So, your partner snores? Or, you have people complaining of your snoring?

Well then, you are not alone!!

Snoring is a common problem, and our changing lifestyles have contributed more to this annoying habit. It happens to be the third most common reasons for divorce in the UK and USA.

Why do people snore?

This irksome problem is a result of the flow of air through our throats when we breathe in our sleep that causes the relaxed throat tissues to vibrate producing the irritating sound. Indeed, snoring finds link with some serious, underlying health issues such as obesity, sleep deprivation, obstructive sleep apnoea and the like.

Here are some quick tips and tricks that you may try to overcome this habit and get a good night’s sleep for yourself and others around you!

1. Sleep on your side

When you sleep on your back, your tongue and soft palate flop to the end of your throat, blocking the airflow through your throat and causing the annoying snoring sound. Sleeping on your side helps keep your air passage inside your throat unobstructed, reducing snores to some degree.

2. If you are overweight, try losing some weight!

Obesity causes the lungs and neck to obstruct the air intake causing snores and a more severe condition like sleep apnoea. Losing some weight may help reduce the amount of tissue in the throat, clearing the air passage and reducing snoring.

3. Use oral appliances to open nasal passages

Nasal congestion could be a cause of your snoring. Ask your dentist for an oral device or dental mouthpiece that can help keep your air passages open, making it easier to breathe. You may also try stiffened adhesive strips or nasal dilator that lift and open the nasal passages, thereby decrease airflow resistance, improving breathing and reducing snoring.

4. Try natural remedies

Various natural remedies can help with snoring. Nature provides several natural antihistamines, such as nettles, mint tea, peppermint oil, eucalyptus, fenugreek and spearmint, which do an excellent job in curing snoring. Drinking a concoction made with dried nettle leaves before bedtime can help combat allergies that cause snoring. Similarly, gargling with mint tea or a peppermint mouthwash can help shrink the lining of the nose and throat and help with snoring, especially if the condition is a temporary one caused by an allergy or cold.

5. Watch your diet!

Believe it or not, your diet goes a long way to causing and curing snoring! Big meals at night, alcohol consumption and dairy products can make snoring worse. Wondering how? Alcohol relaxes the throat muscles, making snores more likely. Similarly, large meals just before bedtime cause the full stomach to push against the diaphragm, affecting the rhythmic breathing and causing snore. Further, dairy products leave a layer of mucus in the mouth and throat that blocks the airways, making snoring worsen.

6. Bring home a humidifier!

Dry air is said to contribute to snoring. Adding a humidifier or steam vaporiser to your bedroom can help keep the air passages moist, helping avoid snoring. If a humidifier seems like a significant investment to you, you can even try steam inhalation before going to bed to moisten your airways.

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7. Try replacing your pillows

While poor sleep habits are said to effect snoring, allergens in the bedroom, especially your pillows could also contribute significantly to the snoring!  Dust mites that accumulate on the pillows, curtains, bedsheets and other corners are enough to cause allergies that reduce the airflow through the nose, forcing you to breathe through your mouth. Thus, if you want to decrease your likelihood of snoring, it is best to keep your home clean and dust-free. Also, try fluffing your pillows regularly and replacing them every six-eight months to keep these allergens to a minimum.

8. Keep yourself hydrated

Like one needs to keep their airways moistened, one also needs to keep their body well hydrated as the secretions in the nose become more vicious when dehydrated. These stickier secretions can cause snoring. 

9. Try these ‘anti-snoring’ throat exercises

A stronger tongue and throat help in avoiding over-relaxation of the muscles in these areas. Specific exercises help in strengthening the upper respiratory tract muscles and therefore reduce snoring. Here are some exercises that can help:

  • Repeat aloud the vowels (a, e, i, o, u) for around 3 minutes daily.
  • Put your upper and lower molars together and purse your lips and hold for 30 seconds. Next, open your mouth stretching your molars far apart. Repeat this exercise 10-15 times.
  • Open your mouth wide and try to repeatedly contract the muscles at the back of the throat for about 30 seconds.
  • Open your mouth wide and move the jaw to the left, hold for 30 seconds and then repeat on the other side.
  • Place the tip of the tongue behind the top front teeth and gradually slide the tongue backwards for at least 3 minutes daily.

And, finally, spend time singing. Singing helps to increase muscle control in the throat and can significantly help in reducing snoring!

10. Blow your nose well before going to bed

A blocked nose causes one to breathe through the mouth – a condition that causes snoring. So, it’s a good idea to blow one’s nose well before retiring to bed. Using some nasal spray to unblock your nose could also be an excellent way to ensure cleared airways.

If none of these snoring tips works for you, it is best to seek medical help as this could be due to an underlying medical condition that may need medical or sometimes even surgical intervention.

Medical Disclaimer: The information and reference materials contained here are intended solely for the general information of the reader. Patients and consumers should review the information carefully with their professional health care provider. The information is not intended to replace medical advice offered by physicians. You should consult your physician before beginning a new nutritional or fitness program.

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