In this article, we’ll provide you with information on how to stop snoring, as well as some data on its main causes. After all, no one goes to bed thinking, “I’m going to snore tonight”—it just happens. While we sleep, our muscles relax throughout the body, particularly in the upper respiratory tract. If there’s any obstruction or narrowing in the airways, the airflow causes resonant vibrations through the soft tissue in the upper throat, leading to snoring.
Is Snoring Good or Bad?
Whether you’ve been sleeping with your spouse in separate rooms for a long time or a friend staying over recently endured a sleepless night, you’re probably among the 40% of men or 24% of women who break the night’s stillness by snoring. But while the statistics show that it’s pretty common, should snoring bother us?
Snoring isn’t a disease. It’s the sound produced during sleep as a result of the tissues of the upper respiratory tract vibrating while breathing. It’s most commonly seen in older men and overweight people and may require one or two snoring solutions to stop. A stuffy nose and dry throat increase the risk of snoring—alcohol intake and smoking do, too. In children, snoring is most often due to sore tonsils.
People who snore usually aren’t aware of their “noisy breathing” while they sleep, and their sleep is actually entirely healthy. Snoring is mainly a problem in two cases: when it disrupts a partner’s sleep and when it’s a symptom of obstructive sleep apnea or another type of breathing disorder that manifests during sleep.
What Causes Snoring While Sleeping?
There are many causes of snoring, and we probably won’t be able to list them all here.
Snoring is more common in men, but many women snore, too. The major factor causing snoring is a decrease in muscle tone in the soft palate and pharynx. However, this is more prominent with advancing age. In fact, for most people, snoring occurs after their forties.
Other problems that lead to snoring could be an obstruction of the nose due to allergies, inflamed tonsils, or anatomical problems such as a curved nostril (usually due to a broken nose) or an enlarged tongue or adenoids (the lymphatic tissue located between the back of the nose and throat). Solving these health issues is one of the most effective ways to stop snoring.
Snoring can also be caused by chronic upper respiratory tract infections, especially sinusitis. Even sleeping on your back seems to aggravate snoring. In this posture, the tongue falls back and squeezes the airways.
If you’re one of those people who wonder “why do I snore?” don’t worry. Snoring is annoying and may make it hard for you to sleep, but it’s not a life-threatening illness.
When Should I See a Doctor About Snoring?
Snoring is a symptom found in 70% to 95% of patients with sleep apnea. For this reason, every person who snores loudly should be examined for this disease before being given treatment. Put simply, treatment will be different for patients who have problems with abnormal breathing. For this reason, instead of considering an anti-snore device, addressing the primary condition—i.e., obstructive sleep apnea—could resolve the problem.
Patients with sleep apnea will have their snoring intermittently interrupted as their breathing is gradually obstructed, reaching a point when it completely ceases. These breathing breaks can last for several seconds. In the end, they’re always interrupted by a deep and intense snore, which also leads to a temporary restoration of the sleeping person’s breathing.
Before implementing snoring aids, a patient should be tested in case they have one of many possible sleep disorders—which might require specific treatment. This can be accomplished via polysomnography or another method that assesses one’s breathing during sleep. This is necessary to determine how intense and noisy their snoring is. Most of all, it helps exclude the possibility of another sleep disorder causing it.
Is There a Cure for Snoring?
When snoring is a symptom of another disease or when it’s so noisy that it disturbs others’ sleep, treatment becomes necessary. When snoring is caused by sleep apnea, this treatment will likely require the use of a positive airway pressure (PAP) device. A PAP machine supplies pressure to stabilize the upper respiratory tract and eliminate throat problems.
If snoring isn’t associated with sleep apnea, it may be due to structural changes in the nose and throat. The snoring remedies that work for chronic rhinitis, a distorted nasal septum, sinusitis, and enlarged tonsils include surgical treatment. To open the upper airways, medical professionals typically remove the tonsils or adenoids, or they remodel the uvula, palate, or pharynx, a method known as uvulopalatopharyngoplasty.
Removing the cause of turbulent air movement in the upper respiratory tract will eventually eliminate snoring. However, surgery should be the last option, in case nothing else works.
You can try some (or all) of these sixteen snoring remedies to finally put an end to your snoring problem. What follows is a list of the most effective methods that people have used to escape this nightmare.
1. Use a Nasal Dilator
Because snoring is caused by a narrowing of the airways (the narrower they are, the more severe the snoring becomes), it can be treated with nasal strips. Devices like these dilate the nostrils gently, thus providing less resistance to the nasal airways. However, learning how to put them on properly can sometimes be a challenge.
2. Change Your Sleep Position
Sleeping on your back causes the base of the tongue and the soft palate to rest against the end of the throat. This posture also pulls at the lower jaw and causes vibrating sounds during sleep. Changing your sleep position in bed is one of the most effective methods for people who want to know how to stop snoring naturally.
It’s better to sleep on your side or stomach. If you’re unable to relax in another position, then raise your bed at the head by 2 inches—as long as doing so doesn’t cause circulatory problems. This will lift your chin, and your head will be in the correct position during sleep.
3. Consider Losing Weight
Overweight people are much more likely to snore at night. Obesity likely causes snoring due to tissue swelling. When a person gains weight, especially around the neck, it can narrow the throat’s internal diameter, causing snoring. It’s not surprising that pregnant women also experience snoring due to increased weight and swelling.
In terms of how to prevent snoring, weight loss may be the right solution for some people. A study shows that 20% of overweight people stop snoring after losing excess weight.
4. Keep Proper Nutrition
If you want to stop snoring, you should avoid heavy, fatty foods immediately before bedtime. Instead, it’s best to have a light dinner no later than 7 pm. By eating healthily in the evening, you’ll also likely lose a few pounds, which has already been shown as an effective snoring treatment.
5. Avoid Alcohol Use
Many people like to end the day with a drink. The problem here is that alcohol relaxes the throat muscles during sleep, and this narrows the respiratory tract, favoring snoring. Alcohol causes many diseases, so reducing the number of glasses you have or what time you indulge (no later than 4–5 hours before bedtime) is definitely one solution to how to reduce snoring.
6. Reduce the Use of Sedative Drugs
Limit any use of sedatives and sleeping pills, which act as respiratory depressants. These can make snoring even more unbearable.
7. Stop Smoking
In the case of cigarettes, it’s more than clear that they make breathing difficult. Nicotine, tar, and all known and unknown tobacco-related carcinogens stick to the nose, throat, and lungs. This can then interfere with the body’s normal functions. After an evening out with lots of alcohol and cigarettes, even people who usually don’t snore will likely do so. So if you’re a smoker and wondering how to stop snoring permanently, your solution is clear.
In the case of what causes snoring in smokers, smoking often leads to chronic inflammation of the pharynx and trachea, their walls swell and the tension of the pharyngeal muscles decreases. This, in turn, tightens the airways and increases snoring.
8. Nose Washing
Nasal blockage and dry air in your room can also cause snoring. Even if you don’t have a runny nose, it’s good to keep your nose clear. This specific medical treatment for snoring involves a syringe filled with saline or the use of a saltwater spray from the pharmacy.
Nose washing in the evening just before going to bed will clear your nose and reduce the chance of there being blockage in the airway. The procedure includes rinsing your nasopharynx with saltwater twice a day for at least 3–4 days.
9. Nasal Sprays
Sometimes, washing the nose isn’t enough to prevent snoring due to a dry nose and throat. When you can’t breathe through your nose, one of the better snoring home remedies involves both taking a warm shower and using a nose spray. Cold weather creates an “exaggerated vacuum” in the throat, which makes the soft tissues collide with each other, leading to snoring. Another benefit of using a spray is that its lubricating ingredients reduce the vibration of the soft tissues.
10. Snoring Exercises
If you’re still trying to figure out how to stop snoring, these exercises of the nasopharynx can have a positive effect:
- Press your tongue to your palate and hold it for 10 seconds, then relax.
- For two or three minutes, press your tongue back and forth between the upper and lower palate, then massage the sides of the oral cavity in the same way.
- Stick your tongue out and try to touch your chin with the tip of it. Repeat this 10 times.
- Open and close your mouth. Do it as quickly as possible, taking care not to bite your lips. These exercises can spare you the use of a snoring mouth guard.
- Sing each vowel five times vigorously, striving to pronounce them correctly. Then sing the vowels again, but combined with “l,” “k,” and then “m,” as follows: “La-la-la,” “Ke-ke-ke,” “Mi-mi-mi,” and so on. Sing these a dozen times each.
- Fold your tongue by lifting it back and trying to reach the bottom of your mouth with the front of it. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat.
11. Replace Your Pillow
The use of a thick anti-snoring pillow helps prevent the neck muscles from relaxing too much, thus narrowing the airways. The low pad allows your neck to stand in a more upright position, and this facilitates the passage of air.
12. Visit a Salt Room
Clean your lungs and sinuses in a salt room. This proven method relieves the symptoms of sinusitis, runny nose, asthma, bronchitis, rhinitis, and a host of other diseases that cause snoring. In a salt room, the air is unusually microbiologically pure and free of dust, germs, and fungal spores.
If you want to stop snoring, but no products appeal to you, you will experience a dramatic difference after 7–8 visits. Filled with tiny salt particles and saturated with negative salt ions, when inhaled, the air delivers a positive health effect. You’ll begin to breathe more lightly, and your snoring will decrease significantly.
13. Sing or Play the Harmonica
Singing has a beneficial effect on snoring. It strengthens the throat’s muscles, affecting breathing and the diaphragm’s work. Of course, wind instruments were never constructed to stop snoring, but as “devices” to help with the problem, they work. A 2009 poll showed that musicians who play at least half an hour a day don’t snore as much as their peers.
14. Take a Walk Outside
Before going to bed, taking a walk in the fresh air for about 10–15 minutes is more beneficial than many devices designed for snoring. Also, it means you can get some light exercise during the day.
15. Use Earplugs
In some cases, it’s impossible to figure out how to stop someone from snoring. For example, 69% of women deal with snoring by poking, kicking, or waking the snorer. So if you have to cope with the sound, use earplugs or offer them to the people around you. Don’t let snoring become a cause for separation.
16. Visit an ENT Specialist
If you’ve tried everything else for at least a month and it doesn’t work, it’s best that you consult an ear, nose, and throat specialist to see what else can be done. If there’s a severe underlying condition that’s causing your snoring, the ENT specialist will prescribe the best therapy.
How can I stop snoring ASAP?
To stop snoring quickly, there are immediate measures you can take, such as changing your sleeping position, using nasal clips and nasal bands, using devices that pull the mandible forward, or buying specialized pillows and mattresses. However, some treatment options require a long-term commitment but promise long-lasting results. These include observing good sleep hygiene, maintaining a soothing sleep environment, losing weight, or taking medication to manage rhinitis and sinusitis.
How do you sleep when someone is snoring?
If someone’s snoring, this can cause you sleepless nights and even eventual health concerns. You can handle this problem by doing the following: block out the noise with earplugs, find a source of white noise, listen to music on your headphones, and so on.
If you’re still not getting enough sleep, you’ll need to learn how to cope effectively when snoring wakes you. Try to change how you think about the sound. Before considering moving to a different room, try to reduce your partner’s snoring by following some of the tips given above.
Why is my snoring getting worse?
As we get older, we face some physical changes, like a hormonal imbalance or weight gain—especially around the neck, which narrows the airways. Additionally, our muscle tone decreases, meaning snoring gets worse over time.
However, snoring could potentially be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea, also more frequent in older adults. In this case, snoring is a symptom of a real problem that needs medical attention.
Usually snoring is unpleasant for whoever has to share the same space as the snorer. However, in some cases, it’s a problem for the patient, disrupting his sleep. That’s why we’ve given these tips on how to stop snoring. Most importantly, remember that snoring could be an indicator of a more serious medical issue, such as obstructive sleep apnea, meaning the snorer may need to speak with a medical professional to get the right treatment.