Snoring. A persistent annoyance that keeps millions of people around the world out of their sleep every day. And because so many people ‘suffer’ from chronic sleep deprivation through snoring, countless studies are published every year, dozens of self-help books are launched, and countless miracle cures are put on the market. All to put an end to this annoying ‘disorder’. After all, there is no discussion about the fact that snoring is unhealthy. We collected the best tips and tricks to combat snoring, especially for you. And particularly for the partners of snorers, we have a tenth bonus tip!
How does snoring arise?
When you sleep, your muscles relax. Your tongue is also a muscle, and when it slackens, it covers some part of the pharynx. This is how the airway between the nose and the vocal cords gets narrowed. The result is a roaring sound which we call snoring (source here).
The impact of snoring on your health
I’m sure you snore when you have a cold, but some people do it every night. These are chronic snorers. Snoring is not only bad for the sleep of the snorer’s bed partner, but also for the health of the snorer. As many as one-third of snorers develop health problems over time. Because the airway is partially closed off during snoring, the blood receives less oxygen. In the long term, this can cause cardiovascular problems. It is, therefore, a matter for both the snorer and the partner of the snorer to solve this problem. There are different ways:
- 1. Do exercises to stop snoring
The British ENT specialist Mike Dilkes recently published the book ‘Stop snoring’. In this book you will find simple exercises that can reduce snoring or even stop it altogether. We highlight two of them for you: the tongue puller and the python.
During the first exercise, stick out your tongue as far forward as possible. Then bring the tip of your tongue towards your nose and move your tongue down towards your chin. Now move your tongue towards your left and then your right cheek. Repeat this exercise 10 times at high speed. For the second exercise, called the python, perform a delayed swallow first. Try to prolong this movement for 5 seconds and keep as much pressure in your throat as possible. Repeat this exercise five times.
- 2. Do not eat just before going to sleep
If you eat a heavy meal two hours before bedtime, you have a good chance of snoring that same night. Eating a lot just before bedtime will put more pressure on your lungs at night, making your breathing more superficial. This accelerates your breathing, causing more air to circulate and a greater chance of snoring. So don’t eat or don’t eat too much just before you go to sleep.
- 3. Maintain a healthy weight
Excess weight can cause snoring. Sufficient exercise and a healthy diet are, therefore, not only beneficial for good health but can also prevent snoring.
- 4. Learn to sing
It may sound crazy, but are you at your wit’s end and fed up with snoring? Then go to singing lessons. During a singing lesson, you train the muscles in your throat, which you seldom use in everyday life. When these muscles become stronger, snoring can decrease. A small note: perhaps your partner no longer needs his or her earplugs to muffle your snoring, but rather for your dubious singing skills.
- 5. Sleep on your side to prevent snoring
Do you prefer to sleep on your back? Then try falling asleep on your side. You are more likely to snore when you sleep on your back. This is because muscles such as the uvula and tongue slacken. When you lie on your back, this blocks your airway. Isn’t side sleeping something for you? Then quickly continue to tip 6.
- 6. Try the trick with the tennis ball
Snoring often goes hand in hand with sleeping on your back. Sleeping on your side is therefore recommended. If this does not work because you automatically turn on your back in your sleep, try the trick with the tennis ball. Sew a tennis ball into an old T-shirt. This will make it very uncomfortable to sleep on your back, and you will automatically lie on your side. If all goes well, sleeping on your side will probably feel very familiar after a couple of weeks, so that you can go to sleep without a tennis ball.
- 7. Avoid alcohol
Alcohol suppresses the nervous system and weakens your muscles. In particular, a saggy tongue, mouth and throat cause the snoring noises. Longing for a good night’s sleep? Then avoid alcohol.
- 8. Make sure you get enough sleep
It may seem a bit obvious, but it is nevertheless worth mentioning. A healthy and regular night’s sleep counteracts snoring.
- 9. Treat your cold
When you have a cold, your nose gets clogged, and you have to breathe through your mouth, which increases the chance of snoring. Therefore, treat your cold at an early stage. For example, use a nasal spray for easier breathing, and reduce the chance of snoring.
- 10. Tip for the partners: earplugs for sleeping
You don’t snore yourself, but instead, your partner cuts down entire forests at night? And have you already tried everything to stop snoring, but nothing is helping, not even our tips above? With Alpine SleepSoft earplugs you can muffle annoying noises and improve your sleep.