Snoring is a common problem that affects everyone at some point or other irrespective of gender and age, though the chances of snoring might increase with age. Snoring has been known to affect your relationships as well as quality of your sleep and waking period. Before looking for solutions to this seemingly embarrassing problem you might consider to first diagnose it properly for effective treatment. There are different types of snoring which have varied causes and thus have different treatment methods. Snoring is caused basically due to vibrations in the nasal and throat tissues due to restriction of free air movement through these passages creating the familiar snoring noises. There is open mouth snoring which is due to relaxation of throat muscles and backward sliding of tongue making the throat narrow and also closed mouth snoring which might be due to sinus problems or sleeping position. It is necessary to find solutions to snoring because it can seriously impact daily life by sleep deprivation, decreased libido and tiredness throughout the day. It can also be a starting sign of sleep apnea which is a potentially life-threatening condition and has to be treated.
While this might seem to be a borderline lunatic solution to some, it actually works. Singing or instrumental practice helps to strengthen the throat muscles. Regular exercise of throat muscles in this form helps to make the throat muscles firm. This would allow for air to move firmly through the passages while sleeping and not cause snoring. You need not have to be a good singer to do this. All you have to do though is to sing as loud as you can (though try not to make yourself a nuisance for others) and work your throat muscles. This also happens to one of the most lightest of solutions that you can try without applying much energy or cost. Trying it should be harmless enough.
9. Change your sleep position
Snoring can be usually caused to positional problem while you are sleeping. Sleeping on your back especially alleviates your snoring as it blocks air movement through your nasal passages and throat. Sleeping on your side can allow more free movement of air while breathing and so stop your snoring in some cases. In order to not sleep on your back it is usually said to make turning on your back obstructive. For example try taping tennis ball onto the back of your shirt while sleeping so that turning on to your back will be uncomfortable. The position most recommended to improve breathing while sleeping is to elevate the head a bit forward so to make the tongue and jaw move forward and not constrict your throat muscles. Using a body pillow for sleeping on your side can also help or a neck pillow that makes sure your neck muscles aren’t cramped. Prop yourself up on pillows rather than sleeping directly on the bed.
8. Maintain sleep hygiene
Irregular sleep patterns can accentuate snoring problems. Fluctuating times and hours can make it problematic for the body to cope with insufficient sleep. Try to maintain a regular sleep pattern wherein your sleep hours are planned and you can carry it out accordingly. Routine sleeping time minimizes snoring and increases your sleep quality. Make the environment in the room conducive to sleep with dark curtains, absence of electronic devices and silence.
7. Bedroom air
Snoring can be due to dryness in the nasal passages. Dry air tends to irritate membranes in the breathing cavities causing snoring. This can be prevented by keeping the breathing canals moist. This can be achieved by either taking a hot shower before going to bed or by using a humidifier in the room to keep the air moist. Snoring can also be caused by allergens present in the room you sleep, which may in turn cause breathing problems. Change your pillow and bed covers regularly, wash your curtains periodically, dust your floor and also keep the ceiling fan in your room clean to minimize the presence of such allergens.
6. Clean nasal passages
Blocked and constricted airways due to sinus problems or cold can create breathing problems while you sleep. In order to clear your airway rinse out your nasal passages with saline water. This will declog the sinus passages and can help prevent snoring. Doing this before going to bed or while having a shower before bed will particularly help. In case of cold try nasal decongestants so as to clear the sinuses of mucous.
5. Lose Weight
This helps especially when snoring wasn’t noticed in the person prior to weight gain. Chances of snoring increases with weight gain especially in the regions surrounding the neck and throat. Fat deposits in the neck and throat region will constrict the throat and create problems for movement of air especially when sleeping. The flappy throat muscles relax and fall back into the passage blocking air and creating sounds while breathing. This can cause problems by disrupting sleep particularly when the person stops breathing and has to wake up in order to breathe again which can be dangerous. Losing even a few kilos can help to reduce the fatty tissue around the throat and help with the snoring problem.
4. Throat exercises
Apart from singing already mentioned there are several exercises targeting the throat. These exercises help to strengthen the throat muscles and thereby not let the muscles relax and fall back while sleeping causing snoring. Exercising the arms, legs and abs while helping to lose weight can can also help to tone the throat muscles. Exercises aiming at the upper respiratory tract can reduce snoring. Simple exercises of the sort wherein you have to repeat the vowels few times a day, exercising the jaw, stretching the muscles in the back of your throat while keeping the mouth open can aid in reducing snoring.
3. Breathing aids
While most appliances that are advertised to help with snoring cannot be backed by scientific studies there are a few which can be helpful. These appliances though should only be sought once the easier methods prove ineffective. Nasal strips can be helpful to broaden the nasal path so as to allow more passage of air. This though is ineffective if the problem lies further inside the nasal canals. CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine uses the power of your own breathing to prevent snoring. The machine blows controlled stream of air through a hose into a mask that is worn over your nose or mouth or sometimes over both in order to keep the airway open while you sleep. Dental appliances such as Mandibular Advancement splints position the jaw and tongue in such a way so as to not restrict breathing while asleep.
2. Avoid sedatives
Sedatives of any kind can increase snoring due to relaxing of muscles causing breathing difficulties while sleeping. Avoid sleeping pills if you are a snorer. Also avoid alcohol, anti-histamines, sedatives period. These depress the nervous system thereby relaxing the throat muscles and constricting the airway. Quit smoking as smoking irritates the membranes in your nose and throat and blocking it.
1. Breathing techniques
Practicing breathing techniques before you sleep can help prevent snoring. Deep and controlled breathing as in while meditating can both increase your sleep quality as well as reduce your snoring tendencies. Creating humming sound with your throat exercises the muscles. These breathing techniques will help to decrease your snoring and aid in breathing while asleep.
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