Snoring – the bane of a good night’s sleep, an underlying cause of separate beds between partners, fatigue and irritability. Although snoring may seem like minuscule and a bearable affair to some, it’s inconvenient and intolerable for others.
Not all snores are created equal. There are muted, soft rumbling snores or loud, mechanical pounding snores akin to a sledgehammer being hit repeatedly against a wall. This is due to the different reasons for snoring which subsequently affect the way that you snore. Nevertheless, whether you snore due to congested nasal passages or slack tongue muscles, snoring interferes with your sleep quality and makes you feel anything but well-rested.
As such, you are more likely to feel sleepy, grouchy and develop unsightly dark eye circles as well as dull, sallow complexion. Not to mention that snoring can also affect the sleep quality of your loved ones, thus taking a toll on your relationships. Therefore, it’s imperative that you understand what causes your snoring and take the necessary steps to resolve it. To help you along the process, we have come up with 4 tips on how to stop snoring as below.
Why You Snore And How To Enjoy A Snore-Free Night
There are various reasons why we snore and many of them are directly correlated with our lifestyle choices, body composition, physical characteristics and state of health. For instance, if you are overweight, you are more likely to snore due to the accumulation of fat around your neck area that will place a strain on your trachea and cause it to become narrower, hence resulting in hoarse, vibrating noises. Asides from that, physical characteristics such as a deviated septum or enlarged tonsils can also affect the size of the airways, thus increasing the likelihood of snoring. Lifestyle habits such as smoking can also cause snoring. This is because the smoke and constituents of a cigarette can aggravate and inflame the lining of the throat and nose, thus resulting in the overproduction of mucus and contracting the airways. As such, you have a higher chance of snoring due to your constricted windpipe.
However, before you start purchasing anti-snoring aids or trying out various remedies, do note that snoring may sometimes be an indication of a more serious, underlying health condition. One example would be sleep apnoea. If you find yourself waking up frequently throughout the night while gasping for air, chances are that you might have sleep apnoea. In addition, people with sleep apnoea also tend to experience a disruption in their breathing patterns while sleeping. Therefore, it is not unusual to see them stop breathing for a short period of time before being jolted awake so as to resume breathing. They may also have constant headaches and feel exhausted during the day. Hence, if you experience these symptoms on a regular basis, you might want to consult a sleep specialist to do further tests to confirm if it’s sleep apnoea.
If you don’t have any of the above symptoms, here are some tips that will help to nip your snoring problem in the bud:
Take A Hot Bath Or Shower Before Sleeping
Heat can aid in opening up your nasal passages, thus preventing them from becoming clogged and facilitating smoother air flow into your trachea. This is especially important if you have a cold as the bacteria can irritate and inflame your airway, thus affecting the movement of air in and out of your body. Subsequently, this then increases the probability of snoring. So, in order to mitigate this, you should try to clear and open up your nasal passages before bedtime by taking a hot bath and shower. Alternatively, you can also consider investing in a nasal saline spray to reduce the amount of mucus or other irritants in your nasal passages.
Exercise More And Change Your Diet
Being overweight can place pressure on your windpipe and cause it to contract, thus disrupting airflow and making you snore. As such, to reduce the probability of snoring, try to shed the extra weight by exercising more and changing your diet. Include more fat burning exercises in your routine such as jumping jacks and cut down on the amount of fatty and sugary food in your diet.
Change Your Sleeping Position
When you sleep on your back, you are more likely to snore due to your throat muscles and tongue becoming overly relaxed. Subjected to gravity, the slacken muscles and tongue then ‘fall’ backwards into the throat, thus obstructing the passing of air into your lungs. Therefore, you are advised to sleep on your side instead to decrease the chances of snoring. To ease the switching process from a back to side sleeping position, place additional pillows or a bolster in between your arms and legs while sleeping.
Consider Taking Allergy Medication
Chronic allergies such as sensitivity to dust or pet dander can worsen nasal congestion and increase the probability of snoring. Not to mention that they also exacerbate your unflattering and puffy eye bags and dark eye circles by causing blood and fluid to amass underneath your eyes. As such, you might want to consider taking some allergy medication to keep the allergies at bay and bring the swelling of the nasal passages down. However, be wary of taking antihistamines to alleviate your allergic reaction as they can sometimes backfire by drying out your throat and inducing the slackening of your throat muscles. Instead, opt for decongestant-based medication.
Do Not Drink Alcohol Before Bedtime
As alcohol causes your tongue, mouth and throat muscles to become overly relaxed and disrupt the flow of breathing, refrain from drinking alcohol 3 hours before sleeping. This will aid in reducing the likelihood of snoring.