Snoring is common; nearly everyone snores occasionally, but for some, snoring can be a long-term problem. Besides being a nuisance to your partner and other household members, snoring may also indicate obstructive sleep apnea, a serious health condition. Fortunately, Dr. Alexis Furze offers snoring treatment to improve your sleep quality and overall health. Below are some lifestyle adjustments that your doctor may recommend to help stop snoring.
Sleep on your side
You are more likely to snore if you sleep on your back because this position causes your soft palate and the base of your tongue to collapse to the back wall of your throat. As such, these tissues vibrate when you breathe in, causing a hoarse or harsh sound. Consider getting a full-length pillow; it helps you maintain sleeping on your side. Alternatively, sew a tennis ball or any other round object at the back of your pajamas to maintain sleeping on your side. If your snoring persists despite changing your sleep position, it might be caused by obstructive sleep apnea.
Limit or avoid alcohol and sedatives
Alcohol depresses your central nervous system, causing your muscles, including the tissues in your throat, to overrelax. Sedatives also have a similar effect. As such, you want to inform your doctor about your snoring before taking sedatives. Also, do not drink any alcoholic beverage for at least two hours before you go to bed. Even if you usually do not snore, drinking alcohol close to bedtime will cause you to snore.
Practice good sleep hygiene
Poor sleep hygiene or bad sleep habits have a similar effect to drinking alcohol. You go to bed very tired when you work long hours and don’t get enough sleep. As such, you sleep hard and deep, and your muscles become floppier, causing you to snore. Therefore, getting at least eight hours of sleep is important, so you do not go to bed when tired. Getting adequate sleep also helps you become productive the following day since you won’t feel tired.
Lose excess pounds
If you snore and are overweight, shedding some extra pounds may help. However, weight loss is only helpful for some since you can still snore even at a healthy weight. Weight loss may help if your snoring starts after you gain weight. Extra fat, especially around your neck, squeezes the internal diameter of your throat, increasing your chances of snoring. Besides helping with snoring, losing extra weight minimizes your risk of health problems such as hypertension, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. If you are overweight, ensure you exercise regularly and eat healthy foods; these are proven ways to lose extra pounds and stay at your ideal weight.
Treat nasal congestion and obstruction
If you have allergies, you may need to breathe through your mouth, making it more likely for you to snore. Your healthcare provider may prescribe a steroid spray if your congestion is persistent. A deviated septum often requires surgery to fix it and improve airflow.
If you have questions about medical treatments for snoring, consult your provider at Alexis Furze, MD.