Snoring is one of the biggest causes of sleep disturbances, estimated to affect up to 40% of men and 30% of women, and keeping millions awake at night. Sometimes snoring can be a symptom of more serious health conditions such as sleep apnea. But other times snoring occurs as a result of bad habits or lifestyle choices. So if noisy nocturnal disturbances are getting you down, here’s our list of 16 ways to stop snoring naturally.
1) Sleep on your side
Sleeping on your side is one of the best ways to stop snoring naturally. Sleeping in this position prevents the soft palate from relaxing or collapsing at the back of the throat or tongue. One trick that can help you sleep on the side if you are used to sleeping on your back is to sew or attach a tennis ball to the back of your shirt. Since it feels uncomfortable, your body will naturally turn to the side even as you sleep.
2) Use firm pillows
Avoid sleeping on soft pillows but try firm ones instead. Soft pillows tend to constrict the passageway of air and result in your tongue falling at the back of the throat because your head is in a lower position.
3) Elevate your head
Pile several pillows behind your head. This way you are elevating your head, opening and clearing the passageway of the air and making breathing much easier.
4) Set a sleep schedule
Some people snore because they have irregular sleeping times. Having too much work and sleeping late exhausts your body, which can result in snoring as your throat becomes more relaxed than normal.
5) Lose weight
Overweight people tend to have narrower air passageways because their neck tissue and throat have increased in size. Losing weight is an effective way to stop snoring.
Exercise helps you to lose those unwanted pounds. It also helps in maintaining the normal size of your throat and improves you muscle tone.
7) Stop smoking
Smoking irritates your throat and can result to inflammation. A swollen throat narrows the passageway of the air and causes difficulty in breathing.
8) Avoid alcohol and sleeping pills
The consumption of alcohol or sleeping pills and sedatives trigger your jaw and throat muscles to relax more than normal. These substances can also lead to sleep apnea.
9) Get an air purifier
Another way to stop snoring naturally is to use an air purifier or humidifier. Airborne allergens and contaminants can contribute to your snoring problems. With these units, allergens are trapped or removed making your indoor air cleaner, safer and healthier.
10) Avoid dairy products and caffeine
Dairy products and caffeine may cause excessive production of mucus, which can lead to a blockage of the air passageway. Try reducing your dairy product and caffeine intake.
11) Do tongue extension exercises
One way to stop snoring naturally is to practice tongue extension. Doing tongue extension or exercise strengthens the muscles of your tongue and throat. Do this by sticking your tongue as far as it can go, then move it sideways, making sure that it touches the corners of your mouth then, move it up and down. Do this for 15 seconds several times a day.
12) Throat exercise
Throat exercises can also build up the strength of your muscles in the respiratory tract. One of the most common exercises is saying all the vowels aloud and clearly for three minutes a few times a day. Or, add strength to your jaw by moving it to the left and hold it for 30 seconds. Do the same to the right. The trick here is to repeat these exercises several times in one day. Singing is also a popular way to exercise your throat.
13) Drink plenty of fluids
One of the easiest ways to stop snoring naturally is to keep your body hydrated. Drinking plenty of fluids keeps the mucus in your nose from getting stickier.
14) Treat nasal congestion
A stuffy nose makes it difficult for you to breathe. If nasal congestion is a constant problem (such as due to a deviated septum), you should see an ear-nose-throat (ENT) specialist.
15) Mouth guard
Mouth guards may be recommended by your dentist when your snoring becomes extreme. There are many different models on the market including the popular Zen Sleep range. Theses devices work by keeping your teeth together and pushing your lower jaw forward.
16) Clean your bedroom regularly
The presence of airborne contaminants and irritants lead to irritation of your throat membranes, causing it to swell. Wash and change your bedsheets and pillowcases every week, and replace your old pillows once a year.