Tips To Stop Snoring

More than anything, when I moved in with my boyfriend I wanted to stop snoring. My nighttime noises were keeping him awake at night and cranky during the day. It was really starting to cause problems in our relationship, but I didn’t know what to do about it. I’d done some internet research, and most of the people on the message boards mentioned sleeping on your side. I looked into it, and the science behind it made sense. When you sleep on your side, gravity pulls your tongue towards the side of your mouth and away from the back of your throat, which is what causes snoring in some cases. I tried sleeping on both sides, but to no avail.

I still needed to stop snoring, so I did some more research. It turns out, if you’re overweight or smoke you’re more likely to snore during the night. Again, the science made sense. In the case of smokers, the cigarettes weaken the throat and make it more susceptible to getting clogged up with mucus. When you’re overweight, excess fat can gather around your neck and put pressure on your throat. I now know that smoking and fat can cause snoring, but since I was at a healthy weight and had never touched a cigarette, the knowledge didn’t help me much.

I ended up seeing my doctor to find out what he could do to help me to stop snoring. It was actually easier than he thought it was going to be, because I’d already done my research and knew what didn’t work for me. The doctor sent me to a dentist who specializes in snoring cessation, and I was fitted for a device called a mandibular advancement splint. Custom made just for me, I wear it at night and it keeps my tongue from the back of my throat. My health insurance covered it (normally it would have cost around $2,000) and I’ve been snore free ever since.

9 Best Tips to Reduce Snoring and Sleep Apnea for Free

Sleep apnea basically is a breathing disorder that occurs when the muscle tension relaxes during night. It is an unsuccessful air intake. If that occurs frequently (15 failed breaths for an otherwise healthy person per hour, 5 for a person with a medical condition of high blood pressure, heart or liver problems etc.)

There are three forms of sleep apnea, that are treated differently:

  1. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs, when the brain’s signal to take a breath is correctly initiated, but the breath intake is unsuccessful because of a barrier. This is the most common form of apnea and is often connected with snoring. If that barrier can be taken out in a surgery, that would definitely be the first thing to do. If however the reason is a large and heavy tongue, soft tissue and low muscle tone in the throat, high body mass and so on. There are ways to treat this without a breathing mask or mouth piece.
  2. Central sleep apnea is present when the brain gives no or insufficient signal to take breath. This form is relatively rare and makes up for only 4-5% of all cases of sleep apnea. It is more likely to be present in infants than in adults and has to be taken very seriously. I would not recommend treating it without talking to a doctor and taking a sleep examination in a laboratory.
  3. Mixed or complex apnea is a combination of the first two. It is still not 100% clear how it evolves and if one of the two other forms can be indicated as the initiator. It is also quite rare but is usually more likely to occur in adults. It needs to be taken just as seriously as central sleep apnea and should definitely be thoroughly investigated and treated by a doctor.

Make sure that the persons physical effort to breath is sufficient, then these 5 tips to reduce snoring and sleep apnea will help:

1. Higher firmer pillow

Snoring and sleep apnea get worse when the head falls back. The tongue falls back and narrows the airway. When now the muscles relax the airway is easily blocked by collapsing walls of soft tissue. I recommend not to buy a apnea pillow right away, but use a larger cover and roll the existing pillow in towels. You should still be comfortable sleeping on your chest or side but make your pillow substantially higher and firmer. When you sleep, put the pillow at the top end of the bed, right to the wall or any barrier, so that you can not have it sit too low under your neck.

2. Sleep on the side or chest

Sleeping on the side or chest will make a great difference. Most of us snore mostly on the back. The problem is, during the night you roll back into that position. I have seen shirts with a pillow attached to the back, to prevent that. We can imitate that by again using a rolled towel and sew it to our sleeping shirt. You can also just stick it in, but it might fall off during the night. For some people it might work to make a long thin towel roll and stick it through the sleeves from left, behind your back to the right.

3. No Smoking

That’s easy, and actually saves money. But seriously. As hard as it may be. Smoking worsens snoring and sleep apnea tremendously, as the tissue in the airway swells.

4. No drinking or narcotics

On a similar topic, alcohol, drugs and narcotics lead to uncontrolled muscle relaxation and altered physical reaction to signals from the brain. The worsen snoring and sleep apnea a lot. However, there is nothing to be said against one beer or wine but the more alcohol is consumed the worse it gets. If you consume alcohol for dinner, leave some time before you go to bed, to get it at least partially out of the system.

5. Take a short walk before you sleep

Especially after dinner or a glass of wine but also on a normal day, fresh air will help ventilate your airways, free them up and increase muscle tone. Breathe in deeply and actively.

6. Lose weight (if you have a BMI > 25)

Obesity is one major reason for otherwise healthy people to get sleep apnea. Losing weight (if necessary) will tighten the tissue in the airway and reduce the risk of blockage.

7. Exercise twice a week at least

The right training for curing sleep apnea is endurance training. Try running, cycling or maybe swimming (if the chlorine is OK for your airways) at least for half an hour at moderate speed.

8. Sleep on a schedule

It might sound a bit strange, but it actually helps to maintain a fairly consistent sleep schedule.

9. Train the muscle tone in your throat

This is my personal favorite as there is no better way to this than voice practice like singing, recitation or playing a wind instrument. By training to control the muscle tension in you airway you strengthen it. The otherwise soft tissue in the airway becomes firmer.

I am sure these 8 tips sound familiar and might seem obvious in parts. But put them into action and I am sure you will see an improvement in your snoring and sleep apnea.

Tips for Using Foam Earplugs

Foam earplugs are definitely the lowest priced and most straightforward type of earplugs. They are often used as earplugs for sleeping and they are amongst the best earplugs designed for casual and occasional use. They are often distributed by airlines since they’re low-cost and fit most users. However, not everybody uses them correctly.

1) Inserting

A lot of people just stick foam earplugs inside their ears. However, they are really not likely obtaining the best protection. Instead, the earplug should be compressed by way of rolling into a cylinder. Then you need to pull the top of your ear upwards and away from your head and slip the plug in, then hold it there until it expands little by little. Forcing them into the ear doesn’t work.

2) Removing

Earplugs should not just be pulled out. If you ever hear a ‘pop’ when you take them out, then you are doing it wrong and risking ear drum damage. Instead, the plug should be carefully twisted to work it free and withdrawn slowly.

3) Cleaning

The fastest technique to clean earplugs is to fill up a small cup with hydrogen peroxide bleach and soak them for a couple of minutes, then rinse. If and when they are too dirty for that, mild soap or dish detergent is advisable. Mix it with water in a dish, then put the earplugs in and gently scrub the dirt off with a cloth or your fingers. Then rinse and dry by setting on a clean towel, covering it using a second towel, and pressing downward. Get them to completely air dry before using them again.

Foam earplugs should be disposed of and changed if they have become unpleasant or dirty, if they get wet or if they have become hard and are not flexible enough to insert properly. Using the same set of earplugs for sleeping for too long can cause health concerns. It’s best to acquire many pairs at once if you plan on using earplugs for listening to or creating music or for loud events, simply because foam earplugs tend to be easy to lose. For events, consider earplugs which were attached with a lanyard, making them substantially more difficult to drop. If you listen to or perform music, you very well may prefer slightly more expensive musicians earplugs.

For long-term use, look into more expensive custom molded earplugs. These can even be designed to dampen out certain noises, such as your partner snoring. Furthermore, they are less likely to damage your ears with long-term use.