Snoring is common, especially as we get older. While it rarely bothers the actual snorer, it can be a huge annoyance to the person sound asleep next to you.
Sure, sleeping in separate rooms is one solution, but let’s explore a few other options first:
- Make a lifestyle change: That’s right – drinking alcohol, smoking, and taking muscle relaxants or sedative medications can worsen snoring. Try abstaining for a few days and see if you notice any improvement.
- Try a new sleeping position: For all of you back sleepers – unfortunately, you are more prone to snoring. There is an array of positioning devices available to help you stay off your back. For those interested in do-it-yourself solutions, you can try attaching a sock full of tennis balls to the back of your shirt when you sleep. Be forewarned though…you may wake up with a backache until it becomes second nature to stay on your side.
- Lose weight: This, of course, is easier said than done.
- Try antihistamines or nasal sprays (there are over-the-counter and prescriptions options available): Allergies and nasal obstruction are risk factors for snoring, so treating these issues can help. While an American Academy of Sleep Medicine report states that there is insufficient evidence to support the use of external nasal dilator strips, I’m certainly a fan and can attest that they improve my breathing every night.
- Invest in good ear plugs: If all else fails, invest in some good ear plugs for your partner. Or at least some nice sheets for the couch you will inevitability be enjoying.
If you try the above and don’t see a marked improvement, there are additional treatments for simple snoring that you can consider. Mouth guards (oral appliances) and surgical options are available so be sure to book a visit with your dentist or an ENT specialist.
While snoring can result in an elbow to your side or pillows being thrown at your head in frustration by your partner – keep in mind that it can be a warning sign of a more serious condition, such as obstructive sleep apnea. If your snoring is accompanied by breathing stoppages, gasping or choking in your sleep, or you experience excessive daytime sleepiness, this should be discussed with your doctor.
Here’s to less snoring and less time on the couch.