If your snoring is consistent, there may be an underlying problem such as sleep apnea, a deviated septum, allergies, or another issue.
Thankfully, there are lifestyle changes you can make to improve sleep and possibly rid yourself of snoring.
Limit Alcohol and Medication
One factor contributing to snoring problems is alcohol use. Alcohol relaxes the muscles, which relaxes your throat as well.
When your muscles relax, it causes the tongue to recede backward and block the airway into your throat. And with such a small opening for air to move through, it produces vibrations, which causes the snoring sound.
The same is true for medication. Sedatives and narcotics also relax your throat muscles.
The position in which you sleep can affect your snoring. Snoring is most likely to occur when you are lying on your back. When you are laying face up, gravity causes your tongue to fall to the back of the throat, making that airway narrower.
The best sleeping position to avoid snoring is to sleep on your side. If you are unaccustomed to sleeping on your side, try using a body pillow to aid in maintaining a side-sleeping position.
If you are carrying extra weight, your chances for snoring increase, especially if you are carrying it in the neck area. When you gain weight, you are basically gaining weight on the inside of your neck. This can cause a narrowing of the airway in your throat and affect your breathing when you lay down. The more extra weight you have, the more likely you are to snore.
If you are overweight, aim for a goal of losing about 10% of your body weight.
Stop Smoking and Vaping
Smoking causes nasal congestion and inflammation which can worsen snoring. Vaping causes dehydration which also increases the likelihood of snoring.
Pillowcases & Sheets
If your snoring is brought on by allergies, you may want to wash your pillowcases and sheets more often. Dust is everywhere in our homes. Where there is dust, there are dust mites and bed mites. They feed off dead skin flakes that are found in our pillowcases and sheets. Even though they don’t bite, they can aggravate allergies or asthma, leading to snoring.
One of the main steps to allergy-proof your home is to have a regular washing schedule. Wash your bedding at least once a week in hot water (130-140 degrees F) and tumble dry in a hot dryer.
Get a Humidifier
Dry air tends to contribute to snoring because it dries out the nasal and throat membranes, causing your body to make more mucus. This leads to congestion which can restrict normal breathing, causing the tissue vibration and then snoring.
A humidifier can help by alleviating the dry air, allowing for more natural and comfortable breathing. Adding essential oils, such as eucalyptus and peppermint, can aid in clearing out your airways and reducing inflammation in your nasal passages.
Exercise Your Tongue and Throat
Building up the strength of the muscles in your tongue and throat may aid in over-relaxation when you are sleeping. There are several exercises you can try. They are easy and only take a few minutes a day. Exercising your slackened throat muscles can build back their strength and tone so you snore much less!
One of the easiest is to start by putting your lower and upper molars together. Open your mouth wide but not to the point of over-stretching. Repeat 10-15 times a day.
Try Using a Mouthpiece Temporarily
Ultimately, you want to incorporate lifestyle changes to fix the problems causing your snoring. You can temporarily help control snoring by using anti snoring devices. It helps by bringing your lower jaw slightly forward, opening the airways.
Other options for people who suffer from snoring might be to choose a chin strap, nasal strips, or a Stop Snoring Pillow.
Fortunately, snoring can usually be treated and prevented by making lifestyle changes including losing weight, avoiding alcohol, getting a humidifier and exercising. All these are just a small contributing portion of some of the lifestyle changes you can incorporate. Try a few or try them all.