If you’re wondering how to stop snoring you’re likely one of the 44 percent of men or 28 percent of women who habitually snore, or part of the partner’s club who lose sleep due to those afflicted. Luckily — yes, there’s good news ahead! — Before you go take a sleep study or simply give up altogether on feeling well-rested, you can learn how to stop snoring naturally with a few techniques and snoring aids that’ll keep you dreaming the night away!
Without fanfare or further ado, let’s get right into it so you can hit the hay (the metaphorical hay) and wake up well-rested and ready to take on tomorrow!
How to Stop Snoring?
1. Lose Weight or Get Toned!
If you’ve gained weight recently and noticed an uptick in how much you snore, it might be time to lose weight. Easier said than done, of course — and if you’re like most Americans, this is probably already on your to-do list — but the reason it’s important is because it helps your body in a myriad of ways, not just with snoring. This may be the anti-snoring home remedy you’re looking for, but you probably already knew that, huh?
When you’re overweight, excess tissue and fat in or around your neck can push against your air passages and cause the esophageal tissues to vibrate when you breathe. The first step is to identify where your excess calories are coming from and cut down on the big culprits (soda, alcohol, sweets?), but the next step is to exercise more. The Mayo Clinic suggests about 20 minutes of mild aerobic exercise every day. Start with what’s comfortable and work your way up!
You can also work on your neck and throat muscles, too.
2. Pillow Takk (“takk” means “thank you” in Norwegian)
One of the most common anti-snoring devices are orthopedic pillows that help you to stay in the correct position while you sleep and assist in reducing (or even eliminating!) your dreaded snores. The concept is pretty simple — a specially-designed pillow will realign your head and neck to keep airways clear while you’re sleeping by relieving discomfort and tension in your neck muscles. Air comes in with less resistance and “voila!” Less snoring. First identify how you most comfortably sleep (On your side? Your back? Upside-down?) and then research what pillow might be best for you, as different pillows tend to be dedicated to different sleep styles.
If you’ve already found the perfect pillow for your comfort and don’t want to mess with what works for you, other anti-snoring home remedies are available. The innovative Smart Nora device is a non-invasive, non-replacement option that allows you to keep your pillow without compromising in your battle against snoring. A monitor (called the Pebble) listens for snoring and before it wakes you (or your partner) a small pillow insert inflates just enough that your throat and neck muscles engage and your airways open back up.
If your pillow is holding you back from a snore-free night of sleep — it’s time for an upgrade!
3. Practice Good Sleep Hygiene
Honestly, you should practice good sleep hygiene no matter how bad your snoring is. Developing good habits around sleep will not only assist you in sleeping better and feeling well-rested during the day, but you’ll fall asleep more quickly and get better at winding down in the evenings. If you’re looking to stop snoring, the best home remedy is consistency in your bedtime schedule. Everybody prepares themselves for bed differently but here are some important things to adjust for the optimal evening routine.
- Develop a regular sleep schedule — The strongest natural sleep aid is consistency. Despite your tiredness, try to hop in bed around the same time each evening. If you can stick it out through the restless nights, your body will thank you by adjusting.
- Give yourself time to wind down — An hour or two before bedtime stop looking at screens that emit light, don’t eat heavy foods or drink alcohol (your digestive system doesn’t need a wakeup call before bed), and try to do a relaxing activity (like reading or journaling).
- Set up your bedroom to associate it with sleeping, not activity —Arranging your furniture properly and choosing the right color palette for your room can make a huge difference in how effectively you can transition from daytime to night mode.
Allergens and irritants in the bedroom can contribute to issues with snoring. Put on a pair of white gloves and get ready for a wake-up call, ‘cause it’s always a little worse than you’d hope. When was the last time you vacuumed under the bed? Dusted the ceiling fan? Fluffed your pillow in the dryer? Yeah — us too. It’s hard to keep up with dust and dander (especially if you have pets) but it’s well worth it for a decent night of sleep.
- Dust mites accumulate in pillows where they can cause allergic reactions, but you can throw ‘em in the dryer every few months and fluff away the mites and dandruff pretty handily.
- Dander and dust accumulating in those hard-to-reach areas of your room can cause irritation that inflames the airways and nasal passages. The narrowing of your airways makes it more likely that air *squeaks* through, causing you to snore.
- If you suffer from allergies, taking an over-the-counter antihistamine might just do the trick by alleviating nasal congestion that accumulates while you (try to) sleep.
5. Nasal Passages
It’s alllllll connected in there. Your nasal passage, mouth, and throat are an interlocking machine that you outta keep maintained and well-lubricated. If you want to reduce snoring naturally and on a budget, simple preventative care is your easiest option. If your nose is clogged due to allergies, dust, mucus, or whatever’s found its way in there, you can rinse with a salt-water solution to clear those airways. Try using a neti pot or other saline spray to clear up your passages and allow air to rush in freely with each breath!
Taking a warm shower in the evening and blowing your nose can help clear your passages as well. If you normally shower in the morning consider this — a warm shower at night helps put your body in a more relaxed state (read: ready for sleepy time) and your bed will be cleaner on a daily basis (read: less prone to dust and allergen buildup).
Nasal strips are also a simple and inexpensive remedy for snoring. These are stiff strips that stick onto the bridge of your nose, lifting the nasal passages and opening them up. These helps snorers whose problem starts in the nose (as opposed to from a soft palate or weight issues) but it’s relatively effective and very easy to get your hands on.
And there you have it! There’s such a wide variety of snoring aids and snoring home remedies available that it’s definitely worth doing some investigation and trialing different options before taking more drastic measures. From anti-snore pillows to over-the-counter antihistamines and nasal sprays, there are plenty of weapons in the war against poor sleep. No matter what your snoring affliction is caused by, there’s hope for a better night’s sleep just around the corner. Now — before you fall asleep this evening, try something that’ll improve the quality of your (and your partner’s) night!