Snoring. The destroyer of marriages and the ender of friendships.
OK so maybe it’s not quite that serious but it is still a real problem for many people. In this guide, I’m going to tell you everything you need to know about how to stop snoring. You’ll learn what products to avoid and get real advice on stopping your snoring for good.
If you’re here looking for advice for your partner I’ve got a section at the bottom for dealing with a partner snoring but the rest of the information before that will still be relevant to you.
Anti Snore Products
A quick word on anti-snore products before we begin.
You get a lot of different anti-snore products but I have to be the bearer of bad news and tell you they are almost all bullshit. Most of them do not offer a long-term solution to helping you stop snoring.
For instance, the chin strap. These must be horribly uncomfortable to sleep in, I don’t believe anyone is going to happily wear one of these for the next 20 years. Unless your marriage is hanging in the balance I wouldn’t suggest strapping up your mouth to stop snoring
The same goes for nasal passage openers and those weird mouth guards you hold in your mouth while you fall asleep.
None of this will cure your snoring.
It may stop your snoring for now but would you rather depend on a piece of rubber wrapped around your head or do you want to do something that will end your snoring once and for all?
With that in mind lets read on to find out how you can actually stop your snoring.
Types of Snoring
Snoring falls into quite a few different categories, it’s important to know which type you are so you can take steps to stop it!
People who snore through their nose tend to do so because they have a blocked nose. As someone who has had a blocked nose since the beginning of time, I can tell you it’s not pleasant.
This type of snoring is often caused by allergies from the pillow, pollution from an open window or asthma. To solve it you want to try to get yourself new pillows. But not just any old pillows read on to find what ones.
Mouth Snorers tend to lie on their back when they snore causing their jaw to relax and fall open. Once the jaw is open air then gets sucked into the mouth and causes a vibration at the back of the mouth. This is very similar to palatal snoring.
Ironically people who snore this way are sometimes called mouth breathers but it didn’t feel right to call any of you lovely people that.
Easy solution to stop mouth snoring is to lie on your side. Tried that already? Read on to find the secret to comfortably lying on your side.
This is also a type of snoring in the back of the mouth but it is caused by your tongue falling backwards and blocking the air passage resulting in a really raspy sounding snoring.
I’ve been told that when I snore this way I sound a bit like Darth Vadar to give you an idea of what it sounds like.
Again another easy solution, lie on your side! Same as above keep reading to find the secret to lying comfortably on your side.
This snoring is quite common in people of a normal weight. It occurs because of a vibration in the Palate and Uvula (the back of your mouth and the dangly bit).
Some herbal sprays say they help deal with this but I would try lying on your side first and if that doesn’t work talk to a doctor.
If you don’t know what type of snorer you are don’t worry! I have some tests below you can try.
This is an extract from an infographic found on Lifehacker. It’s a great text to determine what type of snorer you are and from there we can figure out how we’re going to get you to stop snoring!
The Causes and Cures of Snoring
Now that we know what type of snorer you are we can start to look at some of the different things that cause snoring. I talked about some solutions above but let’s look at the bigger picture and tackle your snoring at the source for lasting benefits.
Snoring is a really common problem for those who are overweight . The extra fatty tissue around your neck basically causes your jaw to get too heavy so your mouth doesn’t comfortably stay shut. Once your mouth is open you are then very likely to start snoring.
The obvious answer is, of course, to start losing weight! There are hundreds of guides out there for losing weight so I won’t go into the details here.
Smoking is another big no-no if you’re a snorer. Smoking cause all your airways to inflame so they basically start to swell shrinking that passage the air can get through and worsening the effects of snoring.
If air can’t easily get in and out of your throat then you’re going to start snoring.
Again the obvious answer, quit smoking! You know you’ve been meaning to for a while so now’s the perfect time.
Alcohol relaxes the muscles in your jaw and neck which causes your jaw to slacken while you sleep leaving it wide open for snoring.
The weaker muscles in you neck then cause your airways to tighten similar to smoking making snoring worse.
So avoid excessive consumption of alcohol and definitely don’t have it regularly before bed if you’re serious about sorting out your snoring.
Those are the three most self-inflicted causes of snoring so now we can look at some other causes of snoring and how to sort it out.
If you haven’t changed your pillows in a long time then the chances are they are filled with dust, grime, and even dust mites. This causes allergies to flare up similar to hay fever and results in you waking up in the morning with a runny nose and a sore throat.
If your nose is runny when you wake up and you spent the night before snoring these are not unrelated.
Luckily there is an answer!
You can throw out your own pillows and get yourself a new hypoallergenic pillow. I definitely recommend a memory foam pillow as these are naturally hypoallergenic themselves. Take a look at our pillow buyer’s guide for more information and to find the best memory foam pillow.
If you are sure that it’s not coming from your pillow or your bedding then make sure your window is shut. You can often experience the same symptoms from exhaust fumes and other pollution if you live in the city.
Now asthma can cause snoring because of its inherent symptoms. Asthma causes a shrinking of the air passages, which can lead to snoring. But can also cause a build up of mucus around the throat. When this happens it usually occurs in the nose as well causing a blocked nose and snoring.
Not much you can do to stop asthma I’m afraid that you can consider a nasal spray to help ease your blocked nose.
Other Ways to Actually Stop Snoring
Those were the most common causes of snoring and how to cure them but if you’ve tried them or none of them feel right don’t worry! I still have some tips that don’t involve you taping up your head or holding a dummy in your mouth.
Lying on your side
Lying on your side is a great way to stop snoring but once asleep people often roll over onto their backs before they carry on rattling the windows.
Sleep with a body pillow
More commonly known as a maternity pillow these are designed to help keep you on your side throughout the night. They are amazingly comfy and warm and the nicest way to spend the night.
This is the better alternative to a solution I have seen plastered over Pinterest which is to tape a tennis ball to the back of your shirt. It will definitely stop you sleeping on your back so it has that going for it but who wants to retape a tennis ball to their pyjamas every night?
You can pick a body pillow on Amazon for a very reasonable price. The one below is the one I recommended in my Pillow Buyer’s Guide.
Now I don’t mean that to be hypocritical having slammed all the anti-snore products at the beginning of the article. But this is not a specially designed product, nor does it cause you any discomfort through the night that could otherwise affect your sleep so I’m sticking with it.
Finally if you’ve tried everything above to stop snoring, your a healthy weight and don’t smoke or drink then you should contact your doctor. There may be something else afoot and it definitely isn’t my place to speculate what and put the fear in you.
How to deal with your partner snoring
So you’re stuck there all night listening to the windows rattle and the lamp jump around the table while your partner roars the night away snoring.
Not much fun.
Well you there are a few things you can try to deal with it. If you’ve read through the guide up till now you should have a good idea of what the causes of snoring are. And if you know your partner well enough you should be able to identify for them what needs to be done.
Now the hard part.
You need to talk to them about what you’ve learned and possible even try to convince them to stop smoking/drinking or loose weight. It’s not a great time but it is the only way to really deal with snoring.
If they are already trying but you need to cope with the snoring in the meantime here are my suggestions.
Although they shouldn’t be used long term they can be a great short-term relief for sleepless nights caused by listening to snoring.
You can pick them up nice and cheap and then you can finally get a full night’s sleep.
Roll them on to their side
Try rolling them onto their side to get them to stop snoring. Side sleeping is a great way to stop snoring which is why I recommended trying out a body pillow further up the article!
White noise machine
Depending on the volume of the snoring you could try out a white noise machine to mask the sound. This will only work if the person snores quite quietly. If you can hear it through the whole house then a white noise machine isn’t going to help.
Book a mini break for one!
If you really cannot face going to bed and spending the night being vibrated around the bed then book yourself a weekend away for some rest and relaxation. The perfect excuse right?
If you have any other tips I would love to hear them in the comments below!
British Snoring & Sleep Apnoea Association helping you to stop snoring today