Snoring can be a major bugbear for couples. And if it's getting to the point where your other half is losing their temper over yet another night of lost sleep, then chances are you need to do something about it.
Here, Dr Yves Kamami, ENT surgeon at The Private Clinic of Harley Street and an expert in the causes and treatments for snoring, outlines what makes us snore and the best ways to combat it.
We are much more likely to snore if we’ve had a tipple before we go to bed. This is because alcohol relaxes the muscles of your tongue which can lead to the narrowing of the airways, ultimately resulting in snoring.
Avoiding alcohol before going to bed could therefore reduce your chances of snoring.
Smoking can enlarge some tissue in the nose, called the turbinates, which makes breathing more difficult - both of these side effects from smoking are likely to increase the chances of snoring.
Kicking the habit won’t just improve yours and your partner's night sleep, it will also improve your overall health dramatically.
3) Spicy food
Spicy food can result in acid reflux from your stomach and in a number of studies this has proven to increase the likelihood of snoring.
If you’re unsure why you snore and like to indulge in an Indian takeaway a few times a week, why not test the theory?
4) Being overweight
This is one of the most common causes of snoring. The more you weigh, the more likely you are to snore.
Even losing just a couple of pounds, if you are relatively trim, can have an impact on how often and how loudly you snore.
5) Sleeping position
If you’re prone to snoring, sleeping on your back is a bad idea. If you’re fed up of being jabbed in the ribs throughout the night by your partner, try to sleep on your side.
Sewing a tennis ball in to the back of your pyjamas is a sure way to prevent yourself from rolling over.
To avoid excess dust and other particles from building up and blocking the nasal passages, which results in our bodies creating swollen turbinates, it’s important to change your sheets at least once a week and vacuum regularly.
7) Find the cause
There are three main medical reasons behind snoring: a partially blocked nasal passage, an elongated and thick soft palate or a partially blocked airway behind the tongue.
Unless you diagnose which of these are causing your snoring you will have no hope in correcting your night-time growls. Talk to your GP, and if they can’t help then seek the help of an ENT specialist.
8) Find the remedy
Once you know whether you are a nose, throat, palate or ‘combination’ snorer (a mixture of two or all three), then you can start trying to deal with your symptoms.
Some over the counter products may help certain individuals, but obviously if you are a nose snorer, then you can avoid the throat spray.
Equally if you are a throat snorer, keep your hard earned cash away from the nasal strips.
9) Find a permanent solution
If you’ve tried everything but your snoring persists, don’t despair as there are treatments available that will stop it for good.
A non-invasive laser treatment is available to help clear the airways on the soft palate in the throat and another laser technique which can help to open up the nasal passage.
With the airways cleared, snoring can stop altogether. The treatments are carried out under local anaesthetic and take less than half an hour to complete.