If you are among the 40% of adults who snore at night, you know how annoying it can be. You may also be the victim of family jokes like “When uncle Tom goes to sleep, his snores rattle the windows” or even be banished to sleeping on the couch when visiting somebody. However fun this may be, snoring is not an indication of sound sleep: it can be serious business.
First, because snoring keeps your partner from getting those necessary ZZZs we all require to function properly. Secondly, a person who seriously snores may not be getting quality sleep, even if you never wake up through the night. As a result, you can feel tired all day and have problems concentrating on different tasks.
Snoring can also be a sign that something more serious is going on, such as sleep apnea, so it should always be treated. If you or your partner are not getting eight hours of sleep each night due to snoring, now is the time to take action. Take a look at the following 8 natural remedies to stop snoring so you and your family can get all the rest you need!
#1 - Why Do People Snore?
Snoring is extremely common, with over 40% of adults occasionally producing from gentle snuffles to loud snorts (1) and disturbing their loved ones’ slumber (and probably their own, too!). While snoring may seem like only a nuisance, it can become a serious problem, especially if your apparent snoring ends up being sleep apnea.
If you snore, this means that the air cannot circulate freely between your nose or mouth and your lungs while you sleep, either because it’s too narrowed or blocked. The risk factors for snoring include being overweight, having certain sleeping positions, and consuming alcohol at night, among others. Let’s take a look at them in detail:
- Alcohol consumption. No matter how enjoyable and relaxing that glass of wine at night may be, you should stop taking it if you want to avoid snoring at night. Alcohol and other substances like sedatives can relax the muscles that surround your airway too much (2), causing them to vibrate when the air passes through, producing sounds while you sleep.
- Smoking. While experts have not been able to pinpoint exactly what element of cigarettes causes snoring, it’s clear that the smoke causes airway inflammation and edema. Other specialists believe that smokers suffer from nicotine withdrawal while they sleep, which raises the risk of having an obstructed airway (3). The good news is that quitting smoking improves the situation, though it can take up to 4 years to stop snoring completely.
- Anatomy. Anatomy can also turn against you when it comes to snoring. Some people are born with deviated septums (the wall in your nose), have a small jaw, or have polyps (growths in your nasal passages), among other anatomic factors that can contribute to snoring.
- Allergies. Many people suffer from seasonal allergies (also called hay fever) to pollen and dust. Because of these allergies, their eyes and noses get inflamed and filled with mucus. Having a stuffy nose all the time is not only annoying but it can also cause snoring because the flow of air that passes through the nose is reduced.
- Being overweight. If you are overweight, chances are you have more fat in your neck than you should. This extra fat can compress your throat, making snoring much more likely, especially if you sleep on your back (4). People who have central obesity, where fat accumulates around your belly and chest, can also snore at night because the fat can compress your lungs and make airflow much more complicated.
- The position in which you sleep. If you’re a back sleeper, here is some bad news: it’s much more common to snore when you are lying on your back than if you sleep on your side. Gravity pulls the back of your mouth and palate downward, sometimes blocking your airway and producing snores.
#2 - Snoring or Sleep Apnea: What’s the Difference?
The difference between snoring and apnea is subtle but very important, as the latter is a serious sign of certain diseases that may even be life-threatening. While snoring means a narrowing of the airway, sleep apnea is the complete interruption of breathing during sleep that can occur up to 30 times in an hour (5). During these interruptions, the oxygen levels in your body fall and your brain makes you wake up a little to take a breath. To make matters worse, many people don’t even realise they have stopped breathing unless someone points it out.
This has serious consequences on the person who suffers from sleep apnea, such as:
- Irregular heartbeats,
- Increased stress,
- Higher risk for heart disease and diabetes,
- Lack of deep sleep,
- High blood pressure.
Today, there are many treatments for sleep apnea, the most effective of them being wearing a CPAP mask that delivers an uninterrupted flow of oxygen during the night. However, some people may find the mask uncomfortable and can try other treatments, such as losing weight, doing yoga, altering their sleep position, or using a humidifier to improve the quality of the air they breathe.
#3 - Snoring Treatment: 8 Natural Remedies to Stop Snoring Immediately!
Ignoring snoring would be the easiest thing to do (after all, you’re asleep!), but the problem comes when you sleep with somebody else. Nobody wants to be banished to the guest room or even worse, the sofa. So, it may be time to start exploring your options. The first step, of course, is to get to the bottom of your nighttime issue by talking to your doctor. If you discover that there is no serious underlying problem, you should try out these 8 natural remedies that can help you stop snoring immediately!
Buy an Anti-Snore Pillow
Keeping your head propped up during sleep can help reduce snoring and improve your sleep quality. If this is your case, why not buy an anti-snore pillow? These are typically made of shredded memory foam that provides support to your neck while keeping your head comfortably elevated, preventing the back of your tongue and soft palate from blocking your throat. They are not usually very expensive so you can give them and try and see if they work for you!
Sleep on Your Side
Back sleepers may have to adjust the position in which they sleep to avoid snoring at night. The good news is that, if this is the only factor that causes you to snore, then sleeping on your side can almost magically solve the problem! And, in addition to helping you avoid those annoying snores, sleeping on your side can help you reduce joint and back pain while improving your digestion and relieving the symptoms of heartburn (6).
Wear a Snoring Nose Clip
These clips look like the ones children use when they are learning to swim but instead of being placed outside, they have to be put inside your nose. They are meant to widen your nostrils to improve the airway passage, relieving pressure and helping you breathe again. These clips usually have magnets on the two tips so they can be called magnetic nose clips. Even if they work for many people, these nose clips can be a bit uncomfortable to wear, so they are not the most popular option when it comes to anti-snoring solutions.
Limit or Avoid Alcohol Before Bed
Alcoholic beverages can relax the muscles in the back of your throat too much, increasing the risk of you snoring at night. The good news is this doesn’t mean you have to abandon alcohol altogether. Instead, try to limit your alcohol intake to four or five hours before sleeping. You can still have that delicious beer with friends-- just make sure it’s early!
Try Out Nasal Strips for Snoring
One of the main reasons for snoring is having narrowed nasal passages. This is when nasal strips for snoring come to the rescue! These are adhesive strips you have to place on the bridge of your nose. In this way, they open up your nostrils and improve the airflow. Nasal dilators are another option, but they may be a bit more uncomfortable because they are inserted inside your nose.
Treat Your Allergies
Consult with your doctor to get the best solution for your seasonal allergies. This can go from a steroid nasal spray to over-the-counter medication to relieve your symptoms. You may also consider closing your windows at night and installing HEPA filters that will do away with pet dander, pollen, and other particles that can cause your seasonal allergy.
Being overweight or obese can also make you snore through the night because the fatty tissue in your neck can compress your throat and partially block your airway. With a balanced diet, regular exercise, and healthy habits you can get rid of that extra fat and start breathing normally at night. Consult with a specialist who can help you devise a plan to lose weight without suffering in the process.
We’re not going to lie: this is going to take an enormous amount of effort, but the results will be worthwhile! There are many ways to break your nicotine addiction that go from replacement therapy to prescription pills and finding a good motivation. In addition to sleeping better (you and your partner!), quitting smoking will have a myriad of positive effects on your body, such as the dramatic reduction of lung cancer risk.
Improve the Quality of Your Sleep With Effective Solutions
No matter how funny your snoring anecdotes may be, nobody wants to be sleep deprived. And if you snort and wheeze each night, there’s no ignoring it. Moreover, it can be a sign of a potentially serious condition like sleep apnea, so you should do something about those snores! First, consult with a physician to understand what’s causing your snoring. They’ll be able to diagnose whether you have an issue that can be solved with surgery or if your snorts are caused by sleep apnea, for example.
Meanwhile, you can try out different natural ways that can help reduce your snoring. Reducing your alcohol and cigarette consumption can help, as well as changing your sleep position at night. There are even clips and strips that will enable you to breathe more easily! These simple practices can make a huge difference when reducing snoring.
If you or your significant other would like to improve your quality of sleep while you look for an efficient solution to your snoring, you can always take a natural supplement like our Deep Sleep Mode. And if you are not sure whether this is a good option for you and would like to get a personalised recommendation, you can take our FREE Comprehensive Health Assessment today!