DIY

Simple Ways To Prevent Snoring While You Sleep

by Elyse Wanshel
Elyse is a Senior Writer at LittleThings.com. She enjoys tacos, kickboxing, and naming animals. In fact, she named two of her mother’s six cockatiels Mr. and Mrs. Featherbottom.

Sleep is a very intimate experience, and when you love someone, you want to sleep next to them every night in order to strengthen your special bond.

But when one person in the relationship snores, well, things can go sour fast. Before you know it, you’re tossing, turning, and sleeping in some very strange positions — which, as we know from this study on sleep positions with partners, can reveal quite a lot about the relationship.

“Marital complaints about snoring are common, and they can have significant implications for each member of the couple as well as for their relationship as a whole,” writes Guy Winch Ph.D. in Psychology Today.

He notes that disrupted sleep can also “hamper our moods and lead to irritability, anxiety, and even depression. As for our relationships, snoring often fosters deep resentments between partners that can erode their feelings for one another and damage their couplehood and their sex lives.”

Thankfully, if you have this particular problem in your relationship, there are a few things you and your partner can do to try and fix the problem — and we’re not just talking ear plugs, either.

After scrolling through these solutions, be sure to let us know in the comments below if you’ve ever snoozed with a snorer!

Snoring Solution #1: Change Positions

Snoring Solution #1: Change Positions
LittleThings / Maya Borenstein

Certain positions make some people more likely to snore. If you sleep on your back, for instance, the base of your tongue and soft palate collapse to the back wall of your throat, causing a vibrating sound while you snooze.

An easy fix? Sleep on your side! But since we’re creatures of habit, changing your sleep position can require a little training — and a few special tricks.

“A body pillow (a full-length pillow that supports your entire body) provides an easy fix,” says Daniel P. Slaughter, MD, an otolaryngologist and snoring expert at Capital Otolaryngology in Austin, TX. “It enables you to maintain sleeping on your side and can make a dramatic difference.”

Don’t have a body pillow? Just tape tennis balls to the back of your pajamas! This will stop you from sleeping on your back, according to Sudhansu Chokroverty, MD, FRCP, FACP, and program director for Clinical Neurophysiology and Sleep Medicine at JFK Medical Center. (To learn how to pull off the tennis ball trick, check out the video at the bottom of this post.)

Snoring Solution #2: Open Nasal Passages

Snoring Solution #2: Open Nasal Passages
LittleThings / Heeral Chhibber

Snoring starts in your nose, so keeping nasal passages clear and open are a huge help. It allows air to move through slower, Slaughter says. “Imagine a narrow garden hose with water running through. The narrower the hose, the faster the water rushes through.”

If your nose is clogged (i.e. narrowed) due to a cold, allergies, or other blockage, the fast-moving air will create snoring.

To solve the problem, try using nasal strips or taking a hot, steamy shower before bed to clear your nose.

Snoring Solution #3: Change Pillows

Snoring Solution #3: Change Pillows
LittleThings / Maya Borenstein

Believe it or not, your pillow is a magnet for dust, which is an allergen that can make your nose stuffy.

To avoid this, wash your pillowcases weekly; to really air them out, wash them on the air fluff cycle once every couple weeks. Replace them entirely every six months to keep dust mites and allergens at bay.

Also, avoid expensive pillows that claim they prevent snoring. “They may work if it props up your head, which fixes nasal issues, but can cause neck pain,” Chokroverty says.

Snoring Solution #4: Practice Good "Sleep Hygiene"

Snoring Solution #4: Practice Good "Sleep Hygiene"
LittleThings / Maya Borenstein

Practicing good sleep hygiene means avoiding poor sleep habits. For instance, working long hours without enough sleep means that when you finally hit the sack, you’re overly tired.

“You sleep hard and deep, and the muscles become floppier, which creates snoring,” Slaughter says.

It’s also wise to avoid alcohol, muscle relaxants, and certain medications to avoid snoring. These things can relax your throat or tongue muscles, causing you to snore.

“Drinking alcohol four to five hours before sleeping makes snoring worse,” Chokroverty says. “People who don’t normally snore will snore after drinking alcohol.”

Snoring Solution #5: Drink Water

Snoring Solution #5: Drink Water
LittleThings / Maya Borenstein

A good way of keeping your nasal passages open is by drinking a lot of liquids.

“Secretions in your nose and soft palate become stickier when you’re dehydrated,” Slaughter says. “This can create more snoring.”

According to the Mayo Clinic, men need roughly 13 cups (3 liters) of total beverages a day and women need about 9 cups (2.2 liters) of total beverages a day.

Snoring Solution #6: Lose Weight

Snoring Solution #6: Lose Weight
LittleThings / Maya Borenstein

Though slender people snore too, weight loss can eliminate or help reduce snoring for some people — especially if someone recently gained weight and just began snoring.

“If you gain weight around your neck, it squeezes the internal diameter of the throat, making it more likely to collapse during sleep, triggering snoring,” Slaughter says.

Weight gain may also lead to sleep apnea, which can be deadly.

Keep in mind that snoring isn’t just annoying; it can indicate a serious underlying health issue. If you or someone you love is a chronic snorer, it’s important to have it checked out by a medical professional — or perhaps consider spending the night at a sleep clinic for observation.

Please SHARE so everyone can learn these helpful snoring solutions!

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