6 Simple Ways to Reduce Your Snoring
- Posted on: Jan 30 2018
Patients frequently will say that their snoring is much worse on certain nights versus their usual snoring. They want to know what factors may be causing this issue and what simple things they can do to help.
Ways to Reduce Your Snoring
Snoring typically comes from a vibration of the soft palate and tongue in the back of the throat. There are several factors that may make this vibration worse.
Anytime a patient has nasal congestion the snoring will be worsened. Basically the narrow nasal airway causes the airflow to speed up and become turbulent as it passes through the nose. This fast moving turbulent airflow causes vibration of the soft palate and the tongue and produces the snoring sound. Adequately treating your allergies with medications or immunotherapy such as allergy drops or shots will reduce snoring. Changing your pillow to one that is protective against allergies and having your bedspread dry cleaned will also help reduce your allergy symptoms while sleeping. Rinsing with saline spray and blowing your nose before bed especially in a hot shower can also help open the nasal airway and reduce snoring. Using nasal breathing strips can also help open the nasal airway to reduce snoring.
Our soft palate and tongue are more likely to collapse backward and vibrate against the throat when we sleep on our back. Sleeping on your side with a long body pillow will typically reduce snoring.
Many medicines can cause muscle relaxation causing worsening of soft palate vibration because the muscle of the soft palate and tongue become less stiff. Alcohol, antihistamines like Benadryl, sleep aids such as ambien, and Valium type drugs can all worsen snoring. Avoiding alcohol for at least two hours before bed will reduce snoring significantly.
Sticky dry secretions tend to worsen snoring and increase the risk of airway obstruction called apnea. Make sure your are well hydrated before bed to reduce this issue.
Improve your Sleep Cycle
When a patient has not had adequate sleep lately they also tend to drop into a very deep sleep immediately. They are much more likely to snore in this deep level of sleep. This typically may be when the bed partner is still awake or lightly sleeping and will be more bothersome. Make sure you are getting adequate time for sleep each night to avoid snoring at sleep onset.
Weight gain in the neck and belly will typically make snoring worse. This is because the increased neck fat actually squeezes the throat closed and also increases the size of the tongue. The belly fat also makes the diaphragm have to push harder causing an increased respiratory effort and faster airflow. Working on reducing your weight will likely reduce snoring.
Schedule a Consultation
If you go to bed after drinking alcohol, after staying up to late the night before, congested from allergies, and sleep on your back….The perfect storm for snoring has been set. If you have any questions about snoring, contact our office at 512.601.0303 to schedule a consultation.