Is snoring ruining your quality of life? Wondering how to reduce snoring?
A large number of New Zealanders habitually snore, and if you are one of them, it’s likely harming your health, wellbeing, relationships, and overall quality of life.
Snoring is the vibration of the soft tissues in the nose, mouth, and throat that occurs when breathing during sleep. For most people who snore, it’s the result of relaxation of the muscles of the neck and oral cavity and neck – they are no longer supporting the airways adequately and the airways become too narrow. Air must flow through a much smaller airway, the tissues vibrate, and snoring is the result.
Snoring signifies that the brain and body are not getting enough air. As a result, your sleep is disrupted as you stir just enough to reset your sleeping position in an attempt to optimise airflow. This constant stirring throughout the night, as well as inadequate oxygenation of the brain and body, has wider ramifications.
Snoring is not “normal”.
There are several ways to reduce snoring.
You Need to Understand Why You Snore
Do you understand why you snore? Identifying why you snore is an important first step to fixing the problem.
Different types of snoring occur in different parts of the airways – the nose, the mouth, the base of the tongue, and the throat – and each type has a different root cause.
The following may be causing you to snore:
- Sleeping on your back
- Sleeping extremely deeply
- You sleep with your mouth open
- Being overweight (especially if you have a lot of fat on your neck).
- Weak oral or pharyngeal muscle tone
- You were born with narrow airway anatomy
- Your tonsils or adenoids are enlarged
- Your uvula is large or very floppy
- You have a large tongue
- You have sinus issues or a deviated septum
- You are a mouth breather
- You suffer from allergies (dust, pollen, pet dander)
- You have an upper respiratory tract infection (viral or bacterial)
- You drink too much alcohol
- You smoke cigarettes or cannabis or you vape
- You use sedatives
- You suffer from obstructive sleep apnoea (this is a serious medical condition requiring prompt medical attention)
For most people who snore, the cause will be a combination of factors.
How to Reduce Snoring?
Knowing how to reduce snoring means understanding what’s causing it. The appropriate approach to treating it depends on its cause. This will be easier for some people than others.
Ways to effectively reduce snoring may include:
- Lifestyle Changes
These take time to be effective but may be enough for some people to resolve their problems:
- Lose weight if you are overweight
- Eat moderately and healthily
- Regular exercise is key
- Drink plenty of water and avoid sugary drinks
- Don’t smoke cigarettes or cannabis and don’t vape
- If you drink alcohol, do so moderately
- Avoid caffeine after 4 pm
- Don’t use sedatives
- If you snore, avoid using muscle relaxants
- If you are allergic to pets, completely limit their access to your bedroom
For people whose snoring is the result of anatomical issues, surgery may be the best treatment option. It is not to be taken lightly and a specialist ENT consultation is essential. This invasive solution will often be a last resort.
Surgery may help if needed to:
- Correct a deviated septum
- Reduce the turbinates
- Remove the tonsils/adenoids
- Reduce or remove the uvula.
- Stiffen the soft palate
- Other surgical alternatives
Certain medications used to treat inflammation and swelling in the airways can help reduce snoring that is caused by dry air, allergies, smoke exposure, viruses, and other environmental triggers. These include:
- Nasal Lubricant Sprays
- Nasal Decongestants
- Nasal Steroids
- Altering Your Sleeping Position
Most people who snore exclusively do so while lying on their back. Limit this by using:
- Anti-snore pillows or wedges
- Raising the head of the bed
- Electronic devices which detect a back sleeping position and ring an alarm or vibrate
- Medical devices
These have varying levels of effectiveness but some are proven to be extremely beneficial:
- Nasal strips – used to open the nasal passages
- Oral Strips – used to promote breathing through the nose.
- Mandibular advancement device – worn in the mouth during sleeping; works by gently pushing the lower jaw forward, which opens the airways.
- Tongue retaining device – used to hold the tongue and prevent it from relaxing into the throat.
Potentially used with a mandibular advancement device, CPAP is the current gold-standard treatment for obstructive sleep apnoea. It works via a face mask and continuous positive airways pressure machine, pushing a steady flow of air into the mouth during sleep to keep the airways open.
Signs You Need Professional Help for Snoring
- Your partner or other household members tell you your snoring is habitual, constant, very loud, or otherwise disruptive
- You snore even when you are in a very light sleep or when dozing
- You snore when sleeping on your side or sitting upright
- You wake from sleep choking or gasping for air (this is a sign of obstructive sleep apnoea)
- You have periods when you stop breathing throughout the night (another sign of obstructive sleep apnoea; it can happen many dozens of times per night)
- You are frequently tired, sluggish, or irritable during the day
- You frequently wake with morning headaches or a sore throat that resolves after waking
- You have difficulty staying alert or concentrating during the day
- You often need a daytime nap
- Your relationship is suffering. Snoring can cause huge amounts of conflict. Many people even have a “sleep divorce” due to snoring, electing to sleep separately
How to Effectively Reduce Snoring and Sleep Apnea: ApneaRx
The easiest way to address your snoring and sleep apnea (mild to moderate) issues for fast results is by using ApneaRx. It is the NZ brand of a superior quality mandibular advancement device.
ApneaRx’s advanced design, derived from years of engineering R&D, gently holds the lower jaw in a slightly forward position opening the airway allowing more air to flow freely, in-turn delivering a better quality of sleep.
Unlike other oral appliances ApneaRx is the only appliance with patented micro adjustment which allows you to dial in your optimal comfort setting in 1MM increments so you may sleep comfortably throughout the night.
A world-class mandibular advancement device, ApneaRx is clinically proven as an effective treatment for both snoring and sleep apnea. A Class 1 registered Medical Device, ApneaRx is recommended by doctors, pharmacists, and sleep specialists.