If you make a loud sound while sleeping you are probably wondering how to stop snoring.
Snoring can disturb the people around you and it can also affect your self-esteem if they complain about it.
Though, it is pretty normal. Everyone snores occasionally though it is a chronic condition for some.
If you are one of those, this article is for you.
Keep reading to find out what causes your snoring and what can you do to stop it.
Why Do You Snore?
While you are sleeping, air does not pass freely across your mouth and nose, hence it causes a hoarse sound.
This is because the tissues vibrate when air moves through them.
When we sleep, the muscles in the airways loosen up which narrows the airway. not allowing the air to go across freely.
Things that affect breathing can lead to snoring.
These include having a lot of nasal tissue or not being able to breathe smoothly because of the tongue position or conditions such as sleep apnea.
You may snore because of other conditions, habits or diseases.
If snoring is a symptom of sleep apnea then you will also feel headaches, difficulty while concentrating, regularly having sore throat when you wake up and chest pain.
You may also feel sleepy during the day, have a restless sleep which leads to fatigue and take breathing pauses while sleeping.
Your snoring will be pretty loud and have breathing pauses in between leading to gasping and choking.
Monitor your blood pressure regularly as people with these symptoms also have high blood pressure.
All of this will disturb your sleep, making you feel tired at all times.
These signs and symptoms indicate a serious condition that can even stop your breathing 5 times during sleep.
If your child goes through it, then they will have a difficult time studying because of poor concentration and show behavioral issues.
It may result in children because of childhood obesity that narrows airways and disrupts breathing.
What Causes Snoring?
As you become older, your throat narrows down.
Also, the muscle tone in your throat drops hence, the airways become quite narrow.
As these muscles relax in your tongue, throat and soft palate, then the tissues relax to blocking the airway to some extent.
When air tries to pass through these tissues, they rattle and vibrate.
You can continue doing breathing exercises, maintain a good bedtime routine and incorporate other lifestyle changes to deal with snoring that comes with age.
Anatomy of The Mouth
You can naturally have a low thick roof of the mouth or soft palate.
This will narrow down your airway.
Similarly, if the uvula that hangs from the roof is longer than normal then it can narrow down the airways leading to disruption in airflow.
Also, people naturally have a narrow throat, large adenoids, and a cleft palate which may be inherited.
Men are likely to have narrower airways than women.
Hence, your physical anatomy can influence if you are likely to snore or not.
Exercise and lifestyle changes can help decrease the intensity of snoring even if you have no control over your anatomy or gender.
If you or your child is obese then you can get obstructive sleep apnea which causes snoring.
This is also because there may be excess tissue, due to being overweight, found at the back of the throat.
Obesity also decreases your muscle tone and increases fatty tissues.
However, if you are not obese but carry more muscles in your throat then that too could cause you to snore.
You may have nasal problems for a long time such as a stuffy nose or congestion which is chronic.
A deviated nasal septum can also create difficulty while inhaling which blocks airways and produces a hoarse sound when you try to breathe while sleeping.
The Way You Sleep
Your sleeping posture affects your airways.
If you habitually sleep on your back then it’s time to change your posture.
Sleeping on the back can cause gravity to work on the throat, it relaxes the throat flesh and obstructs the airways.
Drinking alcohol before bedtime can relax your muscles to a certain degree where your body’s natural defenses cannot stop this obstruction.
Smoking has a similar effect and so do medicines such as tranquilizers hence, resulting in snoring.
Not Getting Enough Sleep
If you are sleep-deprived and do not get enough sleep then your throat muscles will likely relax more.
You can use self-help tips or include lifestyle changes to cope with your snoring and stop it.
You may wonder why you need a diagnosis? Well, this will help identify the cause behind your snoring.
Your doctor may ask you or your partner about how you snore.
The way you snore tells a lot about why you are snoring and where the obstruction lies.
For instance, if you snore with your mouth closed then that shows an issue with the tongue.
On the other hand, snoring while keeping the mouth open signifies that the problem lies within the tissues in the throat.
If you snore when you sleep on your back then that’s probably the reason why snore.
But if you do so in all of your sleeping positions then it indicates a serious problem such as sleep apnea.
Hence, they will recommend going for an Imaging test.
An MRI or CT scan can identify problems in the air passage and its structure such as there is a partition in between your nostrils that is crooked.
They may also conduct a sleep study to understand the cause of your snoring.
You are told to stay overnight in a sleep center to observe different aspects while you are sleeping.
The sensors connected with your body detect heart rate, brain waves, your eye and leg movements, oxygen levels and breathing rates.
Hence, after an overnight observation, your doctor may suggest treatments and lifestyle changes.
Read on that below!
How To Stop Snoring-Medical Treatments
If your doctor detects that your snoring and sleep apnea are related then they will recommend medical treatments that can open your airways and prevent snoring due to sleep disorders.
- Surgical Procedures
Surgical procedures will prevent the obstruction in the air passage and stop it from narrowing.
In a maxillomandibular advancement, your surgeon brings the upper and lower jaws forward.
This opens the airways so they are no longer narrow.
A procedure called hypoglossal nerve stimulation helps control the movement of the tongue forwards.
A stimulus is applied there to prevent the tongue from blocking the airway during breathing.
Moreover, you can also get a facelift but for your throat.
Your doctor can trim the excess tissues inside your throat and tightens them.
They can also shrink the tissues in the nose and soft palate using radiofrequency ablation.
The radiofrequency is of low frequency that is enough t slightly shrink excess tissues.
- Wearing Oral Appliances
Oral appliances help to bring your jaw, soft palate and tongue in a position that does not hinder the air passage.
These are dental mouthpieces that will be fit according to your mouth.
They can also recommend nasal strips other than these.
Your dentist will monitor your oral health while wearing the mouthpiece as they can cause dry mouth, pain in the jaw, excess saliva and is uncomfortable for the face.
By advancing the position your airways remain clear and you can breathe properly even if the mouthpiece can be a little uncomfortable to wear.
- Using CPAP by Wearing a Mask Overnight
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure helps to reduce or completely eliminate snoring when it is because of sleep apnea.
A mask is worn over your nose and mouth to give pressurized air from a pump.
Wear it while you are sleeping to keep your air passages open. You will no longer snore because of it.
How To Stop Snoring -Remedies
In order to stop snoring, you will have to change your lifestyle and your bedtime routine.
Obesity leads to excess tissues in the throat.
Hence, lose weight so that the tissues and muscles do not obstruct your airflow in the air passages.
Treat Stuffy Nose
If you have chronic congestion or a stuffy nose which makes you breathe through your mouth instead of your nose then you need to treat it.
The cause may be allergies and you will need medicines to treat the cause behind the congestion to stop snoring.
Stop Smoking and Limit Alcohol and Sedative Use
Alcohol and sedatives relax your muscles which block the airways and nasal passage.
Hence, you should limit its use, especially before bedtime but it is best to totally avoid alcohol.
Also, quitting smoking helps to reduce snoring and clears your air passages.
Even if you are not obese, you should exercise.
This will help lose weight but what’s more important is that it will help tone the muscles in your body and prevent weight gain.
Hence, it can also tone the muscles in your throat.
Though you can strengthen the throat muscles by doing certain breathing exercises.
This in return will not cause your muscles to relax while sleeping.
Get Good Sleep While Incorporating a Bed Time Routine
You should try to sleep for at least seven to eight hours a day.
Whereas your child should sleep for 12 hours.
Make sure that you are not sleep deprived which mainly causes you to snore.
Secondly, choose to sleep on your side.
This is because lying on the back moves the tongue back in the throat causing a partial obstruction in the air passage.
Hence, you should change your sleeping position to preferably sleeping on the right side.
If you are not habitual and will change sides back during sleep, then place a tennis ball underneath which will remind you to turn back to the side.
Also, raise your head by 4 inches as it moves your tongue and jaw forward.
Hence, it assists breathing.
Moreover, if you have swollen nasal tissues, then try to use a humidifier that does not irritate your nose and lets you sleep peacefully.
Here are your answers to How to Stop Snoring.
You can first try lifestyle changes, home remedies and bedtime routine changes to see if that helps.
They will most probably work unless you need surgery or suffer from sleep apnea.
Consult a doctor if your snoring persists even after these changes and get proper treatment for the cause.