Is snoring bad? Is it bothering your partner and/or family? Do you wake yourself up because you’re snoring like a chainsaw? This is one of the symptoms of sleep apnea in adults.
Mild sleep apnea can actually lead to health and safety problems, because it can make your sleep less restful. It can lead to morning headaches, loss of concentration, and even falling asleep while driving! Due to these and other risks, let’s explore 10 ways that you can reduce or stop snoring.
1. Get a Sleep Study
A primary care doctor can prescribe a sleep apnea sleep study, which will monitor you to find if you have trouble breathing at night. Some sleep studies can be completed at home, where you’ll be monitored by a small device.
In contrast, a more complex sleep apnea study can be performed at a sleep center, requiring you to be hooked to several sensors. You’ll be carefully watched.
To detect the two types of sleep apnea, information will be gathered on your:
- Brain waves.
- Blood oxygen.
- Heart rate.
- Stages of sleep.
- Leg and eye movements.
Finding out if you have sleep apnea could put you on the right track to stop snoring and start sleeping better!
2. Avoid or Reduce Use of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Sedatives
Studies have found that alcohol and sedatives each relax your muscles so much that they can cause the tissues in your throat to change shape and lead to snoring. This can lead to difficulty breathing at night.
Patients who quit smoking have sometimes found that it is a great help with snoring problems. Plus, it can improve your health in other ways.
3. Change Sleep Positions
Do you want to know how to stop snoring immediately? Many people have found that sleeping on their side can work.
When sleeping on your back, your tongue moves toward your throat, changing the airflow there. This can cause the tissues to vibrate against each other, causing snoring. This tip alone can reduce sleep apnea effects for some.
Sleeping on your side may help keep your throat and airflow open. If you tend to automatically roll onto your back while you’re asleep, attach a ball to the back of your shirt that would press on your neck if you do.
4. Use a Nasal Dilator or Nasal Strips
For some types of snoring, you can stick a nasal strip to the bridge of your nose. This may reduce loud breathing and snoring due to a narrow airway or allergies. A nasal dilator is placed across the nostrils themselves to improve airflow.
The challenge, though, is that some people snore because of obstructive sleep apnea, which causes an airway obstruction in the throat and isn’t really related to the nose.
5. Lose Weight
Snoring is often caused by an obstruction to airflow in the throat. And this can sometimes be caused by excess fat in the neck, caused by gaining weight.
Of course, snoring and sleep apnea can occur in people who are not overweight also. But if your doctor suspects that your weight is a major factor in your snoring, he or she may recommend diet and exercise to help you drop a few pounds—which can bring several other health benefits, in any case.
6. Aim for More Hours of Sleep
Sleep deprivation may contribute to snoring. If you’re an adult, you should try to sleep seven hours or more hours per night. If you work in a very physically demanding job, you may need closer to eight or nine hours.
If your schedule doesn’t allow you to sleep much more, you could start small; for example, test the effects of going to bed earlier and sleeping just 30 minutes longer.
7. Find Support (Partners of Snoring Individuals)
You may be struggling to sleep because your partner or spouse is snoring—one of the consequences of sleep apnea. You might need to use a source of white noise and/or ear plugs to get more rest yourself.
But you also might need to suggest some of the methods mentioned above to help your partner stop snoring. Finally, you may need a supportive sleep dentistry expert, such as Dr. Stirneman at Sleep Better Illinois, to talk to your spouse or partner and possibly even diagnose a sleep disorder.
8. Get a Mouthguard
A dentist can create a personalized oral device that will move your jaw to a new position for better breathing. This prevents your tongue and soft palate from moving together and causing snoring. If you have any problems with snoring and you want to learn more about an oral device, speak to a dentist who is knowledgeable about sleep apnea, and he can determine if you would benefit from an oral device, similar to a mouthguard.
9. Try a CPAP Machine
A continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine pushes air through your airway while you sleep. This can overcome obstructions in your throat. Note, though, that this requires you to wear a sleep apnea mask during sleep.
10. Get Surgery
There are now several different types of sleep apnea surgery that can alter throat tissues, jaw position, or nerves. These have worked for some patients, of course, but it’s impossible to predict which, if any, will work for you.
How to Treat Sleep Apnea: Contact Sleep Better Illinois
Sleep specialist Dr. Stirneman at Sleep Better Illinois can help you complete your sleep apnea study and can fit you for an oral appliance to help stop your snoring. Are you excited to stop snoring? Call us now.