Are you one of those people who is the brunt of snoring jokes at family gatherings? If you are, you might consider trying these tips from Dr Daniel P Slaughter, an otolaryngologist and snoring expert from Texas, to help you stop snoring:
1. Change your sleep position
According to Dr Slaughter, sleeping on your back makes the “base of your tongue and soft palate collapse to the back wall of your throat causing vibrations during sleep” which causes you to snore. Try sleeping on your side. A full-length body pillow might be a good investment as it will keep you lying on your side.
2. Open nasal passages
A hot shower before bed will help open nasal passages. You might also try nasal strips which according to Dr Slaughter “work by lifting nasal passages which open them up.”
3. Change your pillow
A height-adjustable pillow will help because it will hold your head in an anatomically neutral position which will keep your airways open. You should also choose a pillow with a washable cover which means that dust mite infestation is kept to a minimum. Dust mites can cause allergic reactions that can lead to snoring.
4. Lose weight
If you have gained weight and did not snore before you gained weight, you should take this as a sign to lose weight. Dr Slaughter says that “if you have gained weight around your neck, it squeezes the internal diameter of your throat, making it more likely to collapse during sleep, triggering snoring.” Lose weight and you may simply just stop snoring.
5. Avoid alcohol
Dr Slaughter says “Alcohol reduces the resting tone of the muscles in the back of your throat making it more likely you will snore.” Even people who don’t normally snore will snore after drinking alcohol.
6. Practise good sleep hygiene
Get to bed at the same time every night, wake up at the same time every morning, and try to get eight hours of sleep each night. Burning the candle at both ends will mean that you are overtired. Dr Slaughter says “You sleep hard and deep, and the muscles become floppier, which creates snoring.”
7. Stay hydrated
Dr Slaughter says “Secretions in your nose and soft palate become stickier when you are dehydrated. This can make you snore.” So drink at least two litres of fluid a day to stay hydrated.
If you have tried everything but you are still snoring and it is impacting on the way you sleep, it might be time to consult your doctor.