Snoring: it’s a common condition that affects 45 percent of men and 30 percent of women. In most cases, snoring is harmless. But if it regularly disrupts your sleep, it can lead to serious health problems, including fatigue, headaches and cardiovascular disease. And of course, it can put a real strain on your relationship if it keeps your partner from getting a good night’s rest.
Luckily, snoring is treatable and usually responds well to some simple fixes. Dr. Yves Kamami, ENT surgeon at The Private Clinic of Harley Street, provides these recommendations to help snorers become sound sleepers.
Avoid Alcohol before Bedtime
A late night drink may seem like the perfect way to unwind after a stressful day, but alcohol relaxes the muscles of the tongue. This can lead to narrowing of the airway, which ultimately produces snoring. Skip the nightcap before bedtime and see if your snoring improves.
Smoking causes irritation and swelling in the lining of the nasal cavity, which makes breathing more difficult. Giving up cigarettes can improve your snoring and your overall health.
Avoid Spicy Foods
Spicy food is known to trigger acid reflux, which some studies say increases the likelihood of snoring. Try choosing milder foods and see if your symptoms improve.
Lose Excess Weight
Obesity is a major cause of snoring, as fatty tissues place pressure on the airways and obstruct breathing. Losing excess weight – even just a few pounds – can help alleviate snoring.
Change Your Sleeping Position
Sleeping on your back allows the tongue to collapse against the airway and obstruct breathing. Snorers should try sleeping on their side instead. If you have a habit of rolling over onto your back while sleeping, Kamami recommends sewing a tennis ball to the back of your pajamas.
Change Your Sheets Regularly
Dust and allergens can build up and block nasal passages, so be sure to vacuum regularly and change your sheets once a week.
If your snoring still persists, your physician may refer you to an ENT for further evaluation. Some snoring is caused by the anatomy of the nose, throat or palate, and non-invasive laser treatments can help clear the airways and provide relief (Source: The Huffington Post).