Ah, snoring, the soundtrack of many a restless night. We’ve all been there, either snoring ourselves or nudging someone who sounds like a malfunctioning lawnmower at 2 a.m. However, there’s a solution: Stop snoring. It’s not just annoying; it can also mess with everyone’s sleep quality. So, what’s a sleep-deprived family to do? Don’t worry, I’ve got 8 simple ways to stop snoring and some tips that could turn your nighttime woes into sweet dreams.
What is Snoring?
Let’s keep it simple: snoring is that grating noise you make when your airflow gets blocked while you’re sleeping. This blockage can happen for a variety of reasons—everything from the position of your tongue to congestion in your nasal passages.
1. Adopt a Side-Sleeping Position
Sleeping on your side instead of your back could be a game-changer. Why? Well, when you sleep on your back, gravity pulls your tongue and soft palate to the back of your throat. This narrows your airway, which leads to that chainsaw noise nobody loves. Trust me; a body pillow could become your new best friend. It makes side-sleeping way more comfortable by supporting your body. Some folks even tape a tennis ball to the back of their pajamas. Yep, you heard right. It’s a quirky but effective way to prevent rolling onto your back.
2. Address Nasal Congestion
If you sound like Darth Vader at night, maybe your nasal passages are the culprits. A congested nose makes it difficult to breathe and creates a vacuum in your throat, which leads to snoring. Saline nasal sprays are your friend here, and you can even DIY it with some salt and warm water. For a more ‘stick-it-and-forget-it’ approach, nasal dilators can be an effective tool.
3. Utilize Essential Oils
Peppermint and eucalyptus oils can be really useful for reducing congestion. Rub a couple of drops of peppermint oil inside your nose before bed. Or you can go all out with a eucalyptus steam bath. Just add a few drops to boiling water, cover your head with a towel, and inhale. Just don’t burn yourself, okay?
4. Elevate Your Head
A little elevation could save the night. Propping your head up with an extra pillow can help keep your airways open. No need to go out and buy a fancy orthopedic pillow, your regular one will do, just double it up.
5. Mind Your Diet
Believe it or not, what you eat can make you snore more. Dairy, high-fat foods, or even spicy meals before bedtime can worsen snoring. Swapping them for something less likely to cause mucus buildup can help you (and your partner) sleep more soundly.
6. Nasal Strips or a Nasal Dilator
You’ve seen these at the drugstore and probably wondered if they really work. Good news: they do for some people. Both nasal strips and dilators aim to open up your nasal passageways for easier breathing.
7. Exercise Regularly and Maintain a Healthy Weight
Keeping active and maintaining a healthy weight can significantly reduce or even stop snoring. Even if you can’t hit your ‘dream weight,’ just losing some neck fat can alleviate constriction in your airways.
8. Consult a Healthcare Professional for Customized Solutions
If you’ve tried all of the above and are still breaking the sound barrier each night, it might be time for some professional advice. Treatments could range from dental devices to machines that help keep your airway open. In extreme cases, surgery might even be an option.
Snoring isn’t just an annoyance; it can be a health issue too. These eight simple ways to address the problem can help everyone in the family sleep better. If all else fails, don’t hesitate to seek medical advice on how to stop snoring. Here’s to quieter nights and happier mornings!
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- Cleveland Clinic. “When Snoring Disrupts Your Sleep (and Your Household).” Cleveland Clinic, my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/15580-snoring.
- Osborn, Corinne O’Keefe. “13 Essential Oils for Snoring: Remedies and How They Work.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 14 Jan. 2020, www.healthline.com/health/essential-oil-for-snoring.
- Little, Paul et al. “Effectiveness of steam inhalation and nasal irrigation for chronic or recurrent sinus symptoms in primary care: a pragmatic randomized controlled trial.” CMAJ : Canadian Medical Association journal = journal de l’Association medicale canadienne vol. 188,13 (2016): 940-949. doi:10.1503/cmaj.160362
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- “Overweight and Snoring: A Vicious Circle.” Snore Lab, www.snorelab.com/overweight-and-snoring-a-vicious-circle/.
- “Mouth and Throat Exercises to Help Stop Snoring.” Sleep Foundation, 10 Aug. 2023, www.sleepfoundation.org/snoring/mouth-exercises-to-stop-snoring.
- American Lung Association. “Exercise and Lung Health.” American Lung Association, www.lung.org/lung-health-diseases/wellness/exercise-and-lung-health