Snoring is not fun. Whether you're the culprit or your significant other keeps you up every night with their nightly sawing exercise, chances are you already know that fact. Even in its least serious iteration, a snore is annoying, keeps you up at night, and has you waking up with anything from a stuffy nose to a sore throat.
But what do you do about it? Too often, we simply accept the fact that we snore as a regular part of our night. When your partner starts to snore, they might even be banished to the guest bedroom or living room couch. Sure, either can be a last resort. However, it makes more sense to start small. Here are nine essential steps you can take to stop snoring.
1. Reduce the Swelling
Snoring often happens when your nasal passages swell for one reason or another. When they do, it becomes more difficult to breathe through your nose, which is what your body naturally tries. The result: a loud and annoying snore. To avoid it, try reducing the swelling through nasal sprays, strips, or decongestants. Especially during allergy season, this is the single most significant step you can take.
2. Change Your Position
Your nasal passages could also become blocked because of your sleeping position. Yes, you might be used to sleeping on your back. But when you do, you actually become more likely to snore. Instead, try sleeping on your side, whichever side you prefer. If you simply cannot get comfortable, elevate your head instead. A second pillow can do the trick to open your nasal passages and improve your sleep.
3. Lose Some Weight
First, to clarify: this is not a wonder fix for snoring. Thin people snore too. That said, losing weight may be the cure you're looking for to stop sawing logs in the middle of the night. This is especially true if your snoring is new, and started happening during the same time you gained some weight. In that case, losing even a few pounds can make all the difference, and get you back to your previous stage.
4. Sleep Longer
Did you know that your sleeping habits can actually contribute to your snoring? We've already written about the health benefits of longer, more regular sleep. As it turns out, those same habits and routines help in this regard, as well. When you fall asleep overly exhausted, your body tries harder to recover. As a result, your muscles become floppier, which causes the snoring.
5. Stay Hydrated
Snoring, as you might know, happens more frequently when you have a stuffy nose. That's because the mucus and secretions that your body produces clog your nasal passages, making it more difficult to breathe. If you don't drink enough water, these secretions become more sticky and worsen the problem. The solution is drinking more during the course of the day. When your nose is stuffed, you might also want to consider a hot shower before bed to open the nasal passages.
6. Try a Mouthpiece
In mild cases of snoring, a mouthpiece can help. It re-aligns your jaw as well as your tongue to make sure that your nasal passages stay more open. Of course, you also have to make sure that you find a mouthpiece that is actually comfortable. The best solution tends to be trying it out for a few nights. If it doesn't help you stop snoring, leads to jaw pain, or worsens your overall sleep, move on to other solutions.
7. Change Your Pillow
Pillows can be a game changer when it comes to your snoring habits. As mentioned above, failing to keep your head elevated is one of the main causes of snoring. Through the right head support, you can change that fact. Look for pillows that are specifically designed to help you breathe better at night. Typically, these are relatively firm to prevent sinking in too far, while still providing the comfort you need to sleep well on your side or back.
8. Get a New Mattress
The next big investment after a pillow is a new mattress. Here, the benefits are almost identical to the pillow, just on a larger scale. A mattress that allows you to sink in and seems supremely fluffy can actually be the cause of your worries. These broken-in versions offer less spinal support, failing to get your body in the right alignment to breathe freely. The result is a snore, but the fix can be simple.
9. Get Yourself Checked
Finally, the causes for your snoring could be related to a medical issue. Sleep apnea, for instance, cannot easily be fixed by drinking more or using a mouthpiece. When the above tips fail, talk to your doctor to find a potential medical solution.
Your doctor may recommend a CPAP machine, which is short for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. This type of machine keeps your airway open by blowing pressure into it, allowing you to breathe freely throughout the night. Sleep apnea is a potentially serious condition, and snoring is only one side effect. Still, taking care one may also help you get rid of the other. Checking with your doctor may also lead to a surgical solution to take care of other underlying issues.
Taking Your First Steps Toward a Snore-Less Sleep
Nobody likes a snorer, least of all the snorers themselves. At best, it's annoying. At worst, it can be the symptom of a serious health condition. Either way, it makes sense to take care of the issue sooner rather than later.
Some steps to stop snoring can be simple. A cold-related snore can be alleviated through proper hydration, humidity, and nasal decongestants. More serious underlying causes may require more significant steps. Either way, taking care of the issue sooner rather than later is always a good choice.And who knows? Your pillow and mattress very well could be that underlying cause. To learn more about our options, specifically designed to help you sleep better and snore less, contact us. An affordable new mattress and pillow could be just the thing you need to stop the snore and finally get back to a great night's sleep.