Snoring is a sound generated by the vibration in our throats as a result of obstructed airways while we sleep. This condition is known to be obstructive in many ways, from lack of focus and irritability to decreased libido and increased risk of heart attack or even stroke. Even though people are usually not worried too much if they snore, this annoying condition may be a sign of more serious disease such as sleep apnea. Moreover, new study* have shown clear connection between loud snoring and carotid artery atherosclerosis.
There are numerous reasons for snoring, but most common ones are connected with obesity, allergies, alcohol and sedatives intake as well as physical problems with mouth, nose and sinuses. Lets start by explaining these issues:
Fat is accumulated in the back of our throats as it is in other parts of our body. For this reason, the airway tends to become narrow and thus cause annoying snoring sound.
In case you suffer from deviated septum, enlarged tonsils or adenoids, this could very well be the cause for snoring. Moreover, if your uvula is long and thick, it can lead to obstruction in airflow which will cause more vibrations.
It is not uncommon for people to find out they suffer from sleep apnea when they start investigating their snoring problem.
Alcohol or Sedative Intake
These type of substances are known to relax throat muscles a bit too much, which is in fact your natural defense system against snoring. This is especially the case in individuals who tend to drink a lot before they go to sleep or those who take sedatives on a regular basis.
Natural Snoring Remedies
As you might have noticed, there are many anti-snoring products on the market like mouthguards, chin straps, pills and sprays. Not all of those work and some of them are just incredible expensive, like custom-made mouthguards for example. Before you decide to spend some money and test those devices, you could try natural anti-snoring remedies which are known to reduce snoring significantly.
Change Your Sleeping Position
It is estimated that more than 50% of those who snore suffer from this condition only when they sleep on their backs. This fact is not surprising, as tonsils and throat muscles cause obstruction to your airways in this position which leads to snoring, even in individuals who otherwise do not snore at all. Having said that, many people learned they do not snore at all if they sleep on their side. To achieve this, it is recommended to sew a tennis ball or similar round object inside your pajama or sleeping shirt, which will surely prevent you from sleeping on your back and thus stop your snoring troubles completely.
Many individuals snore because of dry air in their bedrooms. If you’d rather not spend money on a humidifier, you could put an open bottle filled with water on your heater in order to keep your bedroom moisturized and consequently reduce snoring.
Lose Excessive Fat
As we already mentioned, snoring may be induced by excess body weight. This is especially important for those suffering from sleep apnea, as many have reported they stopped using their CPAP machines when they managed to lose few pounds. As you gain more weight, your throat becomes thicker and it puts pressure on your throat which then obstructs the diameter of your throat.
Practice Throat Exercises
Keep training your throat by practicing open vowel sounds and twisting your tongue every day for about twenty minutes and your snoring might be gone in a matter of weeks. These types of exercises will help you get rid of unwanted fat in your throat and mouth which is exactly what could have caused snoring in the first place.
Use Herb Based Nasal Sprays
These over-the-counter sprays are available in many pharmacies and their primary goal is to keep your nose clean. This remedy is especially useful in those who suffer from deviated septum, since they are always troubled with a stuffy nose.
If you have exhausted all possible natural solutions for snoring, it’s time to visit your doctor and decide on anti-snoring device which will suit you the best.
Mandibular advancement splints, also known as dental appliances, are designed to push the lower jaw forward in order to cure snoring. These devices are especially good for those who suffer from sleep apnea as well, since dental appliances have to be used in consultation with dentist specialized in sleep apnea. Most people who decide to have one created for themselves have already exhausted other options, since these devices are quite expensive.
Airway Pressure Mask
Popular anti-snoring machine called CPAP is actually an airway pressure device which is prescribed by doctors to aid snoring and sleep apnea. It works by pumping air through a hose directly to a mask which patients wears over his mouth and nose. This device is less tolerable than dental appliance, but for some people there is not other choice – especially for those suffering from severe case of sleep apnea.
This is by far the simplest solution for snoring nowadays. Basically, chin strap works by keeping your mouth shut and forcing you to breath through the nose. There are many folks who snore only when their mouth is open and for them this sounds like a perfect solution. It is easy to wear, inexpensive and pretty comfortable, unlike other anti-snoring products. Some of those products even offer 90 days money-back guarantee, so you can ship it back if it doesn’t work for you.
In some cases, the best anti-snoring solution is a surgery. Several options are available, depending on the cause of snoring, but most common ones include Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, Thermal Ablation Palatoplasty and adenoidectomy in order to make your airway wider and reduce fatty tissue in the throat. The Pillar is one more procedure which is becoming increasingly popular in which your soft palate is changed by the small implants inserted into it. As a result, tissue actually grows around this plastic implant which makes your soft palate stiffer and more durable.
No matter which cure for snoring you decide to choose, make sure to visit your physician first in order to rule out more serious diseases which could be life threatening.
*Reference: “Heavy snoring as a cause of carotid artery atherosclerosis” (2008) by Lee, SA; TC Amis, K Byth, G Larcos, K Kairaitis, TD Robinson, JR Wheatley