- How many people snore?
- What causes snoring?
- What is obstructive sleep apnoea?
- How to stop snoring immediately
- Snoring aids
Zzzz - do you need the miracle cure to stop snoring permanently? Or maybe you want to know how to stop someone else from snoring. There's really no need to be ashamed. Snoring is a perfectly natural, and surprisingly common habit. That being said, it can be disturbing for the snorer - and those around them!
It isn't something any of us like to admit to. Instead, we reel off a list of excuses every time we're caught in the act. If you've ever blamed your snoring on an uncomfortable bed or what you've had to drink, you need our help!
Today we're sharing some easy methods to help you cure snoring for good and sleep more silently than you ever thought possible.
Editor's Note: This post was originally published in March 2018 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness in May 2019.
How many people snore?
Though your partner might make it sound like you're the only person in the world who snores, it's actually very common. Research suggests that approximately half of the world's population will snore - whether temporarily or for their whole life.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) also highlight that snoring is more common in men, with around 40% of men being habitual snorers, and just 20% of women.
What causes snoring?
Now that we know we're not alone in our noise-making, we have to wonder... why do people snore?
The reason we wake up feeling rested is that, when we sleep, our bodies relax. This is often the cause of snoring - when the tongue, mouth, throat or airways in the nose soften, the space narrows, preventing the free movement of air in our mouth and throat. The pressure causes the surrounding tissues to vibrate. The result is a harsh sound in varying volumes.
There are additional factors that can increase the likelihood of snoring, which we'll discuss later.
What is obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA)?
Obstructive sleep apnoea, also spelt sleep "apnea", is where your throat relaxes more than normal during sleep to the point where normal breathing is interrupted. People who suffer from OSA are likely to have disturbed sleep.
Different types of OSA
According to the NHS, OSA is relatively common, and there are two different types to be aware of:
- Apnoea - when breathing is completely blocked for more than 10 seconds.
- Hypopnoea - when breathing is partially blocked, with airflow reduction of over 50% for more than 10 seconds.
How to stop snoring immediately
Want to know how to prevent snoring? You've come to the right place! Perhaps you're keeping your partner awake or vice versa, or you're just embarrassed about the noise you make when you sleep.
Our snoring solutions should help you reduce the amount you snore, if not stop it entirely. Most of them are extremely easy to integrate into your daily lifestyle, requiring just small and simple changes to your current routine.
If you want to learn how to stop snoring naturally these unusual snoring hacks and home remedies could be just the thing for you.
1. Could losing weight help you stop snoring?
As snoring is primarily caused by a blockage to the airways, any extra fatty tissue around your neck is going to increase your chances of snoring.
2. Avoid alcohol if you want to snore less
You've had a few glasses of wine after a stressful day, and you're finally feeling relaxed. Turns out, your body will be more relaxed too. Alcohol, smoking, and medications that have a tranquilising effect can all lead to increasing muscle relaxation.
This is great for feeling calm, but not so great for your snoring. Relaxed muscles= a higher risk of your airways becoming blocked. If you're serious about snoring solutions, ditch the alcohol.
3. A snoring cure could be as easy as developing a sleeping pattern
Snoring solutions really can be as easy as adjusting your sleeping routine, often known as adopting good 'sleep hygiene'.
Training your body to clock off at the same time every evening and wake up at the same time each morning will prevent you from becoming overtired. It will also enable you to work out how much sleep your body needs to prevent overtiredness.
How does this stop you from snoring? If you're overtired, your muscles will relax more. Relaxed muscles are the main cause of closed airways. By getting regular sleep, your body won't need to relax quite as much when you sleep.
4. Change your sleeping position
Anything that increases the chances of your airways becoming blocked will, in turn, increase the likelihood of snoring. This is why people that sleep on their back are more likely to snore. The tongue falls back into the mouth, causing a blockage.
If this sounds like you, a snoring cure could be as simple as changing your sleeping position. Sleeping on your side will encourage the tongue to lie flat or to the side, making respiration easier.
If you struggle to sleep on your side, try attaching a tennis ball to the back of your pyjamas. This will force you to sleep on your side because the ball will be too uncomfortable to lay on. You could also try a pregnancy pillow - you don't need to be pregnant to enjoy the amazing comfort these have to offer!
5. Open nasal passages
When we sleep, our body has a tendency to 'fall in on itself'. One way you can combat this is by opening things up before you head off to bed.
Blocked nasal passages are one of the main causes of snoring, but there is a simple snoring solution that could help.
A hot shower. Whilst you scrub away, the hot steam will act as a decongestant, clearing and opening nasal passages. Get into the habit of jumping into the shower before bedtime and see if this could be the snoring cure for you.
6. Better-hydration could be the snoring cure for you
Water may seem like an unbelievably simple snoring solution, but sometimes that's really all it takes to put a stop to it.
When we're dehydrated, the mouth becomes dry, and the secretions in your mouth (mucus), become sticky. This makes soft tissues more likely to catch and vibrate against one another, amplifying your snoring sounds and making them almost unbearable!
Start observing your water consumption throughout the day. The recommended daily allowance is around two litres of water. If you're getting a lot less than this, begin making a conscious effort to increase your water intake. It'll do wonders for your snoring, and your general health.
7. Avoid certain foods to prevent snoring
Is your diet high in dairy?
Eating foods that contain dairy and soy, especially before bedtime, isn't advisable if you're a snorer.
Dairy has an adverse effect on secretions in your throat, causing them to thicken. This thick mucus decreases the space inside your mouth for air to pass through, increasing the chance of soft tissues vibrating against one another.
Looks like it might be time to give up your beloved, bedtime hot chocolate.
8. How to stop snoring with singing
Finally, an excuse to sing your heart out in the shower!
Singing (whether in-tune or not) can help strengthen the muscles in the throat. Even simple warm-ups and singing exercises can have a dramatic effect on the amount you snore.
Strengthening the throat muscles to reduce snoring is particularly effective for those of a certain age, as muscle tissue is prone to becoming lax as we get older.
9. Essential oils for snoring
There are many incredible uses for essential oils, including their ability to aid with snoring prevention.
The most effective snoring treatments are those essentials oils with decongesting properties, such as peppermint and eucalyptus essential oils.
These essential oils can relieve congestion in the chest and nasal passageways, increasing the space through which air can flow, and reducing the chance of obstructions leading to snoring.
10. Aid digestion with spearmint & fenugreek essential oils
Here's another natural remedy for snoring - spearmint and fenugreek essential oils. These oils can have a very beneficial effect on the digestive system, and in turn, reduce snoring.
Digestive issues, and indigestion, in particular, have been known to cause snoring. Why not brew up a spearmint essential oils tea before bedtime and see if it has any effect on your snoring dilemma?
11. Could Vitamin C help you reduce snoring
Have you ever noticed that you snore more when you have a cold? This is because a build-up of mucus causes airways and sinuses to become blocked. Staying healthy year round will help limit your chances of falling sick.
Eating a varied diet of natural foods is paramount in keeping your immune system strong. If you want to go the extra mile, consider also taking a Vitamin C supplement, which will do wonders for your immune system.
Do anti-snoring devices really work? Yes, they do! Different people will find success with different snoring aids, so why not try a couple and see which is the best product for you?
12. How can I stop snoring using an oral appliance
If you've tried some of the simpler methods above to no avail, it may be worth considering an oral appliance - also known as a snoring mouthpiece.
An oral appliance is similar to a sports mouth guard, but don't let this put you off - they are much less bulky. They work by supporting the jaw and positioning it forward, thereby keeping the airway open.
Oral appliances are one of the most reliable snoring solutions, and perfect for habitual snorers. You can either buy a DIY mouthpiece kit online or go to your dentist to inquire about having one fitted.
13. Nose clips
If your nostrils tend to collapse in when you breathe through your nose, a nasal dilator, or nose clip, could be the solution to a peaceful night.
This nifty piece of plastic slots into your nostrils, keeping them open while sleeping.
14. Anti-snore pillows
If you really can't face sleeping on your side, there is another snoring solution we recommend trying. By propping your head up with an extra pillow, you'll help your tongue lay flat. This will keep your airways clear and the snores at bay!
Anti-snore pillows will position your head correctly, are surprisingly cheap, and could be the snoring cure you've been looking for. They tilt your head back ever so slightly to keep the gap between your chin and neck wider.
15. Nasal strips
An oldie but a goldie, nasal strips could help to open up your airways.
Simply stick the strip to the bridge of your nose and peel off again in the morning. If you have sensitive skin, this might not be the best solution.
How can I find out more about my own snoring?
If you're looking for a little more information, we'd suggest taking this sleep apnoea test from the British Snoring & Sleep Apnoea Association. Answer just a few quick questions and it'll help you to work out the cause of your snoring and which remedy will help you to achieve the best results.
What medical treatments are available for snoring?
Aside from those listed above, your GP may be able to suggest a CPAP or MAD device to help with cases of sleep apnoea. In extreme cases, surgery may be an option if your snoring is having a negative impact on your quality of life and if it is thought to be a result of a physical abnormality that can be put right.
Who should be kicked out of the bedroom?
This is a touchy subject, but we think that the person snoring should do all they reasonably can do to try to stop the snoring. If the cures haven't worked, and the other person is still being disturbed by the snorer, you should have a discussion to decide who will sleep where.
You could take it in turns to sleep on the sofa if it's a really regular occurrence. It might even be worth looking at a spare bedroom for them if their snoring is an ongoing problem. It's quite common for married couples to sleep in separate rooms - after all, there's no shame in getting a good night's sleep!
Why have I started snoring?
If you've never snored before, and are only just finding out that you do now, it could be for a number of reasons. If you've recently gained weight or started to drink or smoke more than usual, this could make you snore.
My partner snores - what can I do?
The best thing to do is to discuss their snoring in a calm and understanding way. Earplugs are the easiest solution to blocking out the noise, but this can stop you from hearing your alarm - and they aren't very comfortable! It might be best to just sleep in another room.
Does sleeping with wet hair make you snore?
There is no evidence to suggest that sleeping with wet hair would make you more likely to snore.
Have you found any weird snoring remedies that have worked for you? We'd love to hear about them in the comments below.
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