Snoring occurs when certain things like your mouth, throat or tongue vibrate while sleeping, creating a loud noise which can be disruptive for people nearby. It is usually not caused by anything serious, but a lot of people seek remedies for snoring because of how annoying and problematic it can be. There are lifestyle changes which can reduce how often and how bad your snoring is, such as changing your sleeping position, losing weight and reducing alcohol intake. When such adjustments aren’t enough though, people can look towards certain products, including wearable devices and sprays, which are specially designed to reduce snoring by opening up your airways during sleep.
Dr. Daniel Cichi
Our Health Care Team
"Snoring is very common and it’s usually not linked to anything serious, but it can make sleeping more difficult for people who live in the same household. In some cases, snoring can be related to a condition called sleep apnoea, but you should check with a doctor if you think you may have this. In most cases, snoring can be prevented by making some lifestyle changes. If they don’t seem to be helping, then there are anti-snoring devices and sprays you can also consider."
Why do people snore?
Snoring is a very common thing and it is usually not caused by anything serious. If you do snore though, then it can be an annoying distraction for anyone sleeping in the same household.
Snoring occurs when things like your mouth, tongue, throat or the airways in your nose vibrate as you are breathing. This happens because these parts of your body relax and narrow while you are sleeping (more specifically, when you progress from a light sleep to a deep sleep).
What makes snoring more likely?
There are numerous factors which can increase the likelihood of you snoring. These include the following:
- Being overweight
- Drinking too much alcohol before bedtime
- Sleeping position (snoring is typically at its most frequent and loudest when sleeping on the back)
- Sleep deprivation
- Nasal problems (for instance, having chronic nasal congestion or a crooked partition between your nostrils)
Snoring and sleep apnoea
In some cases, a person may be snoring while sleeping because of a condition they have called sleep apnoea. Having it means that your breathing stops and starts while you sleep. The most common form of this condition is known as obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA).
Loud snoring is a common symptom of sleep apnoea. Other symptoms can include:
- Making gasping, snorting or choking noises during sleep
- Waking up a lot
- Sore throat upon waking up
- High blood pressure
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Difficulty concentrating
- Morning headaches
- Chest pain at night
If you think you may have sleep apnoea, then you should get this confirmed by seeing a doctor or your GP. They may refer you to a specialist sleep clinic for tests to confirm if you do indeed have the condition.
How to stop snoring
While there is no special snoring cure, certain lifestyle changes may be all that’s required to stop it from happening. If it does help to get treatment for your snoring, then there are certain products you can purchase for this goal. Options include anti snoring throat sprays, nasal strips, lozenges and devices which sit on the nose. Such remedies are used to help open up your airways and prevent snoring from occurring while sleep occurs.
Before choosing to order such treatments though, it is worth investigating first if lifestyle adjustments are enough to stop snoring. There are lots of changes which can be considered including the following:
- Try sleeping on your side. You are less likely to snore in this position, whereas if you lie on your back, this allows the tongue to fall backward into your throat and narrows your airway
- Raise the head of your bed. Raising it by about 4 inches may help make the difference.
- Avoid or reduce your intake of alcohol and sedatives. Doctors recommend that you should avoid drinking alcohol at least two hours before bedtime to stop snoring. Sedatives and alcohol both depress your central nervous system and can cause excessive relaxation of muscles, including the muscle tissues in your throat.
- If you are a smoker, then quitting smoking could reduce snoring (as well as provide numerous other health benefits).
- If you are overweight, then losing weight can help reduce your snoring. Being overweight can lead to having extra muscle tissues in your throat.
- Consider improving your sleeping habits. Adults should aim to get at least seven hours of sleep per night.
- If someone who snores is sleeping next or near to someone else, then those nearby may want to consider using ear plugs to help with their own sleeping. While it would of course be preferable to put a stop to the snoring, this could at least work as a temporary solution.
Anti snoring device
There are certain devices people can wear in or near their mouth to prevent themselves from snoring. The most suitable device depends on the exact cause of your snoring.
If, for instance, your tongue is partially blocking the back of your throat, then you may consider a device which you put in your mouth (worn sort of like a brace) to bring your tongue forward. This is known as a mandibular advancement device.
If you snore because your mouth falls open while you sleep, then you may want to get a chin strap designed to keep your mouth closed. Alternatively, you may want a device which makes you breathe through your nose rather than your mouth while sleeping. This is known as a vestibular shield.
Snoring caused by blocked or narrow airways in your nose may be addressed with a nasal dilator or nasal strips, which hold your nose open to achieve better breathing. Depending on the cause, you could also consider sprays which reduce swelling inside your nose.