Are you a Snorter? A snorchestra? Or a rattler? Snoring can be a source of amusement, but for people with a severe snoring problem it’s no laughing matter. It can disrupt your sleep, damage your relationship with your partner and even cause health problems.
Up to a quarter of people in the UK snore, with two thirds of them snoring so loudly that it keeps their partner awake and leaves them wondering nightly what can help me stop snoring? What’s more, if snoring makes you to wake up in the night, and disrupts your sleep, it can make you feel tired the next day and at a higher risk of having an accident. In fact, The Department of Transport estimates that a fifth of traffic accidents are due to excessive sleepiness.
So if your snoring is ruining your sleep and that of your partner, it’s wise to find a solution and discover what can help me stop snoring?
Why do I snore?
People snore due to vibrating soft tissue in the mouth, nose or throat. Snoring can affect anyone and to different degrees: some only snore occasionally while others snore every night.
Snoring is linked to being overweight, smoking and/or drinking alcohol. It could also be due to a response to medication, often ironically sleeping medication which causes the neck muscles to become too relaxed and allow the skin to vibrate.
Snoring can also indicate obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), where the airways might be partially or totally blocked from anywhere from 10 seconds for up to 2 minutes. This in turn can cause other problems due to the lack of oxygen to the brain. So if you wake up in the middle of the night gasping for breath it’s a wise idea to see your GP to get it checked out.
How can I stop snoring? Anti-snoring devices you can try
With three million people suffering from the problem nightly and wanting to know ‘how can I stop snoring?’, there’s a range of anti-snoring solutions you can try. Firstly, with snoring being linked to being overweight, drinking alcohol or smoking, the first step is to make some lifestyle changes to eliminate possible causes.
If you snore through your nose then the first anti-snoring devices to try are nasal strips or a nasal dilator. Nasal strips are simply self adhesive strips of tape that are placed over the nose to pull the nostrils apart so that the wearer can breathe through their nose comfortably when they sleep. Alternately, nasal dilators resemble nose rings and are placed inside the nose to push the nostrils apart to clear the airways.
If, on the other hand, you snore through your mouth, you could try wearing a chin strap to keep the mouth closed while you sleep, and so you force yourself to breathe through your nose. Another option is a vesilibutor shield which resembles a gum shield rugby players wear and blocks the flow of air through the mouth, forcing you to breathe through your nose when you sleep.
If none of these anti-snoring devices work, the absolute last resort might be surgery to tighten the tissue that’s vibrating when you sleep. Surgery, however, is far from an ideal solution for snoring and isn’t going to help in many cases, such as if you suffer from sleep apnea. Due to the nature of conducting surgery on sensitive areas, surgery can have unpleasant side effects and will only last up to two years before it will need to be repeated.
So before you think about going under the knife, try out some different anti-snoring devices to see if they can stop you wondering ‘what can help me stop snoring?’ And it’s wise to always visit your GP if snoring is harming your sleep and that of the people around you.