About 45 percent of adults snore at least occasionally. Snoring can be caused by a variety of lifestyle factors, or by something more serious, such as sleep apnea. If you want to stop snoring, try these fixes.
1. Change positions
Sleeping on your back causes the base of your tongue to fall backward into your throat, which narrows your airway. So try sleeping on your side. If you find yourself still waking up on your back, prop your head up on several pillows. This will open up your nasal airway passages and may help you stop snoring.
2. Lose weight
Extra weight around the throat narrows the airway, which can trigger snoring. Shedding extra pounds can remedy the problem.
3. Avoid alcohol and sedatives
They depress your central nervous system, causing your muscles—which include the tissues in your throat—to relax too much. So avoid drinking alcohol at least two hours before bedtime, and exercise caution when taking sedatives.
4. Get enough sleep
If you’re overtired when you hit the sack, you sleep more deeply and your muscles become more limp, which can cause snoring. So be sure to get enough rest on a regular basis!
5. Try over-the-counter nasal strips
Strips open up your nasal passage, thus enhancing your breathing.
6. Fight nasal congestion
Congestion due to colds, allergies, or a deviated septum can limit airflow through your nose, forcing you to breathe through your mouth and increasing the likelihood of snoring. Try taking a hot shower before you go to bed to help open up your nasal passages. Using an oral or spray decongestant also can help, but see your doctor before such medications more than three days in a row. (Long-term use of decongestants can have a rebound effect and eventually make your congestion worse.) Your doctor may prescribe you a steroid spray for chronic congestion. Or, if you have a deviated septum, you may need surgery.
7. Remove allergens in your bedroom
Dust mites in pillows can cause allergic reactions that in turn can make you snore. So wash your pillows every other week, and replace them every six months to minimize dust mites and allergens. Dust your ceiling fan, and keep pets out of your bedroom.
Secretions in your nose become stickier when you’re dehydrated, which can cause you to snore. So drink plenty of water.
9. Rule out a more serious condition
If you’ve tried all of the above changes and you still snore, see your doctor. Your snoring may have a more serious cause, such as obstructive sleep apnea, a condition in which your throat tissues obstruct your airway and prevent you from breathing. With proper diagnosis, sleep apnea can be effectively treated.
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