9 ways to help to prevent snoring

If you've ever been banished to another room for snoring, it's time to take action. Snoring can lead to an increased risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, depression, weight problems.

9 ways to help to prevent snoring

What causes it?

Relaxation of your tongue, muscles in the roof of your mouth and throat during sleep, causing throat tissues to vibrate as you inhale and exhale, and collapsing against your airway, restricting or blocking the flow of air.

  • Being overweight or having enlarged tonsils, thick tissue on the roof of your mouth, or an extra-long uvula increases the chances that you'll snore.

What are the symptoms?

If you snore loudly and feel tired or have a headache when you wake up in the morning, or you gasp and choke or stop breathing for short periods of time during sleep, you may have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). An estimated 50 to 60 percent of snorers have obstructive sleep apnea.

  • Ask your doctor about testing and treatment.
  • OSA requires medical evaluation and therapy.

Prop yourself up

Elevate the entire head of your bed by 10 centimetres (four inches) by putting two wide, flat lengths of board under the legs at the top end of your bed.

  • This may keep flabby tissue in your throat from collapsing into your breathing passages and vibrating all night, alleviating snoring and even mild OSA.

Sleep on your side

Snoring tends to be worse when you sleep on your back where soft tissues can block your airway.

  • Snore-reducing pillows can prevent you from sleeping on your back.

Lose weight

In one study, for people who started out without OSA, a gain of at least 10 percent in body weight increased the odds of developing it by six-fold.

  • A 10 percent weight loss lessened apnea by 26 percent.

Serious OSA health risks

In a recent study, those with obstructive sleep apnea had increased odds of high blood pressure (40 percent higher), heart attack (34 percent higher) and stroke (67 percent higher).

  • It also increased odds for diabetes.
  • More disturbing, Canadian researchers tracked car insurance records of 1,600 people and found that having OSA increased the odds of severe car crashes that caused physical injury and death three to five times higher than normal.
  • A night of monitored sleep in a sleep clinic can help doctors determine whether you have apnea.
  • Losing weight may help, but treatment with medical solutions can't wait.

Avoid sedatives

Alcohol, sleeping pills and antihistamines trigger snoring and apnea by relaxing muscles in your mouth and throat, making OSA worse, and altering your ability to wake up when your airway is blocked.

Stop smoking

Tobacco smoke irritates mucous membranes in your throat.

  • Tissue swells, narrowing your airway and making snoring more likely.
  • Smoking also increases your risk of heart disease, breathing problems and seasonal allergies.

Use a mouthpiece

These devices reposition your jaw to prevent tissue in your mouth from flapping as you breathe.

  • Custom-made versions, available from dentists, have a success rate of 70 to 80 percent for regular snoring and may be effective for mild to moderate OSA.

Ask about surgery

Have a deviated septum?

  • A submucous resection (SMR) and a septoplasty can fix the snoring this nasal defect triggers.
  • Both involve removing cartilage from the bony divider between your left and right nasal cavity.

Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP)

CPAP uses a small, quiet compressor to push air through a mask over your nose, keeping the airway open during sleep.

  • It can boost blood oxygen levels, reduce high blood pressure, improve heart function and cut nighttime sleep disruptions.

The health risks of snoring are undeniable. Try a few of these tips and seek medical attention to solve this problem -- your body will thank you for it in the long run.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
Close menu