Roughly half the population snores, and while it is something that's joked about, snoring can put a serious crimp in your life. If you're the snorer and you live with another person, you may find yourself contending with the outfall from their poor sleep.
There are several causes of snoring - from the serious sleep condition sleep apnoea (when you stop breathing and your brain ends up being incrementally starved of oxygen) to the mild snorer who has an overly relaxed tissue in their palate, which vibrates as they sleep.
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NHS Tips To Stop Snoring
- Maintain a healthy diet and weight. Being overweight by just a few kilograms can lead to snoring. Fatty tissue around your neck squeezes the airway and prevents air from flowing in and out freely.
- Try to sleep on your side rather than your back. While sleeping on your back, your tongue, chin and any excess fatty tissue under your chin will probably relax and squash your airway. Sleeping on your side prevents this.
- Avoid alcohol before going to bed. Alcohol causes the muscles to relax more than usual during a normal night's sleep. This added relaxation of the muscles makes the back of the throat collapse more readily, which then causes snoring.
- Quit or cut down on smoking. Cigarette smoke irritates the lining of the nasal cavity and throat, causing swelling and catarrh. If the nasal passages become congested, it's difficult to breathe through your nose because the airflow is decreased.
- Keep your nasal passages clear so that you breathe in through your nose rather than your mouth. Try rubbing a few drops of eucalyptus or olbas oil onto your pillowcase. If an allergy is blocking your nose, try antihistamine tablets or a nasal spray.