How Can I Stop Snoring? 3 Best Answers
How Can I Stop Snoring? This question is asked by frustrated people up and down the country. It’s estimated that about 90 million American adults snore, with 37 of them snoring regularly. That’s a lot of people in the same boat as you, looking for answers to stop their snoring to improve the sleep and health of themselves and anyone who shares a bedroom with them In this article we’ll take a look at three different ways to stop snoring, with the most important being the first one.
- Talk To Your Doctor
- Try These Lifestyle Changes
- Check Out These Anti Snoring Devices
1. Talk To Your Doctor First
Before you start trying to treat your snoring yourself, it’s important to discuss your snoring with your doctor.
There are several reasons for this
- Your snoring may be indicative of a serious health issue that your doctor needs to diagnose and treat
- Your snoring may require specialized equipment, such as a CPAP machine if your snoring is caused by sleep apnea
- They will be able to give you more detailed guidance on how to make the lifestyle changes recommended below
- They will be able to help you decide if any anti snoring devices are appropriate for you and worth your money
2. Lifestyle Changes: 5 To Try Now
There are 5 main lifestyle changes you can make to help you stop snoring. You may find these are the first things your doctor gets you to do. WARNING: these are not simple things to do. They require a lot of work and change. I acknowledge this before making these statements to you.
1. If you’re overweight, lose some weight
Higher body weights are clearly connected to snoring in two ways: it is linked to sleep apnea, and creating resistance in your upper airway.
If you carry extra weight around your neck, the fatty tissue there can contribute to snoring.
Studies have shown that modest amounts of weight loss, around 6 pounds, is all you need to start improving your snoring. The more you lose, the better chance you have of eliminating it completely.
Before I started this website I was actually a dietitian, so this is one of my areas of expertise. There is no one size fits all solution for weight loss but I can give you some general guidelines here. These are the foundations of weight loss that you can apply to your own situation:
- What you eat is the most important thing, you can’t make up for a poor diet with exercise
- Eat real foods (unprocessed as much as you can, this takes organization, planning and cooking)
- Aim for 8 servings of fruits and vegetables per day (yes, 8…research has shown this is how much we really need)
- If you want to follow a diet, then do so (as long as it is safe for you, check with your doctor). There is no evidence that any diet works better than another (despite what fanatics might tell you). What there is evidence for is that people are more likely to stick to something if they feel like it works for them. You hear a lot of arguing and confusion about different diets but there is ONE thing they all agree on: “eat lots of vegetables”.
- Drink plenty of water. Drink a big glass when you get up in the morning, and before each meal. If you are not properly hydrated you can derail all your food efforts.
2. Avoid drinking alcohol before going to bed
Alcohol can increase jaw and muscle relaxation, which leads to snoring.
Not only this, but alcohol is high in calories, so if you’re trying to lose weight to help your snoring, you could be sabotaging it with your nightly drinks.
Some people believe drinking alcohol before going to bed helps them sleep (also related to the muscle relaxing), but it can interfere with the quality of sleep, leaving you worse off by the morning. Being tired can also hinder weight loss efforts, because it’s jsut that much harder to make good food decisions and make the effort to do everything required when our brains are feeling foggy.
If you’re used to drinking every night, this might feel like a big change for you. You’re going to need to make new habits.
- Start with aiming for two alcohol free nights per week. Once you are comfortable with that, continue to reduce the number of nights you’re drinking
- Think about why you drink at night. Is it a habit? Is it to relax? Do you just like the taste? Understanding why you’re doing it can hold the key to replacing it with something else.
3. Quit Smoking
Smoking irritates the sensitive and delicate membranes that coat our nose and throat. This can lead to snoring. You don’t need me to preach at you about the numerous benefits of quitting smoking, you will be well aware without my two cents.
There are a number of different ways to quit smoking. Explore your options with your doctor to make the process easier for yourself.
Note: many people fear they will gain weight if they quit smoking. This can be true if you replace your smoking habit with extra snacks, drinks, or bigger meals. The actual act of quitting will not make you gain weight, it’s the behavior around food that often goes hand in hand with quitting smoking that does. If you’re aware of this before, you’ll be better equipped to manage it.
4. Do exercises to strengthen the muscles in your neck and mouth
As you’ve read above, several common lifestyle factors that contribute to snoring are to do with the muscles in your neck being relaxed. It’s been shown that doing some simple exercises every day can help strengthen them, which could help you reduce your snoring.
This short video explains why the exercises work, and how to do them. The video is four and a half minutes long, skip to 3:30 if you want to go straight to the exercises without listening to the talking.
5. Avoid Sleeping On Your Back
Ever been pushed over in your bed by your spouse to get you to stop snoring? Sleeping on your back causes the tissues in your throat to relax, and contribute to snoring.
Try using different pillows around your body to help your sleeping position. I recommend you sleep on your side rather than your stomach, as it’s easier to breathe and easier for your mattress to support you.
You can also try adding pillows that better support your neck.
3. Devices That Can Help You Stop Snoring
“How Can I Stop Snoring?” is such a vexed question that plagues so many people who all need different solutions for their snoring. This has lead to a massive market of accessories and devices that promise to help you stop snoring. Let’s take a look at three popular types of devices:
1. Mandibular Advancement Devices (MADs)
These devices look a bit like a sports mouth-guard. You put them inside your mouth and they bring your lower jaw forward while you sleep. The idea of this is that by bringing your jaw forward, the airway in your throat will be more open. This means air can pass more freely through your airway, without creating the vibrations that we know as snoring.
MADs start from very basic models that you just wear and sleep, right through to custom made models from a dentist which can set you back thousands. If you’re wanting to try a MAD that you can fully adjust and customize yourself and is only $69.99, then Vitalsleep is a good option for you to check out. Hundreds of thousands of people agree that Vitalsleep has helped their snoring, and it could help yours, too. Read my full review of Vitalsleep here.
2. Nasal Strips
These are thin strips that sit on the bridge of your nose. They have a spring like action which works to open up the air passages in your nose to help you breathe easier.
These can be helpful if you are congested. If your snoring is not caused by nasal congestion they won’t work, they are designed to open your nose, not the airway in your throat. If your snoring is caused by a cold, flu, allergy, or deviated septum then these could help you.
They’re usually a one time use item that you need to replace each time you use it, so costs can mount quickly.
I don’t believe they’ll totally stop you snoring if you’re snoring because of congestion, but they can help you breathe easier and reduce the severity of your snoring.
Since we know that lying on your back can be an issue for people who snore, it makes sense that having a good, supportive pillow can help. A pillow that supports your neck and stops your airway from being in a flat position throughout the night could help you solve your snoring dilemma.
If you really love to sleep on your back, then raising your head with a good pillow could be a good place for you to start. It’s non-invasive and will support better sleep regardless of whether it actually helps with your snoring! Wedge pillows and memory foam pillows are good options here.
Have you or someone you know successfully stopped snoring? Tell me how you did it in the comments!