For most people, snoring is just a funny, slightly annoying habit that they, their partner, or someone they know has. But we did take a look at the question ‘Is snoring bad?’; and turns out it actually is a cause for worry. Snoring is caused by obstructions to the airway when we are asleep, and can actually result in multiple health risks.
So, how to stop snoring?
The answer to that depends upon the actual cause and intensity of your snoring. In a lot of cases, snoring is caused by faulty sleeping habits or unhealthy lifestyle choices. And correcting those habits and put a stop to snoring. On the other hand, heavy snoring that causes difficulty in breathing and frequently wakes you up at night usually need more effective treatment options.
Here’s a closer look at understanding what’s causing your snoring and how to stop snoring.
Understanding Why Your Snore
Being able to identify why snoring occurs is the first step towards knowing how to stop snoring. While a doctor is best suited to identify the true cause of your causing, there are certain common indications in terms of how you snore, that can help pinpoint the cause.
How to Prevent Snoring
As we can see, snoring can stem from lifestyle choices or more serious physical issues. So ways to cure snoring can also be viewed in these two broad categories..
How Can I Stop Snoring Naturally
There are a number of small changes you can make in the bedroom to help reduce or prevent snoring:
Elevating your head using pillows can help move your tongue and jaw forward. This opens up the airway and reduces snoring.
Sleeping on your side instead of on your back can also help reduce snoring.
If you’ve had issue with sinuses, clearing your nasal passage before sleep can help stop snoring.
Using a humidifier while sleeping can also be helpful. Dry air can irritate nasal tissues and cause swelling. So keeping the air moist is a good way to prevent snoring
Losing weight, which can relieve swollen tissues and hence reduce airway blockage during sleep.
Lowering tobacco consumption, as it can help reduce inflammation and fluid retention in the upper airway, allowing for easier breathing.
Reducing alcohol consumption, and hence prevent excessive relaxation of your throat muscles that cause airway obstruction.
General exercise can tone the muscles in your throat, preventing them from collapsing and blocking the airway when you sleep, and thus stop snoring.
Treating your existing allergies, or removing allergens like dust mites and pet hair from the sleeping space can help stop snoring.
Using Devices to Help Stop Snoring
In cases of severe snoring, where lifestyle changes alone do not suffice, you should explore the use of devices that assist in uninterrupted sleep. These could be:
Holding your lower jaw and tongue forward while you sleep ensures that the air passage is free of any blockage. So using an oral device that can do this will help stop snoring. You can get one of these custom-made by a dentist, or get a high-quality device from sleep experts like ResMed.
CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure. A CPAP device that can help you breathe easily in their sleep. It uses a hose and mask to deliver constant and steady air pressure, and prevents your airway from collapsing when you inhale. And hence it’s one of the most effective ways to stop snoring.
This is recommended for people with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), where blocked airway causes snoring and frequent disruption in sleep due to lack of oxygen to the brain.
Surgical Treatment for Snoring
There are also surgical solutions that your doctor can recommend to help put a complete stop snoring. Even though surgery is suggested in only a small percentage of snoring cases, here are the possible options:
Palatal implants - This is done to ensure that the soft palate does not collapse and block the airway during sleep. Small implants are added into the palate to hold it in place, and thus stop the snoring.
Laser-assisted Uvulopalatoplasty (LAUP) - This involves surgically shortening the uvula, the soft tissue that hangs at the back of the throat. There are also small cuts made on the side of the soft palate, and the tissue hardens as the cuts heal. Both these measures ensure that there is no tissue that vibrates when you inhale air, and so there is no snoring.
Somnoplasty - Similar in function to a LAUP, this procedure uses heat to modify the tissues around the soft palate and uvula to stop the snoring. It’s less invasive than LAUP, and can be performed under general anesthesia.
So that’s all the ways on how to stop snoring. However, before you decide to start applying all of this for yourself, it’s important to truly understand the cause of your snoring. While we have shared a way to get a general idea for the causes, it’s always best to consult with a sleep expert.
You can take our Home Sleep Test and our experts can help pinpoint the cause of your snoring. They can also suggest remedies, especially if you require a CPAP device to minimise and stop snoring.