Do you snore a lot? Remedies to stop snoring
From an anatomical view, snoring is caused because the upper airways (nose and throat) are partially closed.
Why do why snore?
Our neck muscles relax when we sleep, but sometimes they relax so much that the upper airways close partially and become too narrow for air to pass, which causes vibration in our throat and hence snoring.
Having enlarged tonsils, an enlarged tongue and excess weight around the neck makes people more prone to snoring. Structural causes, such as the form of the nose or jaw can also cause snoring. Lastly, special moments such as pregnancy also cause snoring.
Sleep apnea and snoring
Snoring and sleep apnea are highly linked. Sleep apnea involves interrupted breathing during sleep for short periods of time, which prevents us from receiving the restorative sleep that we need to feel refreshed and rest correctly and, furthermore, it increases the risk of developing heart disease.
Remedies to stop snoring
A series of natural solutions and changes in lifestyle exist that can help us to stop snoring.
- Change our position when sleeping: Sleeping on your back means that the base of your tongue and the soft palate collapse into the back wall of your throat, causing a vibrant sound during sleep. Sleeping on your side can help to prevent this. Placing a tennis ball in the back of your pyjama top can also stop you from sleeping on your back. Always sleeping on your side may be a solution to eliminate snoring. Hence, it is advisable that whenever we go to bed or when we wake up , we lie on our side, as this will help us not to snore.
- Lose weight: Increased weight around our neck compress the internal diameter of the throat, making it more possible that it will collapse during sleep, causing snoring. A healthy balanced diet, practising sport, avoiding abundant greasy meals before bedtime, as well as improving our health and well-being, will influence significantly as a solution to stop snoring.
- Avoid alcohol: Alcohol and sedatives reduce the resting tone of the muscles in the back part of the throat, which is why it is more probable that you will snore after consuming them. Avoiding this type of drink is a solution to prevent snoring. A healthy lifestyle with good eating habits is a great home recipe to reduce or eliminate snoring.
- Practice good sleep hygiene: Bad sleeping habits, such as, for example, working long periods of time without sleep can have a similar effect to that of alcohol consumption. Good sleep hygiene is highly tied to our health and well-being. Hence, good health habits, with a healthy balanced diet and exercise, as we indicated in previous points, notably favour our life and is a solution to our snoring.
- Clear nasal cavities: If the snoring begins in the nose, keeping the nasal passages open can help to reduce snoring. Habits such smoking irritate the membrane of the mucous of the nasal cavity and pharynx and block the blood vessels that are connected to our lungs. These factors mean that the airflow that we breathe through the nose is considerably reduced, which hinders breathing through this channel and favours the appearance of snoring. Quitting smoking will improve our health, also in our sleep.
- Keep well-hydrated:Nasal secretions and a soft palate become more sticky when we are dehydrated, and may cause further snoring, hence, it is important to drink enough liquid during the day. Keeping well-hydrated is a cure for snoring; furthermore, it maintains good oral health since, when your mouth becomes dehydrated, on producing less saliva, it tends to become infected and cause more tooth decay.
Medical recommendations for snoring
As well as the ‘home-made’ tips cited above, certain medical solutions also exist, which can be used with more extreme cases and/or syndromes, such as sleep apnea, in which a specialist must determine the adequate treatment for your case. Let us see some examples:
- Chin tape: Also known as ‘Anti-snoring straps’, these devices are placed on your chin to keep your mouth closed and avoid snoring through this airway This method will be effective provide that you snore through your mouth.
- Mandibular advancement device: If you snore due to tongue vibration, this option may be your solution. Manufactured by a dental technician, it is a plastic case that pushes the jaw forward to facilitate space in the back of your throat. Through this device, we can facilitate the passage of air through this airway.
- Nasal mask: It is an artificial respirator used in continuous positive airway pressure treatments. This device introduces pressurised air during the night. Hence, the airways are cleared and snoring is eliminated.
- Surgery: If the nasal mask does not give results, different specialised surgery exists in the area to be treated (nose, pharynx, tonsils, etc.). Surgery will be a solution that must always be advised by a doctor depending on the case and on the specific complexity.
In this article, we have reviewed some of the solutions that may favour the elimination of snoring and enable us to improve our sleep. Some good health habits will be essential to improve our quality of life and, of course, to improve our rest and sleep.