Snoring can be a problem for many people. Often it’s nothing more than a mild nuisance and may not be a cause for concern, but it can also be a sign of a health problem.
Some snorers have mild cases that can be treated with simple home remedies, while others have severe snoring or sleep apnea that may require professional help. Depending on your symptoms, it’s important to speak with a doctor about your snoring and get an evaluation by an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist.
The first thing you can do to stop snoring is to make sure your sleep environment is safe. If there is too much noise or the airflow is too low, this can disrupt your sleep and make you snore loudly. It’s best to avoid bedtime activities like watching television or listening to music before you go to sleep and to make sure that your bedroom is quiet and dark.
Another step to stopping snoring is to change your sleeping position. Changing to a side or back position, or sleeping on your stomach can help ease breathing and increase airflow, which will reduce snoring.
You can also try mouth exercises to loosen the muscles in your tongue and soft palate, which helps reduce snoring. You can do these exercises in the comfort of your own home, or you can visit a physical therapist for customized treatment.
Sleeping on your back can also cause the tissues in your throat to relax and narrow during sleep, which will make you snore more. Try switching to sleeping on your side, or investing in a body pillow to keep you in this position.
Changing your eating habits can also help you stop snoring by helping to reduce your body weight. If you are overweight or obese, consider working with a dietitian or weight loss counselor to design a plan that is healthy and effective for you.
Drinking alcohol, smoking and taking certain medications can aggravate snoring. If you’re a heavy drinker, you should cut back and focus on drinking water or herbal tea. Smoking can worsen snoring by relaxing your breathing muscles and increasing the risk of obstructive sleep apnea, a condition that stops you from breathing for short periods of time during the night.
A hot bath or shower before bedtime can also help open up your airways, which may reduce snoring. A facial steam bowl can also be used to soothe your sinuses and loosen up your airways before you go to sleep, but be sure to keep the steam away from your eyes to prevent it from burning.
Other at-home snoring remedies include using mouth sprays or humidifiers before bed to decongest your nasal passages and avoiding too much caffeine, alcohol or other stimulating substances before you go to sleep. The key is to try these tips, one at a time until you find the right ones for your specific needs and your personal sleep style.