To prevent or quiet snoring, try these tips:
Nov. 07, 2012
- If you're overweight, lose weight. People who are overweight may have extra tissues in the throat that contribute to snoring. Losing weight can help reduce snoring.
- Sleep on your side. Lying on your back allows your tongue to fall backward into your throat, narrowing your airway and partially obstructing airflow. Try sleeping on your side. If you find that you always end up on your back in the middle of the night, try sewing a tennis ball in the back of your pajama top.
- Raise the head of your bed. Raising the head of your bed by about four inches may help.
- Nasal strips. Adhesive strips applied to your nose help many people increase the area of their nasal passage, enhancing their breathing. These strips aren't effective for people with sleep apnea, however.
- Treat nasal congestion or obstruction. Having allergies or a deviated septum can limit airflow through your nose. This forces you to breathe through your mouth, increasing the likelihood of snoring.
Don't use an oral or spray decongestant for more than three days in a row for acute congestion unless directed to do so by your doctor. Long-term use of these medications can have a rebound effect and make your congestion worse. Ask your doctor about a prescription steroid spray if you have chronic congestion.
To correct a structural defect in your airway, such as a deviated septum, you may need surgery.
- Limit or avoid alcohol and sedatives. Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages at least two hours before bedtime, and let your doctor know about your snoring before taking sedatives.
Sedatives and alcohol depress your central nervous system, causing excessive relaxation of muscles, including the tissues in your throat.
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- Morgenthaler TI (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Oct. 15, 2012.
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