What Are Snoring and Sleep
If you’ve ever had a stuffed-up nose, you know the feeling of trying to breathe through a very narrow passageway. This is what happens in your throat when you snore. While you sleep, structures in your throat partially block your air passage, making the passage narrow and hard to breathe through. If the entire passage becomes blocked and you can’t breathe at all, you have sleep apnea.
|Problems in the Nose and
Problems in the structure of the nose may obstruct breathing. A crooked (deviated) septum or swollen turbinates can make snoring worse or lead to apnea. Also, a receding jaw may make the tongue sit too far back, so it’s more likely to block the airway when you’re asleep.
Your snoring may get better if you make a few simple changes in your sleeping and waking habits. These changes might be all you need to improve or even cure your snoring, or they may work best when used along with other types of treatment.
Sleep on Your Side
Sleeping on your side may keep throat tissue from blocking your air passage. This may improve or even cure snoring. But it can be hard to stop sleeping on your back. Try sewing a pocket or sock onto the back of a T-shirt or pajama top. Put a few tennis balls or a bag of unshelled nuts into this pocket or sock, then wear the shirt to bed. This will help keep you from rolling onto your back. If this doesn't work, try wearing a backpack full of foam pieces, or put a wedge-shaped pillow behind you.
Avoid Alcohol and Certain
Alcohol and medications such as sedatives, sleeping pills, and antihistamines make breathing slower and more shallow. They also make your muscles relax, so structures in your throat can block your air passage. These changes can cause or worsen snoring. If you snore, avoid alcohol. Talk to your doctor if you take medications to help you sleep.
Too much weight can make snoring worse. Extra weight puts pressure on your neck tissues and lungs, making breathing harder. If you're overweight, ask your doctor about a weight-loss program.
Exercise can help you lose weight, tone your muscles, and make your lungs work better. These changes may help improve your snoring. Ask your doctor about an exercise program like walking, or something else that you enjoy.
Unblock Your Nose
If something blocks your nose, treating the problem may help improve snoring. Your doctor can suggest medications for allergies or sinus problems. Nasal strips applied on the bridge of the nose can aid breathing. Surgery can straighten a deviated septum, reduce the size of the turbinates, or remove polyps (growths). If you smoke, try to quit because smoking makes a stuffy nose worse.
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