In the U.S., 45 percent of adults experience some sort of snoring each night. But the person who is snoring is not always the only one affected by the snoring. This means that far more than 45 percent of U.S. adults could actually be impacted by snoring. Snoring occurs when a sleeper experiences a blocked or narrow airway passage, which causes the soft palate and uvula at the back of the mouth to vibrate against the back of the throat. The narrower the air way is, the louder the snoring is.
The holiday season means extra travel, busy schedules, increased stress, and late nights with family and friends, making a good night’s sleep a necessity now, more than ever. Here are some easy, at home remedies you can use to manage your own snoring, or your loved one’s snoring, until morning.
- Avoiding alcohol too close to bed – Even though it may make you feel sleepy, alcohol can affect your REM sleep and breathing patterns later in the night. The doctors at Iowa Sleep recommend avoiding alcohol within three hours of when you’d like to fall asleep. Instead, trade in your last cocktail for a glass of water or a cup of herbal tea.
- Push them over – If you wake up to a snoring bed partner, try to adjust them to their side instead of their back or stomach. If this position is hard to stay in throughout the night, consider attaching a tennis ball to the back of a bed shirt to help “prop” the side up and make breathing easier.
- Start using a humidifier – If the air in the room feels dry, which is common in the winter months, consider using a humidifier to help put some moisture back into the air. When air is too dry, it dries out the throat and nasal membrane, causing congestion and provoking snoring.
- Raise it up – To help alleviate snoring, adjust the pillows, or the entire bed, so the head of the bed is slightly higher than the foot. This may help keep the tongue from falling into the back of the throat, keeping the airways open for easy breathing.
It’s important to remember that snoring is a primary symptom of obstructive sleep apnea. While these few tips may help you or someone you love sleep through the night, they are not considered healthy, long term solutions for chronic snoring. If you experience some of the other signs of sleep apnea, such as feeling tired after what you believed to be a good night’s sleep, we encourage you to set up an appointment with one of the Iowa Sleep doctors to get to the source of your snoring and develop healthy habits to manage it each night.
If you have other lingering questions about the causes or treatments of snoring, send us a question through our easy online form.