There’s nothing like falling into a deep and restful sleep before awakening abruptly to the sound of your spouse’s snoring. Though your partner’s snoring may have you at your wit’s end, it is essential to remember that snoring can be more than just a nuisance— it could be a medical problem.
Help yourself by helping your spouse when you consider these seven ways to stop snoring.
What Causes Snoring, and Is There a Cure?
Snoring occurs when air flows through your throat when you breathe while sleeping. When the air is obstructed, it causes tissue in the mouth, nose and throat to vibrate, leading to that harsh droning sound we all know so well.
Snoring causes include restricted airflow due to alcohol or sedatives, bulky soft tissue, such as enlarged tonsils or adenoids, extra body fat, pregnancy hormones, muscle weakness, nasal congestion, and structural issues that cause a reduction in airflow. If snoring in the winter is an issue, then a humidifier set at 50% may be helpful.
Whether your spouse has a slight snoring issue or something more severe like obstructive sleep apnea, there are many ways, both surgical and nonsurgical, to treat snoring.
Top Doctor-Approved Tips
- Avoid Alcohol Before Bedtime: If you noticed your spouse tends to snore after their nightcap, then nightly alcohol intake could be the culprit. Alcohol relaxes the muscles in your throat, reducing your natural defense against airway obstructions. Have your partner limit alcohol consumption before bedtime and see if that cuts back on their snoring.
- Sleep On Your Side: Sleep position can play a significant role in whether your spouse snores. The loudest and most chronic snoring usually occurs when a person sleeps on their back since gravity’s pull narrows the throat’s airway. Have your partner try sleeping on their side as a way of reducing the amount they snore.
- Treat Your Allergies: If your spouse suffers from allergies, this could be one of the causes of their snoring. Allergies reduce the smooth flow of air through the nose, leaving you with no other choice but to breathe through your mouth. Mouth breathing while sleeping can increase the odds of snoring. Stop the snore in its tracks by talking to one of our doctors about what allergy medications may improve this condition.
- Open Your Nasal Passages: If you find that a nasal passage blockage could be the cause of your spouse’s snoring, there are a few different at-home options that may help. Stick-on nasal strips attach to the bridge of your nose to help widen the space within your nasal passage. Similarly, a nasal dilator is applied across the nostrils and works to reduce airflow resistance. Either of these over-the-counter options may be the answer to your partner’s snoring problem.
- Raise Your Head: Lying flat on your bed can cause problems when it comes to unrestricted airflow. However, raising the head of your bed by around four inches may reduce airway obstruction and decrease your partner’s snoring. If you can’t raise your bed, your partner may achieve a similar effect by using a thicker pillow.
- Lose the Extra Weight: Carrying extra weight is another risk factor for chronic snoring. When you gain weight, you also gain more tissue all over, including in your throat. If you have extra neck and abdominal fat, lying down can cause the fat to compress the upper airway and the ribcage. Between the pressure placed on your throat and lungs, you can see how losing weight could be beneficial for reducing your partner’s snoring.
- Seek Medical Treatment: If these tips fail to reduce your spouse’s snoring issues, then they may need to seek more in-depth medical treatment. A sleep study may then be needed to determine if sleep apnea (losing Oxygen) is an issue which can worsen medical conditions such as high blood pressure and heart disease. If sleep apnea is diagnosed then the following suggestions may be recommended: using a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) mask while you sleep, surgical procedures like upper airway surgery and Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP), hypoglossal nerve stimulation or a custom oral appliance to help position your mouth while you sleep.
Don’t settle for poor sleep for yourself and poor health for your spouse— talk to one of our specialists to find out the treatment that is best for your circumstances.
Don’t Snooze on These Doctor-Approved Tips.
If you or your spouse suffers from snoring, know that you are not alone. In fact, nearly half of the American adult population snores! While some snoring is normal and not a cause for concern, chronic snoring or severe snoring may be a sign of something more serious. If your spouse snores, try these tips for snoring relief, and if the problem persists, book an appointment with one of our sleep specialists today!