45 percent of adults snore occasionally, and
75 percent of people who snore have obstructive sleep apnea. People who have
obstructive sleep apnea have their breathing disrupted while they sleep.
Snoring can be caused by alcohol, medications, smoking, obesity, your age, your
sleep posture, sleep deprivation or sleep apnea.
Weight loss can help alleviate snoring, but it
doesn’t work for everyone. Being overweight and obese contributes to snoring.
Alcohol is a depressant. Depressants slow your
body down. Alcohol will help you go to sleep, but it’ll also disturb your
sleep. Alcohol slows down metabolism and interferes with our brains during its
Change Your Sleeping Schedule
Some people snore because they don’t have a
regular sleeping schedule. When people don’t have a regular sleeping schedule,
their muscles at the back of their throat relax more than they normally would.
To avoid snoring, you should try to sleep
through the night while going to bed at the same time each day. Most adults
need seven to nine hours of sleep.
You should avoid taking naps throughout the
day. Taking naps throughout the day will disrupt your sleeping schedule. If you
take naps during the day, you may not be able to go to sleep at an appropriate
time at night.
Avoid Stimulating Your Brain
You’ll want to avoid stimulating your brain
before you go to bed. You should avoid electronics and turn off all lights an
hour before you go to sleep. You should avoid watching television and looking at
Avoid Exercising Before Bed
You should avoid exercising two hours before
you go to bed. Exercising before you go to sleep can disrupt your circadian
rhythm. Disrupting your circadian rhythm can make your sleep less refreshing.
You should avoid eating three hours before you
go to bed.
You should avoid consuming caffeine after 12
p.m. Caffeine can remain in your body five to 10 hours after it’s consumed.
Caffeine will remain in your body depending on your weight, the amount you
consume and your overall health.
If you smoke, you’ll want to try to stop.
Smoking has been known to make snoring worse. You’ll want to talk to your
doctor about how they can help you. Nicotine gum and patches can help you quit.
Taking sedatives before you go to bed may be
causing you to snore. You’ll want to talk to your doctor about other options
you may have.
Sleep on Your Side
You should never sleep on your back if you
snore. Snoring usually occurs when the soft palate and upper throat collapse
during sleep. This restricts airflow to your lungs and causes the sound of
snoring. Sleeping on your back makes it easier for the soft palate to collapse
on the tongue and upper throat.
Elevate Your Head
If you want to stop snoring permanently, you
may want to try buying a bigger, fuller pillow. By propping your head up a few
inches, you can reposition your jaw and tongue, allowing your airway to open.
Use an Oral Appliance
An oral appliance keeps your air passages
open. By keeping your air passages open, it’ll make it easier for you to
breathe. Using an oral appliance can prevent snoring. Unfortunately, you’ll
need to visit your dentist to get one of these devices made.
Allergies can reduce airflow through your
nose. If you have allergies, you’re more likely to breathe through your mouth
instead of your nose while you’re sleeping. Allergies increase the risk of
snoring. You’ll want to talk to your doctor about what medications you can take
to relieve your allergies.
Clear Nasal Passages
You’ll want to clear your nasal passages with
saline before you go to bed. Nasal decongestants and nasal strips can help you
breathe easier while you’re sleeping.
Keep Air Moist
You’ll want to keep the air dewy where you
sleep. Dry air can aggravate membranes in your nose and throat. If you have
swollen membranes, a humidifier may help your snoring.
There are many surgeries available for people
who snore. Surgical procedures increase the size of your airways. If you’re
snoring is severe or hasn’t responded to other treatment, surgery may be an
option for you.
It’s important that you follow the tips we
have provided you in this article to prevent or reduce snoring. Snoring can
disrupt your quality of sleep, and when that happens, it can lead to fatigue,
irritability and health problems.
Dr. Ran Y. Rubinstein, a facial plastic
surgeon and ENT doctor specializing in snoring treatments in New
York, is dual-certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck
Surgery and the American Board of Facial Plastic Surgery. He serves the Hudson
Valley through his office in Newburgh, New York.