Lifestyle Changes to Mitigate Snoring Problems
Snoring problems afflicts 90 million American adults, 37 million of whom suffer from it on a regular basis. At best, snoring is annoying and disruptive to other people who sleep with someone who snores. At worst, it can lead to poor sleep quality and more serious health problems. Understanding what causes snoring is key to curing it.
What Causes Snoring?
People don’t develop snoring problems in their sleep randomly. There’s usually an underlying reason they happen. The following are the common causes of snoring:
- Excessive weight
- Excessive drinking
- Sleeping on your back
- Sleep apnea
To stop snoring or keep it under control, it’s important to address the cause and make adjustments to your lifestyle. However, for people with sleeping disorders, simple lifestyle changes will not be enough to cure their snoring problems. Often, the snoring is a result of the disorder, so the only way to stop it is to address the underlying medical problem.
What Can You Do to Stop Snoring?
Making changes in your lifestyle can help cure your snoring. Here are some habits you should adopt if you want to keep your snoring under control:
- Lose weight. According to Sleep.org, “carrying extra pounds on your frame can lead to a thickening of tissues in your throat,” which, in turn, increases your risk of snoring. Starting a more active lifestyle and a healthier diet can help mitigate your snoring problem.
- Avoid smoking and alcohol. Numerous studies have proven how detrimental smoking and drinking too much alcohol are to your health. Now, you know that it also leads to loud snoring. Consume alcohol moderately, and stop smoking altogether. It sounds easier said than done, but your health (and bank account) will thank you when you don’t fall seriously ill.
- Change your sleeping position. As mentioned earlier, sleeping on your back causes snoring. Switch up your position, and start sleeping on your side. Use a body pillow to make the position more comfortable for you. A trick that people use to stay sleeping on their sides is sewing or attaching a tennis ball to the back of their pyjama top. The discomfort of the tennis ball will keep you from lying on your back.
- Avoid taking sleeping pills. Sleeping pills induce very deep sleep, causing throat muscles to relax and lead to snoring. If you’re having trouble getting a good night’s rest, there are better ways to sleep than taking drugs. Ask your doctor for healthful ways to sleep easier and better at night.
Generally, simple lifestyle changes should be enough to control your snoring problems. When they don’t do anything for your snoring problem, it may be time to see your health-care provider.
When to See a Doctor
Excessive and obstructive snoring can be a sign of sleep apnea. If you can’t breathe properly every time you sleep, then you should see your doctor to confirm whether you have sleep apnea. The doctor will prescribe treatments, like wearing a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) mask or machine to help you breathe better when you sleep.
Your health-care provider may also recommend surgical treatment if the problem requires it. They may still suggest making lifestyle changes to help keep your condition under control.