Nearly half of all adults snore, at least occasionally. Snoring is most common among men, seniors, and people who are overweight. Learn basic facts about snoring, how it can affect your life, and how to cope with it.
Snoring and Your Health
- Monitor your sleep quality. If you live alone, it may be difficult to know for sure if you snore. One warning sign of snoring is waking up in the morning feeling tired, even after a full night’s sleep. Your snoring may actually be waking you up continually throughout the night and interfering with the quality of your sleep.
- Think about your relationships. If you live with friends, relatives, or a significant other, your snoring may be negatively affecting them too. Perhaps you’re keeping those you live with from getting a good night’s sleep because they’re up all night listening to your loud snoring.
- Manage the risks of cardiovascular issues. Doctors have reported that obstructive sleep apnea places a heavy strain on the heart. More recent studies suggest that even less severe snoring could increase the risk for heart disease. Early treatment is important to catch increases in blood pressure and other changes promptly.
- Know the causes for your snoring. Different kinds of snoring require different treatments. Talk with your doctor if you suspect a medical condition such as enlarged tonsils or respiratory infections. Otherwise, lifestyle changes may be all that’s needed.
Effective Remedies for Snoring
- Get more sleep. Try getting an extra hour or two of sleep each night. When you’re overtired, your throat and tongue muscles may loosen and block your airway. This is similar to the effects of aging, but in this case you can do something about it.
- Sleep on your side. Some people get instant snoring relief just by sleeping on their side rather than their back. It takes practice to change old habits, but you can train yourself to do it. Putting a pillow alongside your body will help to hold you in place on your side.
- Elevate your head at night. If you’re free from neck problems, you may want to experiment with holding your head higher at night. You can get a bed that adjusts to an incline or use an extra pillow to prop yourself up.
- Avoid sedatives, alcohol, and late night eating. Anyone may be vulnerable to snoring after drinking beer, eating pizza, or taking certain medications before bed. Consume your last cocktail or meal at least four hours before you go to sleep!
- Lose weight. Excess weight around the throat also makes it harder to breathe correctly, especially at night when you’re lying down. If you noticed that your snoring started only after you put on a few extra pounds, it may be time for a diet and more exercise.
- Treat nasal congestion. Steam opens your nasal passages! Why not try a hot shower before bed or a vaporizer while you sleep? Nasal strips and gargling with salt water may also help.
- Reduce household dust. Getting household dust under control will help you breathe better night and day. Shop for anti-allergy bedding and replace your pillow regularly.
- Ask your doctor about non-surgical treatments. If your snoring persists, there are several medical appliances that your doctor can recommend. For example, CPAP therapy is when you use a breathing device to pump air into your body while you sleep. It’s often the primary treatment for sleep apnea.
- Consider surgery. Using surgical methods as a treatment for snoring is relatively rare. Still, there are many surgical options to consider, just in case CPAP therapy fails. Many of these procedures can be done with lasers or microwaves.
Home remedies and proper medical treatment can often reduce the incidents and intensity of snoring, as well as minimize the negative effects. Get help with snoring, whether it’s for yourself or a loved one. Then everyone can start enjoying a good night’s sleep!