Snoring is one of the most common sleep disorders and causes sleep disruption for many people. It occurs when the uvula and soft palate in your mouth relax while you sleep. They partially block your airway, resulting in irregular airflow and vibrations which cause the snoring noise. You can read about the main causes by reading our article ‘What Causes Snoring’ but here we provide a guide to help you understand possible treatments & remedies to help you stop snoring.
Although often considered a minor sleep disorder, the lifestyle of a snorer – and their partners – can be severely affected by this affliction. Sufferers can incur both psychological and social damage. The between-subjects trial by Armstrong et al. discovered a statistically significant improvement in marital relations after snoring was surgically corrected. Most treatments for snoring revolve around lessening the breathing discomfort by clearing the blockage in the air passage. Of course, few need to go to the drastic measure of surgery as there are many other options to help stop or reduce snoring:
- Snoring aids – many people have found the use of basic snoring aids such as nasal strips, nose clips or mouth guards have helped reduce their snoring by keeping the nasal passage or jaw open. Details of some of the best aids available can be found here.
- Decongestants – if your snoring appears to be caused by temporary nasal congestion, essential oils or chest rubs such as peppermint oil may help.
- Sleeping position – by sleeping on your side you may see a reduction in snoring. Sleeping on your back should be avoided if you are prone to snoring, as the fat around your neck can restrict the airways.
- Pillows – most orthopedic and anti-snore pillows are designed to support your head and neck which keep your jaw slightly open so your airways are less restricted. This in turn reduces snoring.
- Lifestyle changes – often snoring is linked to obesity, alcohol or smoking. Trying to lose weight and reducing or stopping drinking alcohol or smoking would certainly be a good start. A friend recently said that her husband stopped snoring once below a certain weight – of course, everyone is different.
- Consult your doctor – if you or your partner are particularly concerned about your snoring or have tried a number of the options and they have not helped. As outlined on the NHS website your GP will look inside your mouth and nose to check that there are no problems that may be causing your snoring. You may be referred for further tests or treatment.
CPAP – the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine is often used to control sleep apnea and any snoring associated with it. It is a relatively safe medical treatment. The device pumps a controlled stream of air through a flexible hose to a mask worn over the nose, mouth, or both. The air pressure helps keep the airway open.