Ways to Combat SnoringheadingContent

Posted on October 31, 2013

woman head back sleeping while standingThere’s nothing good about snoring. Studies estimate that 45 percent of men and 30 percent of women snore on a regular basis. Chronic snoring disrupts sleep patterns and prevents a good night’s rest. Snoring often is a factor in a more serious condition called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which has been linked to certain health issues, including high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes and heart disease.

Snoring occurs when a person can’t move air freely through the nose and mouth while sleeping. The sound may be soft, or it can be loud and unpleasant. This blockage is usually caused by the narrowing of the airway, either from poor sleep, poor posture or other abnormalities within the tissues in the throat.

There are many causes that can affect snoring, including age, nasal problems, being overweight and the use of alcohol, cigarettes and medications.

Luckily, there are many lifestyle changes you can make that can help prevent snoring:

  • 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. Not sure you can sleep on your side? Try using a full-length body pillow.
  • Lose some weight. Snoring affects everybody, no matter your body size. But it is recommended that if you’ve put on some weight, work to take it off.
  • Avoid alcohol. Medical experts say that drinking alcohol 4 to 5 hours before sleeping can make snoring worse.
  • Open your nasal passages. Sometimes snoring can occur when your nasal passages are blocked. If this is the case, try using adhesive nasal dilator strips at night to open up your passageways. You can also take hot showers along with squeezing a little saltwater solution in your nose to clear your nasal passages before bed.
  • Change your pillows. Allergens or dust mites on your pillow might be a reason you snore. If you feel fine during the day but get stuffy at night, start putting your pillows in the air-fluff cycle once a week and change your pillows every six months.
  • Be sure to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night.

If these lifestyle changes don’t work, there are medical alternatives that you may want to consider, including using dental/oral appliances, using an air machine or surgery.

If you or your partner continues to suffer from snoring, chokes or gasps during sleep, or if you fall asleep unexpectedly, contact your Tenet physician immediately, as you may have a more specific sleeping disorder.