How to Stop Snoring Permanently
Putting an end to snoring is great for your health (and your sleep partner will thank you).
Feb 22nd, 2023 •
Occasional snoring is a normal part of life for at least 45% of adults. Snoring can become a bit of a nuisance, however, as 75% of people who snore chronically have a condition called obstructive sleep apnea. In the long-term, this can expose you to health complications such as increased risk of heart disease, and it may even affect your personal life if you share the bed with a partner.
Snoring has forced many couples to sleep separately so both parties can enjoy the quality sleep they need to get through the following day. Sometimes snoring occurs due to temporary ailments such as blocked nasal passages and colds, but sometimes it can be more serious. Some studies suggest that snoring can worsen over time if attempts to control it are not taken.
A persistent snoring problem that impacts a person’s life and health can leave a person wondering how to stop snoring permanently. The good news is that there are numerous solutions for reducing snoring—and even stopping snoring for good.
Putting aside the familiar jokes about marital discord, snoring can have serious health implications. The risk is especially acute if your snoring is caused by sleep apnea, a disorder that causes abnormal pauses in breathing as you sleep.
Frequent sleep interruptions caused by sleep apnea threaten to disrupt the circadian rhythms that control your body’s internal clock, setting off a chain of dominoes that can affect your health and overall quality of life as they fall. People with long-term sleep apnea often suffer from high blood pressure, and may even have an enlarged heart with a higher risk for heart attacks and strokes. Potential health problems associated with sleep apnea also include:
- Chronic drowsiness
- Chronic fatigue
- Chronic headaches
- Low blood-oxygen levels, which could lead to pulmonary hypertension
Snoring is caused by a blockage in the upper airway between the nasal passages and throat while a person is sleeping. When the air is blocked, it causes the tissues surrounding the airway to vibrate and creates the noise we associate with snoring. Snoring can become particularly loud when tissue is floppy, as this makes it vibrate more. The sound of snoring can come from your tonsils, the soft palate, your tongue, the soft tissue hanging from the roof of the mouth known as the uvula and nasal passageways.
Oftentimes snorers have too much fatty tissue around the nose and throat—making themselves more prone to vibrating. The position of a person’s tongue can also contribute to snoring throughout the night, as it can block the airway. This is especially common for those who sleep on their backs as gravity allows the tongue to fall to the back of the throat.
In addition to back sleepers, snoring also tends to be more common among:
- Men. Sorry, gents. Science suggests the structure of the typical male upper airway creates a more hospitable environment for snoring.
- Seniors. Those who are in middle age and beyond naturally have narrower throats and less muscle tone, which often leads to snoring.
- Heavy people. Being overweight normally means excess weight being carried all around the body. Fatty tissue can start to block the air pathway.
Other physical factors that increase the likelihood of snoring include:
- Cleft palate
- Enlarged or swollen tonsils
- A large soft palate
- Nasal injuries or deformities
- Sinus congestion
Snoring may also be caused by smoking, alcohol consumption and side effects from medications. This isn’t a life sentence, however, as there are lifestyle changes that can be made to help prevent snoring. Oftentimes, exercising and losing weight is all it takes to stop snoring permanently.
All types of snoring are not the same. In fact, there are several different types of snorers. They include tongue snoring, mouth snoring, throat snoring, and nasal snoring.
This type of snoring occurs in spurts and sounds more high-pitched than the average snore. Tongue snoring is usually always caused by sleeping on one’s back. This can be treated by changing your sleeping position and becoming a side sleeper.
There are also mouthpieces that can be used to help keep the tongue in place, as well as a backpack or sleep positioner that will help you to sleep on your side in order to keep the airway open.
Snoring through the mouth sounds like a fluttery or rumbling sound. This is caused by swollen or enlarged tonsils, weak palate tissue, and loose flabby tissue in the throat. It can also be triggered by nasal breathing. This happens only when sleeping with your mouth open.
Mouth snoring can be treated with a mouth guard, chin straps, or nasal dilators that can improve nasal breathing. It may also help to use a neti pot to help keep the nasal passage clear. As a last resort, surgery that tightens the tissue in the throat and soft palate is also an option.
Throat snoring is loud, paired with long periods of silence lasting 20 seconds or more. This type of snoring may occur regardless of a person’s sleep position and may be paired with interruptions in breathing. This type of snoring is usually caused by sleep apnea, a serious sleep disorder.
This occurs due to the tissue in the oral cavity relaxing during sleep—sinking into the respiratory tract and blocking the airway. This causes breathing to stop, and then an arousal that sparks muscle tension and opens the airways again. This is typically a repetitive cycle that can have numerous health impacts on sufferers.
A respirator or CPAP-therapy is a great treatment option for sleep apnea as it clears the airways to allow consistent breathing throughout the night. EPAP-therapy is another good option that works by placing two small, ventilated plasters over the nostrils to assist with breathing. UAS-therapy is also an option. This is essentially a tongue pacemaker that is implanted under the tongue.
Nasal snoring is consistent and sounds like a grunting, rumbling, or fluttery noise. It can even sound like a kettle whistling. This type of snoring can cause bad breath, dry mouth, and headaches.
Nasal snoring is caused by blockages to the nasal airway that impair breathing through the nose. Common causes are a cold, allergies, and a deviated septum. Nasal snoring can be treated with nasal strips or using a neti pot to help keep the nasal airway open and clear out any mucus from allergies or a cold. Nasal snoring is the result of permanent physical restrictions in the nose and can be treated with surgery.
In addition to the treatment methods mentioned above, there are other methods that may help to stop snoring naturally. The method that works best for you will ultimately depend on the type of snorer you are, so be sure to do your due diligence in finding this out before you begin treatment.
Natural anti-snoring remedies include:
- Avoiding dairy and large meals before bed
- Quitting smoking
- Losing weight
- Inhaling steam
- Using a humidifier
- Performing throat and tongue exercises
Several other options are available for naturally decreasing your snoring habits.
Using Essential Oils
Certain natural oils and herbs such as peppermint oil, spearmint, and eucalyptus can help reduce your snoring. These herbs will help keep the airways clear and can help aid with sleep apnea as well. They can be consumed, or used in the essential oil form with aromatherapy. It’s also a good idea to avoid alcohol, or at least to limit the consumption of it in order to stop snoring.
Singing (Yes, Singing)
Another natural way to combat snoring is to sing your heart out. If you’re not the greatest singer you can do this in the shower, or in your car with the music turned up. Statistics show that singers have significantly lower risks of snoring since this practice strengthens the soft palate and upper throat muscles.
The Mayo Clinic also recommends 11.5-15.5 cups of water daily to help prevent snoring and keep mucus from forming in the mouth and throat. Taking a warm bath or shower before bed may also help with reducing congestion.
You can find many different anti-snoring devices available on the market, including masks, pillows and other devices. Some are very inexpensive, while others may require you to make a more substantial financial investment. Your health insurance could cover an anti-snoring device if your problem is linked to a medical condition like sleep apnea. Some solutions need to be administered by medical professionals, such as dentists.
Here’s an overview of some popular snoring solutions.
Many people start with nasal strips when they are attempting to win their battle against snoring. While cheap, nasal strips are only likely to help you if your snoring is emitted from your nose. These strips look similar to plasters and should be placed over the nose before you go to sleep. They are designed to keep the nostrils apart, preventing blockages when airways narrow. Nasal dilators are devices made from plastic and metal that sit on the nose to push apart the nostrils, though some people regard them as uncomfortable. These solutions won’t work for many people, but they can be a helpful step on the way to diagnosing the real cause of your problem if they are ineffective.
Anti-snoring mouthpieces have proved to be effective for some people whose snoring comes from their mouth or tongue. There are three main categories of anti-snoring mouthpieces:
- Vestibular shield – It’s designed to limit the amount of air inhaled through the mouth, making you breathe through your nose. If you do snore through your mouth, a vestibular shield may be worth experimenting with.
- Mandibular advancement device (MAD) – This device pushes the jaw and tongue forward, reducing the restriction of the throat. If your problem is caused by a vibrating tongue, this could be the solution.
- Tongue retaining mouthpiece – A tongue retaining mouthpiece moves the tongue to stop it blocking the airways. This may also be a great option for people who snore when their tongue falls back and blocks the airway, causing vibrations.
A number of studies have shown MAD devices to be efficient, and many health authorities have recommended them. Nonetheless, a significant number of people do describe them as uncomfortable and say they can cause soreness and stiffness. It’s thought that around seven in 10 people persevere with them after their first few attempts. If off-the-shelf MAD devices don’t work, you may wish to have a similar solution custom-made for you.
Chin straps have proved beneficial for a wide range of people over the years and are designed for those that snore via their mouths. They are not normally advantageous for people who snore through the nose or people suffering from congested nasal passages. You won’t normally be advised to wear chin straps if you have sleep apnea, although doctors do occasionally recommend that apnea sufferers wear them with CPAP machines. Chin straps keep the jaw firmly in place to prevent the tongue and tissues in the throat blocking the airways. The straps are generally affordable and you may wish to shop around for the right solution to deliver the comfort you require.
There are many pillows on the market designed to prevent snoring. If you lay flat while in bed, your tongue or soft tissue may drop back, blocking the windpipe. Special pillows are available to raise your head, though you may wish to experiment with an extra pillow before you buy one specifically designed to prevent snoring.
CPAP machines are mainly targeted towards people who suffer from sleep apnea and can help reduce or eliminate snoring. The machines can be expensive, but chances are good that your health insurance will at least partially cover a CPAP machine if your doctor deems it appropriate.
Anti Snoring Chin Strap
This highly rated product has won a sizable number of positive reviews on Amazon and includes a patented strap to support proper jaw alignment and stop snoring immediately. The product has helped many couples achieve a great night’s sleep and has resulted in partners no longer having to wear earplugs to get the rest they desire. The strap is manufactured from soft material, with many reviewers saying it has also stopped them grinding their teeth.
FitPlus Bed Wedge
This pillow is designed to help people with snoring and the symptoms of acid reflux. The removable cover makes washing simple, and many reviewers claim it has helped them eliminate and reduce their snoring. The pillow is topped with 2 inches of memory foam that works with your body shape, with its 28-inch length helping to prevent muscle strain.
CPAP Headgear Universal Replacement Strap
This ultra-comfortable neoprene strap is renowned for its softness and is designed to eliminate irritation. The product offers the perfect fit, distributing just the right level of pressure for your needs and preventing leaks. Many consumers have opted to upgrade their original straps to this product as it will work with any four-point connection mask.
Sleep Strips by SomniFix
Although sleep strips may not be for everyone, there’s no denying that a substantial number of people have achieved positive results when using them. These particular sleep strips are amongst the sleep industry’s biggest sellers and are designed to help you breathe through the nose whilst sleeping. The strips aim to promote consistent deep sleep, reduce snoring and provide you and your partner with more rest, whilst supplying more oxygen to the blood. Easy to apply and remove, they are hypoallergenic and completely safe to use. A central vent enables limited mouth breathing, whilst the transparent nature of the strips mean they are barely visible when worn. All parts of the product are recyclable.
Zz Snore Nasal Spray
If chin straps, mouth guards or head straps are not required but a simpler solution is in order, you may well wish to invest in the Stop Snoring! Spray from Zz Snore. The spray is patented and FDA registered, which means you can rest assured that you’re buying a reliable product from a reputable brand. Clinically proven to boost the quality of sleep and reduce snoring, the product should be used every evening before bed. Click the solution between 4 to 6 times into each nostril after tilting back your head and wait until you can sense the solution in the throat. You may need to wait a week or two for the product to deliver the full effect, but it comes highly rated across several leading review sites.
If snoring is caused by allergies, it’s important to seek treatment for them. You may also want to discuss any medications you are taking with your doctor to determine if anything you are taking is causing the snoring. Your doctor may be able to work with you to help switch your medications or offer additional support to help stop snoring. Surgery may also be necessary for anything physical that is causing the snoring such as enlarged tonsils.
Surgical Treatments for Snoring
If you’ve tried everything suggested above and are still having issues with snoring, there are more aggressive treatment options available. A surgical treatment called somnoplasty may be a viable solution for persistent snoring that doesn’t respond to other forms of treatment. This is done in-office under local anesthesia. It involves using heat energy to modify the tissues of the tonsils and soft palate. This procedure isn’t recommended for cases of sleep apnea, as there are different surgical procedures available for treating this more severe condition.
The most common surgery available for treating sleep apnea is uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP). This surgery targets the soft palate by removing excess tissue and repositioning it to allow the airway to become wider. Tonsils may also be removed during this process. This surgery is typically combined with other surgical procedures to help treat moderate to severe cases of sleep apnea.
There are numerous surgical procedures available for treating sleep apnea, so if you suffer from this disorder, it’s best to speak with your doctor to discuss a comprehensive treatment plan that is best for you.
Why You Should Try to Stop Snoring
Snoring is more than a nuisance. When left untreated, it may become a serious health hazard.
There are many products available to help you whether you are a light snorer, a deep snorer or you have obstructive sleep apnea. New innovations are constantly in development, and it may take a while for you to find the perfect solution for your requirements. Nonetheless, very few people are unable to find the right solution, whether they require special pillows, strips, sprays, masks, straps, machines or, in extreme circumstances, surgical treatment.
Don’t forget that a combination of lifestyle changes and anti-snoring products could be the perfect fusion for ridding you of your problem. Most snoring is not caused by anything serious, and the solution for your issue could be far simpler and more affordable than you think. Don’t give up if the first solution that you experiment with isn’t effective, as the right one could be just around the corner.
If the solutions above don’t work and you haven’t consulted a medical professional, yet your symptoms persist, talk to a doctor who can help you get to the root cause and determine the best solution for your specific needs. With the right help in place, you could eliminate or at least diminish snoring for good.
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