, strengthening the muscles of the tongue, soft palate, and throat17. One study showed a 59% reduction in snoring after three months of mouth exercises.

Quit smoking
Smoking increases snoring18. The flip side is also true: quitting smoking can help with snoring. Also, children of parents who smoke are more likely to snore. If you smoke and notice your children snoring, quitting smoking can help them stop snoring.

Of course, snoring is one of the least common problems associated with smoking. Smoking causes nearly one-third of all coronary heart disease deaths and 90% of lung cancer cases in the United States, and it also cuts an average of 10 years off the life expectancy of each smoker19.

Avoid drinking alcohol before going to bed
Not only does alcohol increase snoring,20 drinking before bedtime can cause sleep apnea in people without the disorder. Alcohol’s effects on snoring and sleep are dose-related, so if you tend to drink a lot, start by cutting back. If this doesn’t reduce the snoring, consider cutting back on alcohol a few hours before bed or giving it up altogether.

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