Snoring is a fairly common condition, affecting a large number of men and women. Those who snore can experience discomfort and sleepless nights, and they can also impair their partner’s ability to sleep at night and function during the day as well. It is possible, however, to reduce the effects of snoring with several lifestyle changes and treatments.
Before you can effectively stop your snoring, it is important to determine its cause. Not all snoring involves the same origins and symptoms. As a result, certain tips and treatments may reduce your snoring better than others. Individuals who snore have some form of airflow obstruction in their mouth and nose while sleeping. Often, this is caused by the narrowing of the airway from poor sleep posture or from the abnormal layout of soft tissues in the throat. This makes the throat, uvula, soft palate, and other structures vibrate against each other, causing the sound of snoring.
Lifestyle changes are usually effective in remedying problematic snoring. Losing weight and exercising can reduce fatty tissue in the back of the throat and strengthen muscles in your abs, chest, and throat. This reduces snoring by opening and strengthening your airway, which enables you to breathe more easily while sleeping. Similarly, avoiding alcohol, tobacco products, and sedatives can limit harmful muscle relaxation in the throat and help prevent snoring.
Adjusting your sleeping posture can also limit your snoring. Lying on your back causes your tongue and soft palate to collapse against the back of your throat, creating noisy snoring during sleep. This is easily fixed by sleeping on your side or with your head elevated four inches, since these postures open the airway to allow more efficient breathing.
If your snoring persists despite these lifestyle changes, a more serious condition like obstructive sleep apnea could be the cause. See your doctor to determine the best way to treat your snoring and to address any related conditions. He or she may also recommend throat exercises or an anti-snoring device such as a jaw support or mouthpiece if necessary.