- Changing your sleep position may help in preventing snoring
- Maintain hydration levels to prevent snoring
- Overweight people are more likely to snore
Snoring can be annoying for the other person and may keep him/her from a good night's sleep. Snoring is a result of air vibrating in the upper respiratory tract. Causes of snoring are usually not serious and can be dealt with by making a few lifestyle changes. A majority of people who snore have obstructive sleep apnea - a condition which disrupts breathing during sleep for short periods. Dr Himanshu Garg says that 25% of snoring in patients is because of sleep apnea, which he says is a disease which requires proper evaluation and treatment. "Not all snoring is because of sleep apnea, but most people suffering from sleep apnea will snore.''
Telling about the first signs which tell that snoring is turning into sleep apnea, he adds, "If your partner is observes that you are snoring loudly and then there is a sudden pause, it is a sign of sleep apnea. Also, if you experience headaches in the morning, dryness of the mouth, experience frequent urination at night, or drooling, these are all signs of snoring because of sleep apnea."
Following are a few home remedies to prevent snoring
1. Change your sleep position
If you are lying on your back while sleeping, it is probably the reason for your snoring. This is because when you lay on your back, it makes the base of your tongue and soft palate collapse on the back of wall of throat. This causes a vibrating sound while you sleep. You can sleep on your side and see if it helps prevent snoring.
2. Open nasal passages
Open nasal passages can be helpful in case snoring starts in your nose. They allow air to move through at a slower pace. A clogged or narrowed nose because of cold or any other blockage can cause snoring because of fast-moving air. Your nasal passages can open by taking a hot bath before going to bed. Rinsing nose with salt water can help in opening up passages. Nasal strips can also help in lifting nasal passages and opening them up.
3. Give up alcohol
Alcohol has the capability of reducing resting tone of muscles in the back of your throat. The snoring can get worse if you drink alcohol 4 to 5 hours before sleeping. Also, people who don't normally snore might end up snoring after drinking alcohol.
4. Stay hydrated
Maintaining your hydration levels can also help in preventing snoring. Secretions in your nose and the soft palate end up becoming stickier when you're dehydrated. Drink enough water if you want to prevent snoring.
5. Elevate your head
You can elevate your head using additional pillows. This can help in opening airways, thus reducing or eliminating snoring.
6. Lose weight
People who are overweight are more likely to snore. Poor muscle tone around the throat and fatty tissue can contribute to snoring. Exercising regularly along with consuming a healthy diet can help in weight loss and eventually prevent snoring.
7. Have good sleep hygiene
People with poor sleeping habits or those who don't get enough sleep are likely to snore. Working for long hours without getting enough sleep can make your muscles floppier, thus resulting in snoring. Lack of sleep can also make your prone to various other diseases. Hence, make sure that you sleep well for around 8 hours every day.
(Dr Himanshu Garg is Head of Department of Respiratory and Critical Care, Artemis Hospitals)
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