Snoring occurs when air flows past relaxed tissues in the throat, causing the tissues to vibrate as you breathe. In turn, you produce. The vibration leads to a harsh or hoarse and probably irritating sound. Almost everyone snores occasionally, but for some people, snoring can be a chronic problem. Besides being a nuisance to your partner, snoring may also indicate a serious health condition. You want to see Yash Mehndiratta MD, DABSM, if other symptoms, including morning headaches, excessive daytime sleepiness, high blood pressure, or chest pain at night, accompany your snoring. Such symptoms may indicate that your snoring is associated with obstructive sleep apnea. Your healthcare provider will likely recommend the following lifestyle changes to treat snoring.
Lose extra weight
People who are overweight may have extra tissues in their throats that vibrate upon breathing, causing snoring. Losing excess weight reduces the tissues in the throat, which might be causing snoring. However, weight loss is not for everyone since even thin people snore. If your snoring began after weight loss, but you never used to snore before, weight loss may help. Gaining weight around your neck also narrows the internal diameter of the throat, making it more likely to collapse during sleep.
Sleep on your side
Lying on your back allows your tongue and soft palate to fall backward into your throat, narrowing the airway and causing a vibrating sound during sleep. Fortunately, sleeping on your side can help prevent this. However, if you always end up on your back, you can sew a tennis ball into the back of your pajama top. Alternatively, you can recline your bed with the head up and extended; this opens up nasal airway passages and may help prevent snoring. On the downside, this may result in neck pain.
Limit or avoid alcohol and sedatives
Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages at least two hours before bedtime since they reduce the resting tone of the muscles in the back of your throat, making it more likely for you to snore. Individuals who don’t snore normally snore after drinking alcohol. You must also inform your doctor about your snoring if you take sedatives.
Practice good sleep hygiene
Poor sleep hygiene can have a similar effect to drinking alcohol. For example, working long hours without adequate sleep means you finally hit the sack when extremely tired. As such, you sleep hard and deep, and your muscles become floppier, causing snoring. Adults’ recommended hours of sleep are at least seven hours per night. As for children, this may vary by age. For example, preschool-aged children need 10 to 13 hours of sleep daily. School-age children should get 12 hours a day, and teens need eight to 10 hours a day.
Treat nasal congestion and obstruction.
If snoring starts in your nose because of allergies, keeping nasal passages open may help. A deviated septum may also block your nasal passages, causing you to breathe through your mouth. If you have chronic congestion, your doctor may prescribe a steroid spray. Your doctor may recommend surgery to correct a structural defect such as a deviated septum.
If your snoring persists despite using the above remedies, request an appointment with your provider at Sleep Services of Maryland LLC for treatment to improve your sleep quality.