How To Stop Snoring
Do you snore or know anyone who does? It doesn’t sound that serious and it’s not usually a big deal for the ‘snorer’! It’s the person sleeping next to you or in the same room that is affected the most – it can be a major problem in relationships resulting in lack of sleep for your partner and in extreme cases, I’ve been told people sleep in separate rooms the noise is so loud! So how can you stop snoring?
What Is Snoring?
Snoring is when you make a noticeable sound when you breathe in during sleep. The sound is caused by soft tissue at the back of your mouth, nose or throat vibrating. The exact sound you make will depend on the type of soft tissue that’s vibrating.
For example, if the soft tissue at the back of your nose vibrates when you snore, you’ll produce a pinched nasal sound that’s not particularly loud. If the tissues at the top of your mouth (soft palate) and the back of your throat (uvula) vibrate, you’ll produce a louder, more guttural (“throaty”) sound.
In most cases, snoring is caused by a combination of areas that are vibrating or blocked. People tend to snore most during the deepest stages of sleep, around 90 minutes after falling asleep. Most people tend to snore loudest when sleeping on their back.
Grades Of Snoring
Believe it or not, just like in martial arts or mountain climbing there are different grades when it comes to snoring too!
Which grade do you think you or your partner would be from the 3 options below:
Grade One Snoring
Grade one snoring or just plain old simple snoring is where a person snores now and again and isn’t particularly loud and your breathing shouldn’t be affected in any way. This is good and bad news – good because it’s not harmful to your general health, but may be bad if your partner is being kept awake or has their sleep broken several times per night.
Grade Two Snoring
If you snore on a more regular basis – more than 3 days a week – you’ve progressed to grade 2 snoring. People with grade two snoring may find some breathing difficulties during sleep. This grade of snoring can cause tiredness, irritability and make you fee sleepy during the day. Your partner is probably looking up a good divorce lawyer about now!
Grade Three Snoring
If you reach a grade three then it’s probably not something to celebrate like getting a black belt or scaling the steepest mountain. Grade three snoring is where you snore every night, so loudly it can be heard outside your room. Many people with grade three snoring have a related condition called obstructive sleep apnoea. This is where the airways become partially or totally blocked for about 10 seconds. The lack of oxygen triggers your brain to take you out of deep sleep into a lighter state of sleep, or to wake you up for a short period to restore normal breathing. This may have an adverse impact on your day-to-day activities and your partner is now planning of how to dispose of your body!
When Should You See Your Doctor?
So when should you involve your doctor in your snoring problems? If your snoring is affecting your breathing and you are constantly waking up during the night, this may make you feel excessively tired during the day. Or if your partner is suffering from lack of sleep because of your snoring then it may be time to see your doctor for advice.
You may also consider seeing your GP is you have other symptoms such as:
- bad memory and concentration problems
- morning headaches
- short temper and irritability
- feeling anxious
- feelings of depression
- a lack of interest in sex
If your child snores, take them to see a doctor immediately – it may be caused by an underlying problem with their airways, such as enlarged tonsils.
Ways To Help Prevent Snoring
There’s no absolute iron-clad gold-plated cure to stop snoring, but here are some things that you can try:
5 Self-Help Tips To Stop Snoring
- Try and maintain a healthy weight and diet. If you are overweight by just a few lb’s/kg’s, this can lead to snoring. The fatty tissue around your neck squeezes the airway and prevents air from flowing in and out freely which can cause snoring.
- A lot of snoring happens when you sleep on your back – try sleeping on your side. While sleeping on your back, your tongue, chin and any excess fatty tissue under your chin can relax and squash your airway.
- Try and avoid alcohol just before going to bed. Alcohol can cause the muscles to relax more than usual during a normal night’s sleep. This added relaxation of the muscles makes the back of the throat collapse more readily, which then causes snoring.
- If you’re a smoker – quit or cut down! Cigarette smoke irritates the lining of the nasal cavity and throat, causing swelling and catarrh. If the nasal passages become congested, it’s difficult to breathe through your nose because the airflow is decreased.
- Try and keep your nasal passages clear, so that you breathe in through your nose rather than your mouth. If an allergy is blocking your nose, try antihistamine tablets or a nasal spray. Ask your pharmacist for advice, or see your GP, if you’re affected by an allergy or any other condition that affects your nose or breathing, such as sinusitis.
Stop Snoring Devices
There are a range of stop-snoring treatments and devices on sale. These include nasal strips, which open the nostrils wider, throat sprays and devices known as mandibular advancement devices (MAD), which reposition the jaw to ease airflow and jaw supporters.
Mouth guards are very popular at the moment are there are various ones on the market:
- SleepPro is recommended by the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK and medically recommended throughout the World. Click here for more details
- AirSnore has a mouth guard and optional herbal drops to help you get a ‘snore-free’ nights sleep. Click here for more details.
- SnoreMeds has single and double packs plus guards for me and women. Click here for more details.
A jaw supporting device has also proven to give good results. Snoring research has shown that a jaw supporter, keeping the lower jaw in an upward position increases the three dimensional space in the airway, reduces air velocity and soft tissue vibration. This action can eliminate or substantially reduce snoring.
A jaw supporter is based on the same principle as CPR. The airway must be open to allow air to pass through the throat. A constricted or collapsed airway causes snoring and/or sleep apnoea. A jaw supporter can hold the lower jaw in a position so that it does not fall backwards/down during the night and cause the airway to collapse. Maintaining a clear airway improves breathing and reduces snoring. Click here for more details on a jaw supporter.
If you have any of your own remedies to stop snoring please let us know and we can share it to our readers for them to try!