How to stop snoring

Agnes’s husband is a loud snorer – and his noisy nights mean that she lies awake all night thinking how to stop him. We may have the answer.

Q. Agnes

My husband snores, which keeps me awake most nights. I use earplugs, but, recently, his snoring has become so loud that not even the earplugs work any more. My lack of sleep means I am cranky during the day, and I take it out on him – even though he can’t help being the source of my frustration. Do you have any tips on how to stop him from snoring?

A.

Agnes, believe me, I know how you feel. My other half is also unwittingly guilty of snoring – the most heinous of sleep crimes – in my opinion. Snoring can be extremely annoying for the unfortunate person sharing a room with a snorer, but for the perpetrator, it can also be a pain in the nose, ears and throat.

Did you know that around 45 per cent of adults snore? It seems that snoring is a common nuisance, and a potentially destructive one with 75 per cent of people who snore also having obstructive sleep apnoea, which can increase the risk of heart disease.

Many over-the-counter medicines and contraptions claim to stop snoring, but most are not yet scientifically proven to be effective. Of course, you should seek professional assistance in this matter if necessary, but why not try these natural solutions to see if they’re any help?

Change sleep position

When you sleep on your back, the base of your tongue and soft palate fall to the back wall of your throat, which can cause the vibrating sound responsible for snoring. So, see if you can get your partner to try sleeping on his side to help prevent this.

You can also try getting him to sleep with an extra pillow. This sometimes helps to open up the nasal airway, which may help prevent him from snoring.

Has he put on weight?

If he’s put on a few pounds recently, and did not snore before he gained weight, then losing some may help. Being overweight can affect the internal diameter of the throat, which can trigger snoring. 

Avoid alcohol

Does he drink a few beers each night? Alcohol relaxes the muscles in the back of the throat, increasing the likelihood that he’ll snore. Tell him to lay off the booze for at least four to five hours before he goes to sleep.

Practice good sleep habits

Heading to bed at the same time each night, and getting a good amount of sleep daily reduces the likelihood that he’ll go to bed overtired. Being too tired every day has a similar effect to drinking too much alcohol, so try to make sure he monitors his sleep habits.

Open up the nasal passages

Is your husband prone to allergies or colds? A blocked nose can be a major cause of snoring. Encourage him to have a hot shower before he goes to bed, or tell him to try a neti pot (a type of salt-water nasal rinse), or try nasal strips – any of these may help to open his nasal passages.

Change your pillows

When did you last vacuum, dust, change your bedding or replace your pillows? Do you let your pet sleep in bed with you?

Dust mites can accumulate in bedding and pillows and increase the potential for allergies that can lead to snoring. If your pet sleeps with you, you may be inhaling animal skin flakes and fur, which is another common irritant.

Drink more water

Dehydration can also cause snoring. The quick and easy fix for this is to encourage him to drink more water during the day or, at least, get him to gulp a glass of water before bed. Why not read this article to see how you can increase his water intake?

So, monitoring his sleep habits, getting him to sleep on his side and encouraging him to consume a healthy diet, drink less alcohol and more water, should help to alleviate the symptoms associated with snoring. Then, hopefully, you can get a better night’s sleep.

Find out more about snoring at Snore Australia.  

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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