11 Ways to Stop Snoring
Let’s face it. At some point in each of our lives, we’ve all been guilty of snoring. For some of us it’s a short-term issue caused by things like a head cold, allergies or being overtired. But for others, it’s a more persistent problem. So how do you curb this nocturnal noisemaking – whether it’s you or your partner who’s the culprit –and get the quality, restful sleep you need to be at the top of your game?
- Stay hydrated. A good rule of thumb is to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day. You can also use a humidifier in your bedroom for extra hydration while you sleep.
- Minimize allergens in your bedroom/treat your allergies. You can do this by dusting and vacuuming often, replacing your pillows every six months (for inexpensive polyester fiber-filled) to 18 months (for memory foam), and designating your sleeping quarters as a pet-free zone. If your allergies are acting up, be sure to follow your doctor’s recommendations for treating them.
- Keep your nose clean. A stuffy nose can mean a night of snoring. Before you hit the sack, take a hot shower or rinse your nose with a mild saltwater solution. Then apply a nose strip to hold your nostrils open while you’re in dream land.
- Cultivate good sleep habits. This means sticking to a set schedule for going to bed and waking up – even on the weekend. Keep your room cool, dark and comfortable, and ditch the electronics.
- Avoid alcohol and cigarettes. A drink or two might make you feel sleepy, but they can set you up for a restless, wakeful and noisy night. Smoking can irritate the lining of your throat, making you more prone to sonorous snoozing.
- Drop the extra pounds/get in shape. If you’re overweight and are having trouble with snoring, your double chin could be the culprit.
- Adopt a new sleeping position. Instead of sleeping on your back, try sleeping on your side. Or slide a couple of bricks under your headboard to elevate the head of your bed.
- Avoid dairy and big meals before bedtime. That glass of milk or bowl of ice cream can be the root of your problem. Dairy thickens mucus, which can result in you sawing logs. A full belly may make you drowsy, but it could leave you – and your partner – feeling exhausted in the morning because of the pressure it puts on your diaphragm.
- Give your mouth, tongue, face and jaw a workout. There are simple exercises you can do to strengthen these areas. Believe it or not, singing is one of them! Singing in the shower just before bed might be your ticket to a good night’s sleep.
- Drug stores often sell chin straps and mouth pieces, specifically for snoring, to help keep your moth closed at night.
- See your doctor. Snoring can be a sign you have difficulty keeping an open airway while you sleep. If simple measures don’t work, see your doctor to check for sleep apnea or other medical problems.
About the Author
Clinton Young, MD is the Medical Director for the Cone Health Sleep Disorders Center