Let’s be honest, moderate snoring is harmless. However, more severe cases can bother both you and your partner, causing night after night of poor-quality sleep.
Aside from the obvious disadvantages, a lack of sleep due to snoring can lead to reduced productivity and serious health problems.
Many factors, such as genetics, the structure of your mouth (a low, thick soft palate), as well as weight and diet can lead to snoring. Honest, effective solutions for snoring are hard to find. Stay away from “miracle” products that offer expensive promises. You would be much wiser to make the simple, gradual lifestyle changes that can lead to less snoring. Try any or all of these long-term solutions (that are also generally good advice for your health):
1. Diet & Exercise
Being even just a few kilograms overweight can cause your snoring. Fatty tissue around your neck can put pressure on and constrict your airways and prevent air from flowing in and out freely while you sleep.
If you snore, you should try and sleep on your side rather than your back. When your head is positioned upright, your tongue, chin and any excess skin under your chin fall into less-than-ideal positioning and can squeeze your breathing passages and cause snoring.
Avoid drinking any kind of alcohol before going to bed – it causes your neck muscles to become over-relaxed during sleep. The loose, relaxed tissue will cause more blockage of airways and be more easily vibrated, which causes the sound associated with snoring.
Smoke, while bad for your health in so many ways, also worsens symptoms of snoring. Smoke irritates the lining of the nasal cavity and throat, causing swelling. Blocked nasal passages reduce the effectiveness of your oxygen intake systems and breathing.
5. Medical Alternatives
Allergies can congest nasal passages and irritate the throat. Seek treatment for allergies, including antihistamine medicines and/or nasal sprays. A doctor will be able to determine whether you are suffering from an allergy or sinusitis – chronic congestion of the sinuses. In extreme cases, snoring can be treated by surgery, which aims to correct structural problems in the throat. Snoring caused by loose tissue in the soft palate of the mouth can be fixed with a medical procedure called radiofrequency ablation, which uses heat to tighten the skin in the area.
6. Commercial devices
Several commercial devices can be found which offer help for snorers: nasal strips, throat sprays and perhaps the most effective, simple chin straps that reposition the jaw to ease airflow.
Chin straps work by supporting the jaw and keeping the jaw and tongue in the correct alignment, thereby keeping the airway unobstructed. Unobstructed airways = NO MORE SNORING!
Apparently, these jaw supporting chin straps work wonders on about 90% of snoring cases.