Did you know that snoring is the 3rd most common reason for divorce in the USA? With around 37 million adults snoring every night, these statistics sound like the story of almost every American household.
So do you snore regularly or just occasionally? Well, both ways, you need some easy hacks to stop snoring immediately, as your spouse might get deprived of a good night’s sleep.
Although the underlying causes behind snoring vary across individuals, some snoring remedies can assist you in getting rid of this habit altogether.
We understand that you already have many things on your plate to deal with, from being the victim of family jokes to facing Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).
So, right here in this article, you will get to know all the possible reasons why people snore and how one can avoid it.
What Is Snoring?
When we get deeper into sleep, the tissues in our throat relax and, to some extent, cover the airways. These tissues tend to vibrate and produce a harsh sound when we breathe during sleep.
This hoarse sound is known as snoring. If your airway becomes too narrow, you are more likely to breathe heavily.
People, who snore once in a blue moon, are on the safer side, but those who snore frequently may be having a chronic condition that they may not be aware of.
How Does Snoring Differ From Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a breathing disorder in which your airway is restricted or collapsed when you’re sleeping. This results in repeated breath lapses.
On the other hand, snoring is one of the several symptoms of OSA. But not every person who snores has OSA.
In OSA, a person suffers from disturbed sleep and unbalanced oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in the body. The snoring in OSA is louder, and it seems like the person is either choking or gasping for breath.
While snoring occurs occasionally, frequently, or regularly and doesn’t induce any sort of severe side effects.
The 7 Leading Reasons Why You Can’t Avoid Snoring
You must be wondering why people snore and what causes the tissue in our throat to expand. Well, several reasons lead you to breathe heavily at night, all of which are a part of your lifestyle. This means that you’re intentionally or unintentionally provoking your body to snore.
Here are 7 things that can make you snore:
- Frequent Alcohol Consumption
If you are a regular alcohol user, and you often take it before bedtime, it could be the reason why you snore every night. When you drink alcohol, it eases your throat muscles and does not allow you to resist the blocked air passage. As a result, you make hoarse sounds during sleep.
- Nasal Complications
Some nasal complications are also a root cause of snoring. For example, when you have a stuffy and inflamed nose, you are more likely to breathe heavily during sleep.
Moreover, you might have Deviated Nasal Septum if you have an off-center or crooked septum (the soft one between your nostrils).
This condition occurs when the thin wall between your nasal passages displaces to one side. In addition, when this thin wall or nasal septum is off-centered or crooked, it makes one nasal passage narrow enough to reduce the airflow.
This makes you breathe heavily, and you snore during sleep.
- Lack Of Sleep
When a sleep-deprived individual goes to sleep, his throat tends to relax more, and therefore he snores. This usually occurs when you have had a long tiring day.
- Your Sleeping Posture
When you sleep lying down straight on your back, you snore louder. But why? The answer lies in the core rule of physics – the gravitational force.
Gravity tends to affect your neck by constricting the air passage directly. Hence, your airway becomes narrower, leading you to breathe heavily.
- Structure Of Your Mouth
In some cases, the anatomy of the mouth leads to snores. For instance, if you have more oversized tonsils and throat tissues, which restrict your airflow often, you are more likely to snore.
Believe it or not, your overall body weight contributes a lot to your snoring habit. Usually, obese or overweight people have larger necks with layers of fats. This fat around the neck resists the airflow when they are lying down, leading to snoring.
- Sleep Apnea
Snoring gets intensified in people who have Sleep Apnea. In this condition, you repetitively stop breathing during sleep for 7-10 seconds and wake up choking. It is an alarming situation in which no snoring remedies can help you, and professional treatment is the only solution.
Is Snoring Dangerous?
Whether snoring is lethal or not depends on multiple factors, like its types and frequency.
- Infrequent snoring: Light or infrequent snoring is normal, and almost every person experiences it. You will not need any medical treatment for snoring in this condition. However, your partner may get bothered by the snoring noise, so you can at least try some snoring remedies.
- Primary snoring: This condition includes snoring for more than three nights per week. It occurs more frequently than light snoring, making it worse for your partner to sleep with you.
However, you should not consider it a health issue unless you notice sleep disruptions or sleep apnea. If you do so, consult immediately with your doctor to get better treatment for snoring.
- OSA-related snoring: This type is more problematic than it sounds. If OSA remains untreated for a prolonged time, it leads to several complications for a person’s sleep and general wellness.
If you don’t go for treatment, you may experience dangerous daytime drowsiness, heart issues, high blood pressure, seizures, diabetes, and depression.
How To Stop Snoring?
Once you get to know why you are snoring, you can quickly move towards the next step: How to stop snoring?
Typically, people try every possible way to stop snoring, from trying different sleeping positions to using sleeping pillows, and trying various snoring remedies to undergo surgeries.
Although mild snoring episodes that occur rarely are not alarming, if you are snoring every other night, you need to see a doctor. It may be a symptom of an underlying chronic condition.
Here are 10 simple solutions that can be your ultimate treatment for snoring:
- No Alcohol Before Bed
As we already discussed before, alcohol tends to relax our throat muscles, and hence, the air passage gets partially blocked.
Doctors always advise cutting down alcohol before bedtime because it is the primary contributor to increased risk of snoring.
So if you are a regular alcohol user and worried about the uncomfortable snoring episodes that disrupt your sleep, you need to stop consuming it at least 4-6 hours before bedtime.
- Opt for a Healthy Lifestyle and Lose Some Weight
You may not consider it big, but a slight change in your lifestyle can improve your sleep. As you know, overweight individuals have extra fat around their necks that blocks the airways and leads to snoring.
So how to stop snoring if you’re overweight? The only way to get rid of snoring, in this case, is to lose weight by formulating a healthy diet plan and including a workout session in your routine.
Yes, you can’t lose weight overnight, but following a routine consistently only will help.
- Sleep On Your Side
As you know, sleeping straight makes your tongue occupy the space at the end of the throat. This causes hindrance in the proper airflow through airways.
So try changing your position by sleeping on either side to make your smooth airflow smooth and restriction-free.
- Sleep With A Raised Head
Another position you can try is sleeping on many pillows to keep your head slightly higher than usual. If your bed is movable, you can also raise it to some extent. It would help in opening your airways completely, and hence, would eliminate snoring episodes during sleep.
- Get Your Allergies Checked
Sleep hygiene matters a lot in improving sleep and general wellness.
So have you ever wondered if you might have allergens in your bedroom? Have you changed your pillow covers while making your bed? What about that dusty fan right at the upper ceiling?
These questions need to be checked every night to make sure you don’t snore.
Besides, if you feel fine during the day but congested during the night, the dust mites or any other allergens in your room can be the reason behind it. So change your pillows every 6 months and the bedsheets every week.
- Are You Sleep Deprived?
Sleep deprivation is another leading cause of snoring as poor sleep schedules, and alcohol consumption go hand in hand. When you hit your bed after a strenuous day, the muscles in your throat become more relaxed, and you tend to snore.
- Don’t Smoke!
According to a study, smoking increases the potential for snoring. When you smoke, your upper airways tend to inflame and contribute to snoring. Therefore it is essential to quit smoking if it is the only reason leading to heavy breathing during sleep.
- Avoid Taking Sedative Medications Before Sleep
Relaxants and antidepressants are other key reasons that affect your goodnight’s sleep by inducing snoring. In addition, sedative medications make your throat relaxed, and that’s how your air passage becomes partially closed.
Snoring sounds are pretty evident with the blocked air passage.
- Clean Your Nasal Passage
Snoring sound is more pronounced when you have a stuffy nose and blocked nasal passage. Steaming for 15 minutes with menthol crystals, a hot shower right before bedtime, and nasal strips come in handy for cleaning the stuffed nose.
- Stay Hydrated
Do you know drinking less water throughout the day also contributes to snoring? This is because when you drink less water, the nose discharges more sticky secretions that create snoring sounds when you breathe with force.
So, it is wise to have at least 10-12 glasses of water every day to keep snoring at bay.
Devices Which Can Be Used As the Treatment for Snoring
With the advancement in technology, stop snoring devices have become successful in controlling snoring and contributing to a good night’s sleep.
Continue reading to know about some of the devices beneficial in treating snoring.
- Oral Appliances
According to research, oral appliances have higher efficacy for treating Sleep Apnea and snoring. This is because these devices easily open your airways and help you sleep peacefully.
Moreover, these aids do not induce any adverse side effects. That’s why most dentists recommend the patients go for an oral device that perfectly suits their mouth structure.
- Continuous Positive Air Pressure Machine (CPAP)
CPAP machine is another oral device that helps stop snoring and eases sleep apnea. The device consists of a mask that fits right on your face. When you turn on this device, pressurized air passes down your throat and keeps your air passage open.
However, never try to use a CPAP machine yourself; always consult your doctor before using it.
Surgeries That Can Eliminate Snoring
If the solutions mentioned above don’t work for you, you can go for surgery. Fortunately, many surgical procedures have become successful in bringing an end to your every night snoring episodes.
Some of them include:
- Palatal Implants
Palatal implants are the easiest and quickest solution to snoring that just takes up 8 minutes of your time. After inducing local anesthesia, the surgeon fixes three PET (polyethylene terephthalate) implants in the soft palate of your throat. This procedure costs $1000 – $2500.
The Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) is a surgical procedure that involves tightening the throat tissue. The relaxed tissue, once pulled, does not obstruct the air passage. More recently, laser-based UPPP is introduced to treat snoring and Sleep Apnea.
According to research, this surgery is more effective if we compare it with Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty.
Somnoplasty is also known as Radiofrequency Tissue Ablation. In this procedure, the surgeon targets the soft palate with low-intensity radio waves. As a result, the soft palate is reduced, creating more space for a smooth breathing process.
Habitual Snoring Complications
If you snore habitually, you’re not just disrupting your partner’s sleep but also causing complications to your health. Moreover, OSA-related snoring also becomes risky if not treated for an extended period.
Some complications include:
- Daytime sleepiness
- Mood swings (anger and frustration)
- Difficulty in focusing
- Several high-stake heart conditions, including increased blood pressure, seizures, and Arrhythmias
- Massive changes in behavior, like violence and aggression
- Learning problems in kids
- Increased road accidents due to lack of sleep and concentration
Therefore, you must always go for snoring remedies as soon as you observe it transforming into a habit rather than just a one-time thing.
Although snoring at night seems to be a natural phenomenon, it can prove to be a leading cause of chronic diseases later on.
Hence it is essential to get rid of snoring by following any of the home-based solutions mentioned above. If these solutions do not prove helpful, try oral appliances and surgeries.
Moreover, it is essential to consult your health care professional if you cannot sleep peacefully for at least 7-8 hours due to heavy breathing at night. It may be a symptom of an alarming situation, such as heart disease.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. When Should You Worry About Snoring?
It is essential to see your doctor if you continuously wake up at night due to snoring. This condition is called Sleep Apnea, and it may become chronic if it goes untreated.
2. How Can I Stop My Snoring?
You can stop snoring by following the methods mentioned below:
- Don’t smoke.
- Quit the use of alcohol before sleep.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Don’t sleep straight; instead, sleep on your side.
- Lose weight if you are overweight.
- Clean your nasal passage with steam or nasal strips.
- Sleep deprivation also leads to snoring, so get enough sleep.
- Don’t take sleep-inducing pills before bed.
- Change your pillows and bedding every week.
Go for stop snoring aids if nothing mentioned above works for you.
3. Do Anti Snore Pillows Work?
Yes, anti-snore pillows have proved to be helpful for loud snorers. They reduce not only the volume of snoring but also the Frequency.
4. What Exercise Can I Do To Stop Snoring?
Yes, some exercises can help stop snoring. Watch this YouTube Video, and learn all the helpful movements.
5. Is There Any Link Between Snoring And Heart Diseases?
Snoring is associated with heart diseases like stroke, Arrhythmias, and myocardial infarction.