You need to learn how to not snore for many reasons. People who snore have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and other health problems. And, snorers affect the sleep of others in the house – not just in the bedroom! I can hear my brother-in-law snoring when we visit the in-laws for Christmas, and he sleeps on a different floor of the house. These tips on how to stop snoring are effective because they range from singing (yes, you read right) to a mouth guard.
Sleep apnea in particular can cause swings in blood pressure, decreases in blood (and brain) oxygenation levels, and stressful abrupt awakenings. This can contribute to an increased risk of stroke, heart attack, and irregular heart rhythms. See how important a good, sound sleep is? I should’ve started this blog years ago.
Some sleep doctors say a Doctor’s Nightguard Advanced Comfort is the most effective long-term sleep solution for people who snore, but it depends on your reason for snoring. Since a mouthpiece is an inexpensive and effective way to stop snoring for many people, it may be worth a try.
How to Not Snore
The first step to stopping snoring is to learn why you snore — and what causes snoring. Snoring is caused by relaxed and sagging tissues at the back of the throat. As you fall deeper into sleep, the tongue relaxes, and so do the soft tissues of the throat and the roof of the mouth (soft palate). These tissues can sag into the airway, causing it to narrow. As air is inhaled or exhaled through the narrowed opening, the relaxed tissues of the soft palate vibrate. The result is snoring.
Though most snoring is harmless, people who snore should consult a doctor to rule out sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is when breathing stops during sleep, and can be a serious health concern.
1. Talk to a sleep doctor about the cause of your snoring
The best snoring remedy is for you to find out the cause of your snoring. Several surgical procedures can help reduce snoring, either by cutting away excess mouth and throat tissue or by stiffening tissues of the soft palate to prevent vibration and sagging. Surgery is usually considered a last resort because it can cause side effects and complications. And surgery to stop snoring isn’t that effective – there’s only a 50% chance you’ll stop snoring over the long term. Why? Because natural aging causes those tissues to soften and lead to snoring, so surgery is a short-term remedy on how to not snore anymore.
2. Avoid alcohol – it disrupts sleep and can lead to snoring
Ah, the sleep of the “happy” drunk. Alcohol consumption can cause excessive muscle relaxation and increased snoring. Avoiding alcohol for at least four hours before bedtime may help you stop snoring.
3. Change sleep positions to stop snoring
Do you sleep on your back? Your tongue may sag and narrow your airway during sleep, which leads to snoring. A sleep mouth piece, which I mentioned at the top of this article, can help you stop snoring. Also, a sleep doctor can suggest ways to learn to sleep comfortably in other positions.
4. Try one of the easiest sleep solutions: nasal strips or nasal spray to stop snoring
Adhesive nasal strips or corticosteroid nasal sprays can help reduce nasal obstruction that can contribute to snoring. According to the Mayo Clinic, nasal strips are effective for many people who snore. These strips may be more comfortable than a mouth piece for snoring, and may be the easiest, mose effective way to stop snoring.
Breathe Right Nasal Strips are a popular natural sleep remedy because thy don’t involve prescription medications, sleep doctors, or surgeries.
5. Quit smoking
Smoking is associated with an increased risk of snoring. People who quit smoking have a lower rate of snoring, and get better sleep at night. But quitting smoking might replace the “How do I note snore?” question with a “How do I quit smoking?” question
6. Consider a CPAP machine to stop snoring
Some doctors say one of the most effective snoring remedies is a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine — but it depends on the reason you’re snoring. The CPAP machine delivers pressurized air through a mask, keeping the upper airway open during sleep. Some people have difficulty wearing a mask at night. An oral appliance from a specially trained dentist or orthodontist can help keep the throat open, too, and may be less obtrusive than a CPAP machine.
7. Avoid prescription sleeping pills
You might consider taking sleeping pills so you can sleep through the night without waking yourself up. But this isn’t a good tip on how to not snore; non-drug company funded studies have shown that these pills only increase sleep duration by about 10 minutes on average. Even if it works, the effect wears off if used long-term. For many sleeping pills – even the newer ones – the side effects can outweigh any potential benefit.
8. Research the drawbacks of various anti-snoring dental devices
Anti-snoring dental devices might help you sleep better, and help you stop snoring. They form to your upper and lower teeth, and pull your lower jaw and the back of your tongue forward. Your breathing passageways are opened, allowing you to breathe better, which will help you sleep. No guarantee that they’ll help you not snore anymore, though. A drawback to these anti-snoring devices is that they don’t mold to your teeth very well and can’t pull your jaw forward enough to make a huge difference. But these dental devices do help some people sleep better. They don’t, however, treat any underlying obstructive sleep apnea. You may be just covering up your snoring, but not dealing with the cause of your snoring. Untreated obstructive sleep apnea can lead to depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, heart attack, or stroke. If you do try an anti-snoring dental device, get one from your dentist.
My favorite tip on how to not snore anymore is a contour sleep pillow for people who sleep on their backs. The Sleep Innovations Contour Memory Foam Pillow puts the back of your head lower than the area behind your neck. By tilting your head back somewhat, it opens up your airway significantly. Another tip on how to stop snoring is to use an Asian husk-filled roll-type pillow to sleep better and perhaps snore less.
Singing also has been promoted to help snoring and sleep apnea. There are various singing and tongue exercise programs that may help you sleep better and snore less. Singing may improve throat muscle control, and exercise your tongue muscles. And, here’s another way to get a great sleep at night: some studies that report using the Aboriginal musical instrument, the didgeridoo, can improve sleep quality.
For more info on songs for snorers, read How Singing Helps You Quit Snoring.
11. Look into nasal dilator strips – but do your research
“Anti-snoring devices” such as Nasal Dilators for Breathing Aid for Snoring and Deviated Septums aren’t always strong enough to keep your nostrils open. Sometimes you need something stronger, if you want to learn how not to snore. There are various internal nasal clips that widen your nostrils while you sleep. Opening up your nose is found to help sleep apnea significantly only in about 10% of people. But when it works, you’ll know – because you’ll not snore anymore.
If you have any tips on how to stop snoring, please comment below…