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How To Stop Snoring? These Remedies Help You Sleep Better

How To Stop Snoring? These Remedies Help You Sleep Better

If you’re one of the 45% of adults who snore sometimes, then listen up: Snoring is more than a nuisance to your bed partner. It’s also a threat to your health.

That’s because snoring can decrease both the quantity and quality of your sleep, and sleep deprivation has been linked to depression, memory problems, weight gain, heart disease, diabetes and even an increased risk of death. (If you’re one of the 75% of snorers with obstructive sleep apnea, your risk of heart disease is even higher!) Snoring can also cause tension and resentment between romantic partners, leading to a decrease in emotional and sexual intimacy.

Do I have your attention now? If you’re ready to stop snoring once and for all, read on to learn the common causes of snoring and how to address snoring in both the short and long term.

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      Causes of Snoring

      The basic issue at the root of all snoring is an inability to freely move air through the nose and throat, which then vibrates the nearby tissues and causes that classic rattling sound. A broad range of factors can increase the chances that you’ll snore. Among the most common are:

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      • Pregnancy
      • Allergies, congestion, or other nasal and sinus problems
      • Obesity
      • Smoking
      • Consuming alcohol
      • Drugs and medications (especially muscle relaxants)
      • Aging
      • Genetic factors

      While you’ll need to work with a medical professional to determine the exact cause of your snoring, you won’t have any trouble diagnosing the symptoms. The main sign that you’re a snorer is the loud, rattling sound that we all know and don’t love. Other symptoms include experiencing a dry mouth or sore throat upon waking. If you have sleep apnea, you may even experience:

      • Pauses in breathing (or choking) while you sleep
      • Daytime fatigue
      • Headaches
      • Irritability
      • Trouble concentrating

      How to Stop Snoring: Short-Term Solutions

      Want to decrease your chances of snoring tonight (and on a nightly basis)? Then implement some or all of these strategies every night.

      1. Use a humidifier

      Some folks may be more prone to snoring when the bedroom’s air is dry, because dry air can irritate (or even swell) nose and throat membranes. Using a humidifier will help maintain consistent moisture content in the air, which may relieve snoring brought on by dryness. On a similar note, be sure to stay hydrated.

      2. Switch to a new sleep position

      As anyone who sleeps beside a snorer can tell you, sleeping on the back can often ramp up snoring. The easy fix? Try training yourself to sleep on your side. If you find that you keep rolling onto your back, consider wedging a body pillow behind you or even attaching a tennis ball to the back of your sleep shirt. Bonus: Sleeping on your left side can bring additional health benefits.

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      3. Avoid alcohol before bed

      This might be tough to implement if you’re a fan of hitting the bars on weekends, but eschewing alcohol for the four or five hours leading up to bedtime can help reduce your chances of snoring. It’s also a good idea to avoid taking muscle relaxants unless absolutely necessary; consult a medical professional if you feel that a given prescription is contributing to your snoring.

      4. Try an oral appliance

      Oral appliances (aka mouthpieces) are anti-snoring devices that—much like a retainer—are placed over the teeth during sleep. The concept behind the devices is that they’ll keep the user’s airway open, helping to ensure that breath moves freely through the nose and throat.

      5. Open up your nasal passages

      This can be a particularly effective way to stop snoring if you’re suffering from allergies or congestion. Try taking a hot shower before bed or using a neti pot, nasal strips, or a nasal spray in order to open the nasal passages and make it easier to breathe freely.

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          How to Stop Snoring: Long-Term Solutions

          In addition to the short-term strategies outlined above, there are a number of steps you can take to reduce or eliminate snoring over the long term.

          1. Keep your bedroom and bedding clean

          Dust mites and other allergens (such as pollen, dust, or pet dander) can hide in unwashed bedding and provoke congestion, thereby increasing the chances that you’ll snore. Make sure to vacuum and dust your living space on a weekly basis, and wash your bedding (including your pillows) on a similar timetable. But go ahead and leave the bed unmade—research suggests that making the bed can actually provide safe harbor for dust mites.

          2. Stop smoking

          The smoke from cigarettes has been shown to irritate the throat and nasal passages, thereby provoking congestion and inhibiting air flow. Quit smoking, and you’ll breathe more easily through your nose and throat—making it less likely that you’ll snore.

          3. Practice throat exercises

          There’s some evidence that practicing mouth and throat exercises on a daily basis can strengthen muscles in the respiratory tract (meaning they’ll be less likely to collapse and constrict air flow while you’re sleeping).

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          If none of these short- or long-term solutions is doing the trick, then it’s time to consult a medical professional. A physician will be able to help you determine the root causes of your snoring, rule out more serious issues like sleep apnea, and identify additional avenues for treatment, such as surgery. Be persistent until you’ve found a solution that truly helps you stop snoring—your health and relationships will be better for it.

          4. Exercise

          Regular exercise tones muscles all over the body—including in the throat. That means that throat muscles are less likely to collapse, making it more likely that you’ll be able to breathe freely in your sleep. Exercise may also help with weight loss, thereby reducing snoring that stems from obesity.

           
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              Featured photo credit: Monkey Business Images via shutterstock.com

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              Last Updated on December 2, 2018

              How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

              How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

              Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

              The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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              The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

              Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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              Review Your Past Flow

              Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

              Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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              Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

              Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

              Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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              Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

              Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

              We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

              Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

                Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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