There’s nothing fun about snoring, either for the person doing it or the one sharing a bed with him or her. The snorer won’t get enough sleep due to the frequent halted breathing while the noise can keep bed partners awake. The result is often strained relationships as well as daytime fatigue, irritability, difficulty concentrating, and other unpleasant symptoms for the snorer. Understanding the reason for snoring is the first step in getting it to stop.
Common Causes of Snoring
Lying flat on the back to sleep can lead to snoring because the flesh at the back of the throat relaxes and blocks the sleeper’s airway. Sleeping on the side or stomach can decrease or eliminate snoring altogether. Some other common causes of include:
- Drinking alcohol or taking tranquilizers shortly before bed since both can relax the muscles and induce snoring.
- Having a cold or allergies blocks the nasal passages, causing a stuffy nose that makes it difficult to take in a full breath. This creates a vacuum in the throat that can cause snoring.
- The anatomy of the air passages makes a difference. Men tend to snore more than women because they have larger adenoids, a cleft palate, and a narrower throat.
- Being overweight or obese increases snoring because poor muscle tone and excess fatty tissue both contribute to the problem.
- Aging contributes to snoring because the throat becomes narrower and snoring more common as people get older.
While some factors are beyond a person’s control, others are a matter of making better lifestyle choices. Working with a doctor or another person for accountability can help considerably.
Home Remedies to Stop Snoring
Losing weight is one of the simplest ways to decrease the incidence and volume of snoring. For those with many pounds to lose, dieting under the supervision of a doctor can bring the best results. Raising the head of the bed can also help because it allows the airways to open more. Other possible solutions include:
- Visiting an allergist to treat chronic allergies.
- Using over-the-counter nasal strips to open the airways of the nose.
- Avoiding alcohol less than two hours before bedtime.
- Avoiding sedatives before going to bed if other options are available.
- Quitting smoking since it can make snoring worse. The cough that many people develop from smoking can also keep them awake at night.
If these remedies don’t work, it’s time to visit a sleep specialist to see about the possibility of using a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine or an oral appliance.
Custom Mouthguards for Snoring Relief
According to a recent post on beddrsleep.com, a custom mouthguard is an oral appliance made by a patient’s dentist to treat sleep apnea and help reduce or eliminate snoring. The two main types of mouthguards for snoring relief are the mandibular repositioning device and the tongue retaining devices.
The first type repositions the lower jaw to move it further forward and in a slightly downward position. This keeps respiratory passages open during sleep. The tongue retaining device keeps the tongue in a still position so it doesn’t roll into the airway and disrupt breathing. Anyone who struggles with frequent or loud snoring can ask their dentist to create a custom mouthguard for them.