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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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              Kenny Kline

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              Last Updated on December 2, 2019

              10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

              10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

              Plato knew that the body and mind are intimately linked. And in the late 1800s, the Mayo brothers, famous physicians, estimated that over half of all hospital beds are filled with people suffering from frustration, anxiety, worry and despair. Causes of worry are everywhere, in our relationships and our jobs, so it’s key we find ways to take charge of the stress.

              In his classic book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, Dale Carnegie offers tools to ditch excessive worrying that help you make a worry-free environment for your private and professional life.

              These are the top 10 tips to grab worry by the horns and wrestle it to the ground:

              1. Make Your Decision and Never Look Back

              Have you ever made a decision in life only to second-guess it afterwards? Of course you have! It’s hard not to wonder whether you’ve done the right thing and whether there might still be time to take another path.

              But keep this in mind: you’ve already made your decision, so act decisively on it and dismiss all your anxiety about it.

              Don’t stop to hesitate, to reconsider, or to retrace your steps. Once you’ve chosen a course of action, stick to it and never waver.

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              2. Live for Today, Package Things up in “Day-Tight Compartments”

              You know that feeling: tossing, turning and worrying over something that happened or something that might, well into the wee hours. To avoid this pointless worrying, you need “day-tight compartments”. Much as a ship has different watertight compartments, your own “day-tight” ones are a way to limit your attention to the present day.

              The rule is simple: whatever happened in the past or might happen in the future must not intrude upon today. Everything else has to wait its turn for tomorrow’s box or stay stuck in the past.

              3. Embrace the Worst-Case Scenario and Strategize to Offset It

              If you’re worried about something, ask yourself: “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” Could you lose your job? Be jailed? Get killed?

              Whatever the “worst” might be, it’s probably not so world-ending. You could probably even bounce back from it!

              If, for example, you lose your job, you could always find another. Once you accept the worst-case scenario and get thinking about contingency plans, you’ll feel calmer.

              4. Put a Lid on Your Worrying

              Sometimes we stress endlessly about negative experiences when just walking away from them would serve us far better.

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              To make squashing that worry easier, try this strategy, straight from stock traders: it’s called the “stop-loss” order, where shares are bought at a certain price, and then their price development is observed. If things go badly and the share price hits a certain point, they are sold off immediately. This stops the loss from increasing further.

              In the same manner, you can put a stop-loss order on things that cause you stress and grief.

              5. Fake It ‘Til You Make It – Happiness, That Is

              We can’t directly influence how we feel, but we can nudge ourselves to change through how we think and act.

              If you’re feeling sad or low, slap a big grin on your face and whistle a chipper tune. You’ll find it impossible to be blue when acting cheerful. But you don’t necessarily need to act outwardly happy; you can simply think happier thoughts instead.

              Marcus Aurelius summed it up aptly:

              “Our life is what our thoughts make it.”

              6. Give for the Joy of Giving

              When we perform acts of kindness, we often do so with the expectation of gratitude. But harboring such expectations will probably leave you disappointed.

              One person well aware of this fact was the lawyer Samuel Leibowitz. Over the course of his career, Leibowitz saved 78 people from going to the electric chair. Guess how many thanked him? None.

              So stop expecting gratitude when you’re kind to someone. Instead, take joy from the act yourself.

              7. Dump Envy – Enjoy Being Uniquely You

              Your genes are completely unique. Even if someone had the same parents as you, the likelihood of someone identical to you being born is just one in 300,000 billion.

              Despite this amazing fact, many of us long to be someone else, thinking the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. But living your life this way is pointless. Embrace your uniqueness and get comfortable with who you really are: How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

              8. Haters Will Hate — It Just Means You’re Doing It Right

              When you’re criticized, it often means you’re accomplishing something noteworthy. In fact, let’s take it a step further and consider this: the more you’re criticized, the more influential and important a person you likely are.

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              So the next time somebody talks you down, don’t let it get to you. Take it as a compliment!

              9. Chill Out! Learn to Rest Before You Get Tired

              Scientists agree that emotions are the most common cause of fatigue. And it works the other way around, too: fatigue produces more worries and negative emotions.

              It should be clear, therefore, that you’ve got to relax regularly before you feel tired. Otherwise, worries and fatigue will accumulate on top of each other.

              It’s impossible to worry when you are relaxed, and regular rest helps you maintain your ability to work effectively.

              10. Get Organized and Enjoy Your Work

              There are few greater sources of misery in life than having to work, day in, day out, in a job you despise. It would make sense then that you shouldn’t pick a job you hate, or even just dislike doing.

              But say you already have a job. How can you make it more enjoyable and worry-free? One way is to stay organized: a desk full of unanswered mails and memos is sure to breed worries.

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              Better yet, rethink about the job you’re doing: What to Do When You Hate Your Job but Want a Successful Career

              More About Living a Fulfilling Life

              Featured photo credit: Tyler Nix via unsplash.com

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