Natural Ways to Stop Snoring When Sleeping
All the options listed below, although not proven to help snorers on a consistent basis, have been reported to work at least some times in some people. Most of the reports are anecdotal, with no objective supportive data.
For some people, staying off your back can make a big difference. The problem is staying on your back. The most common recommendation is to sew a sock filled with a tennis ball to the back of your pajamas. This method has mixed results, and in general, although it sounds great, doesn’t work that well. It just only annoys the snorer or they just sleep on top of it.
Sleep position devices
There are a number of gadgets and devices that prevents you from rolling onto your back. They range from triangular wedges to shirts filled with foam rods to prevent sleeping on your back. The only way to know whether or not they work is to try it. For some people, it can make a huge difference, even if you have obstructive sleep apnea. For many others, you may have a mixed response, or no response at all.
Side sleep position pillows
This one positions your arm above your head and somehow forces you to sleep on your side. Again, I’ve heard mixed responses from my patients. If you can sleep with your arm above your head for hours without it becoming numb, then this may work for you.
This pillow works better if you prefer to sleep on your back. The lower end of this pillow is a bit higher than the middle part that the top of your head touches. This forces your head to be cocked back a bit, lifting up your chin somewhat, thereby opening up your airway somewhat. This the the same maneuver that you’re taught to do during CPR to open up the airway before you give mouth-to-mouth. Notice that after you fluff up your pillow you go to bed, the pillow height diminishes slowly, and by the end of the night, your chin is closer to your head, which closes your airway. Another option is to either roll up a towel into a “log” or get one of the Asian husk-filled pillows that are shaped like a roll. You’ll have to experiment to find the right height.
Diet and weight loss
This will help to various degrees for most people who are overweight, but what if you’re already thin? Also, since poor sleep leads to weight gain hormonal and metabolically, it can be very difficult to lose weight no natter how much you diet or exercise. For some, losing 10-15 pounds may help a great deal with your snoring, but chances are, it’ll return sooner or later as you get older.
Nasal dilator clips
Whether external (Breathe-Rite) or internal (Nozovent, Nasal Cones, or Breathewitheez), these work sometimes by pulling your soft flimsy nostrils apart, preventing nostril collapse when you inhale. During sleep, especially when your muscles relax, any degree of nasal congestion can aggravate higher vacuum pressures that can aggravate tongue collapse. Despite being touted to cure snoring, it only works about
10% of the time. Here’s one simple test to see if you should invest any money on these products: take both you index fingers and gently press on your skin, right next to your nostrils. Press gently and pull your cheeks apart on each side towards the outer corners of the eyes. This is called the Cottle maneuver.
Playing the Didgeridoo
Various studies have suggested that playing this ancient Aborigine wind instrument can help relieve snoring. The mechanism in how it works is similar to any wind instrument.
Playing any type of wind instrument (flute, clarinet, trumpet, etc.) can in theory promote throat and tongue muscle tone. Reports of success are anecdotal.
The mechanical act of singing promotes profound throat muscle tone and control. Similar to all the wind instruments, prolonged periods of singing promotes relaxation, since exhalation is activated by your parasympathetic nervous system.
Various mixtures of herbs and natural ingredients are promoted for snoring, but a recent objective study showed that they were not helpful.
Has been found to be helpful for some people, but needs continuous exercises. Recent studies have confirmed some benefit. Brazilian researchers say the series of exercises, which involve moving your tongue and exercising your mouth, can reduced the frequency of snoring by 36 percent.
No consistent evidence, but helps with stress and fatigue. One recent study showed a drop in the apnea severity by 50%. I do find it helpful in some of snorers as a complementary form of treatment in addition to standard options.
Works to wake you up to stop snoring, but never curative. This is called the “bruised rib syndrome”.
What Can I Do Now?
As you can see from reading this , thereʼs usually never a quick fix solution for snoring. Depending on your unique situation, different options will work for different people, to various degrees. If thereʼs something thatʼs relatively easy for you to try without too much time, cost or effort, by all means give it a try. Ultimately, youʼll have to change your physical anatomy, whether through lessening inflammation and swelling in your upper breathing passageways, or literally changing your anatomy through
If you try a number of conservative options and still continue to snore, this is the time to see a doctor about it.
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