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5 Lifestyle Fixes That Can Help You Snore Less

5 Lifestyle Fixes That Can Help You Snore Less

Snoring is an issue which can often keep partners and loved ones awake, but it can also be a problem for the snorers themselves.

People who snore lightly or infrequently, referred to as grade one snorers, are not as likely to encounter related health risk, but those who snore on a habitual basis (grade two and three snorers) will often find that their daytime function is affected, and their snoring may be indicative of a more serious issue.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a condition where a person’s airways become blocked while they are asleep. After about 10 seconds, the brain, deprived of oxygen, will force the body awake or into a lighter stage of sleep in order to recover the breathing rhythm it needs.

For a person with severe OSA, this process can occur once every couple of minutes, with the nightly number of episodes even reaching the triple digits. While the excessive daytime sleepiness caused by OSA-related sleep disruption is an obvious safety risk for those working with dangerous equipment or getting behind the wheel, it can also lead to raised blood pressure levels and heart problems.

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OSA will require medical attention from a doctor, and usually treatment in the form of a device to assist nighttime breathing. Heavy snorers who don’t have OSA can sometimes benefit from oral devices too, but there are other lifestyle measures they can take to help them snore less.

Here are five healthy changes a snorer can make to give themselves and those around them a better night’s sleep.

Drink Alcohol Responsibly

It’s a long-held misconception that alcohol helps you sleep. It doesn’t. In fact, it can, and often will, make your night much less comfortable, particularly when partaken in shortly before bedtime.

The myth most likely stems from the notion that alcohol is a relaxant, and it is, but it doesn’t necessarily help you sleep better. The relaxing agents in alcohol actually loosen tissues in the palate and airways, which are the surfaces that vibrate and make noise during snoring. This narrows the air passages too, so that the body has to work harder to get the oxygen it needs.

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Alcohol also typically reduces the number of times you’ll enter periods of REM sleep during the night, so that you won’t feel anywhere near as refreshed when you wake up.

Those looking to reduce their snoring habits can stand to benefit by practising moderation. This means keeping to within recommended lower-risk limits (not more than 14 units per week) and having at least two alcohol-free days per week.

Stop Smoking

Snoring and OSA are just two items in the long list of reasons to give up smoking. Tobacco smoke can increase bronchial inflammation and swelling in the airways, making breathing during sleep harder, and in turn making snoring louder.

Several studies have linked smoking with OSA and suggested a level of co-dependence between the two. Stopping is generally viewed as the recommended course of action for those with the condition or at increased risk (just as it is for anyone else).

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Eat Healthy and Exercise

Being overweight plays perhaps the most significant role in snoring and OSA, due to the presence of fatty tissue around the neck and airway causing an obstruction.

Eating a healthy and balanced diet and getting enough exercise are key in tackling snoring and lowering the risk of related problems.

Drink Plenty of Water

Many of us have learned the lesson of not drinking too much water before bedtime the hard way, when we have to rise several times in the night to go to the toilet.

However, getting enough fluids earlier on throughout the rest of the day is essential for those who want to limit their snoring. Dehydration can cause tissues in the nasal channels and throat to become sticky and cohere to airway walls, again leading to obstruction and more noise when air passes through.

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Those looking to get snoring under control should try to meet the recommended two litres (which is about eight cups or four small bottles) of water per day.

Keep a Clean Bed

A dirty, unkempt sleeping area, aside from being a hygiene issue, can cause several health problems — snoring is one of these.

Over time, dust mites collect in duvets, pillows, and bed sheets. These can cause irritation when breathed in, particularly for those with allergic rhinitis. The more inflamed the airways become, the more likely snoring is. To prevent this, maintain a clean bed. Bed sheets should be washed once a week and pillows should be fluffed every couple of days and washed every couple of months (as should your duvet).

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Tom Willis

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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