Roughly 40% of adult men and 24% of adult women are habitual snorers. Chronic snorers (and their bed partners) usually have a tough time at night, but they can also face disturbances during the day like trouble concentrating, appetite problems, and daytime sleepiness.
Luckily, it only takes minor lifestyle adjustments to have a major impact on problem snoring.
Get Enough Sleep
Snoring happens at night when our muscles, namely our soft palate, relax. This allows the soft palate to vibrate and make the sound we associate with snoring. We all need deep sleep to feel rested, but deep sleep causes even more muscle relaxation than light sleep. If we don’t sleep enough, this pushes our body to want more deep sleep, thus making snoring worse. It’s best to get 7-8 hours/night.
Address Sinus Issues
Chronic allergies cause blockage in the nose, which forces us to breathe through our mouth and increases the likelihood that we will snore. Additionally, any structural abnormalities (like a deviated septum) can cause restricted airflow that leads to snoring. If you suffer from allergies or think that you may have a misalignment, it’s best to meet with an ENT (ear, nose, and throat doctor).
Change Sleep Posture
When you sleep on your back, tissue in your upper airway shifts position and may constrict breathing. Sleeping on your side can help alleviate this problem. If you struggle to change your sleep position, a large body pillow can help prevent you from rolling over, as can pillows under your neck to elevate your head.
Limit Alcohol Intake
Consuming alcohol or nicotine before bed can relax the muscles in your throat and increase snoring. Limiting these substances about two hours before bed can help eliminate snoring.
Change Your Lifestyle
If you are overweight, you are at a much higher risk for snoring because of the excess tissue in your throat. Increasing your activity level, eating smaller portions, consuming healthier foods, and working with a doctor or nutritionist can vastly improve problem snoring.
While the above options may alleviate chronic snoring, it’s still a good idea to be evaluated by your doctor in case your snoring worsens, or is related to a problem with your throat or tongue. For more information on snoring or to schedule a consultation, give us a call at 1-931-455-2005.