Does your partner’s snoring keep you up at night? Or are you the culprit that is keeping them up?
Snoring is not only a nuisance; it can wreak havoc on your health. Research suggests that snoring, with or without sleep apnea, may increase your risk of cardiovascular disease (1). In fact, snoring may put you at more of a risk than being obese, smoking, or having high cholesterol(1)! The reason is there is an association between snoring and thickening of the lining of the carotid artery (2). Thickening of the carotid artery is problematic as it supply’s oxygenated blood to the brain.
Snoring is a very real health concern that should be addressed. Noninvasive treatments that get to the cause should be considered when possible.
5 Strategies To Help You Stop Snoring
1. Weight Loss
Weight loss is a non-invasive approach that reduces snoring and benefits overall health. The Sleep AHEAD Study published in JAMMA concluded: “Physicians and their patients can expect that weight loss will result in significant and clinically relevant improvements in Obstructive Sleep Apnea”(3). Curious about cutting edge strategies to lose weight? Visit my site to download my FREE guide to Carb Cycling & Intermittent Fasting.
Tip: Find a program that offers a sustainable lifestyle along with accountability to keep you motivated, inspired and headed towards your goal.
2. Side Sleeping
Changing your position may help to create more space for airflow through the back of your throat. Lying on your back pulls the tongue further back onto the soft palate and creates a vibrating sound. Try to change positions and sleep on your side to prevent this. You can also try to use pillows to raise your head and chest slightly.
Tip: Get additional pillows or even a body pillow to enable you to stay on your side.
3. Hydrate Your Body & Environment
While no double blind randomized control trial exists showing a significant benefit, there is no doubt that water plays a vital role in allowing our bodies to functional normally. Water enhances detoxification, digestion, elimination and moistens our mucous membranes. Many snore sufferers report having a dry mouth and throat, both may be the cause of the snoring problem. If dehydration is the cause of your issue, the simple cure is to drink more water.
Tip: Check out my 6 life hacks to keep you sipping.
4. Avoid Alcohol
Any drug or substance that reduces muscular tone will make it more likely for you to snore. In one study males who habitually snored underwent a sleep study after alcohol consumption. Their mean blood alcohol concentration was taken at the time of lights out. Not only were the various stages of sleep altered by alcohol but also modest alcohol consumption significantly increased the obstructive sleep apnea frequency (4).
Tip: Try to avoid alcohol altogether or at the very least don’t consume anything 4-5 hours before bed.
5. Open Nasal Passages
Nasal strips are designed to pull on the outside walls of the nose to dilate the nasal cavity and make it less resistance to collapse. Using these strips are easy and have been shown in research to decrease the nasal airflow resistance (5). While research supports the fact that these devices improve breathing additional research is need to determine long-term clinical benefit.
Tip: Try different brands and various types to find the one that best works for you.
Habitual Snores can be at risk for serious health problems. There is no better time than NOW to take charge of your health. The side effects of poor sleep are not worth it. Before you discount your snoring to nothing out of the ordinary, talk to your primary health care provider.
Henry Ford Health System. “Snoring May Be Early Sign Of Future Health Risks.” Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 28 Jan. 2013. Web.
RAHANGDALE, Shilpa, et al. “Heavy Snoring as a Cause of Carotid Artery Atherosclerosis. Commentary.” Sleep9 (2008).
Arch Intern Med. 2009;169(17):1619-1626. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2009.266
Scanlan, M. F., et al. “Effect of moderate alcohol upon obstructive sleep apnoea.” European Respiratory Journal5 (2000): 909-913.
Peltonen, Lauri I., et al. “Effects of the nasal strip and dilator on nasal breathing-a study with healthy subjects.” Rhinology 42 (2004): 122-125.