Let’s face it, we know that you love your partner but if he or she (men are more likely to snore than women) snores, it affects your sleep too. Before you decide to move into the spare bedroom, try these tips on how to stop someone from snoring so you can both get some rest.
What is snoring?
All snoring is caused by the same thing. Excess tissue blocking the airway. This excess tissue vibrates as air passes over it creating the snoring sound. Now, while all snoring is caused by this excess tissue vibrating, where that excess tissue is located defines the type of snoring you have and the best way to treat it.
How to Stop Someone from Snoring: Real Health Risks of Snoring
Although snoring is common, half of all people snore at some point in their life. It often goes untreated because it’s thought of as a minor annoyance without any real health consequences. But the latest science on snoring tells a very different story. Snoring interrupts the normal sleep cycle and has been linked to a number of very serious health conditions that are on the upswing in today’s society. Things like:
- Obesity – Because you’re not waking up fully rested, your body craves foods that will boost energy. Often those foods are high in sugar and carbohydrates (fast energy). The other issue is that being tired often reduces our willpower letting us give into our cravings.
- High blood pressure – Both snoring and the resulting sleep cycle interruption cause the release of a stress hormone that raises the blood pressure.
- Stroke – Increased blood pressure is a major risk factor for stroke.
- Heart disease – Like strokes, high blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease.
- Anxiety – If you already have anxiety snoring and the resulting sleep disturbances can make it worse. If you don’t have anxiety, it can cause it.
- Depression – Just as with anxiety, it can exacerbate the problem or even cause it.
- Relationship issues – If you’re the partner of a snorer, then you can attest to the fact that it interrupts your sleep too. Always waking up tired and cranky will put a strain on any relationship.
Find the Cause and Identify the Solution
When discussing how to stop someone from snoring, it’s important to identify the type of snorer they are. In general, snoring is broken down into 5 types:
- Nose Snorers – The cause of snoring is a blocked nasal passage or collapsing nostrils that leads to mouth breathing.
- Mouth Snorers – This type of snoring is caused by the mouth falling open and a relaxed jaw.
- Tongue Snorers – The tongue relaxes and drops to the back of the mouth obstructing the airway.
- Palatal (Throat) Snoring – The cause of this snoring is the soft palate and uvula vibrating.
- Multifactorial –When snoring is caused by a combination of the above, you have a multifactorial snorer.
To work out which kind of snorer your partner is, and consequently, the solutions, get them to try the following tests. If none of the tests seems to work, they’re likely to be a palatal snorer. If they can answer yes to more than one, they’re a multifactorial snorer.
The nose test – Look in a mirror. Press the side of one nostril to close it. With your mouth closed, breathe in through the other nostril. Does the nostril collapse? Also, with your mouth closed, try breathing in through your nose. Can you breathe easily? If breathing is difficult or the nostril collapses, you are likely a nose snorer.
The mouth test – Open your mouth and make a snoring noise. Now, can you make the same noise with your mouth closed? If yes, you are a mouth snorer.
The tongue test – Make a snoring noise. Now stick your tongue out as far as it will go and grip it between your teeth. Is the snoring noise reduced? If yes, you are a tongue snorer.
How to Stop Someone from Snoring: Treatment Options
Once you discover they type of snorer you or your partner are, then we can look at the various treatment options. But keep in mind that a lot of people are multifactorial snorers and may require more than one treatment option.
Please note that all of these treatments require an adjustment period, while they will stop the snoring immediately, getting comfortable with them may take 1-2 weeks. After the adjustment period most people find that they sleep normally.
Nose snoring can be caused by a number of factors including a deviated septum, enlarged adenoids as well as nasal congestion due to seasonal allergies or viral infection. Taking a decongestant before bedtime can help with allergies or a cold, as can a neti pot. For the other causes, treatment relies on opening up the nostrils to improve airflow.
The use of nasal strips like Breathe Right, is an easy first step. But if you’re still snoring you might want to look into nasal dilators. These devices actually go into the nose forcing the airway open. Additionally, some people find nose sprays helpful.
Mouth snorers come in two varieties, open mouth and closed mouth. Open mouth snoring points to the excess tissue being in the throat. Closed mouth snoring is more likely to be caused by issues with the tongue falling into the back of the throat blocking the airway.
For mouth snorers, the problem occurs when the muscles in the lower jaw relax and it slides back blocking the airway. There are a number of was to counter this, one of the easiest is through the use of a chin strap.
The chin strap holds the jaw forward so that it can’t fall backwards blocking the airway.
Another highly effective treatment is the use of a Mandible Advancement Device or MAD. These resemble a typical mouth guard that athletes wear. It acts to hole the lower jaw forward to keep the airway open. I personally use this device for my snoring.
Finally, some mouth snorers find relief using nasal or mouth sprays.
The tongue like many body parts come in all sizes. If you were born with a large tongue it can easily get cause blockage to the airway. But your tongue doesn't have to large for it to be a problem. Just the fact that the muscles in the tongue relax when we sleep can cause it to fall to the back of the throat blocking the airway.
Some people find the MAD device useful for keeping the tongue forward. But they do make a device specifically designed to hold the tongue forward. They are known as Tongue Stabilizing Devices TSD's. And while they look a lot like a baby pacifier, they are effective in keeping the tongue forward.
Palatal (Throat) Snoring
When the excess tissue is in the soft palate or uvula, palatal or throat snoring is the result. Palatal snoring is closely associated with sleep apnea, a life threatening condition that needs immediate medical attention. For more information on sleep apnea check out this article.
Treating palatal snoring can be done via MAD or chin strap. They both work by holding the lower jaw forward helping to keep the airway open. Throat and nasal sprays that are designed to shrink tissues in the throat are another option for palatal snoring.
This is a very common form of snoring. Multifactorial snoring occurs when the snoring is a result of two or more of the above causes. For instance, it's not uncommon for someone to be both a mouth and nose snorer.
For that particular person they might want to try a combination of nasal dilators and a chin strap or MAD.
A person with both tongue and palatal snoring my use both a throat spray and a TSD.
The important thing about multifactorial snoring is that you don't give up. Finding the right combination of treatments is a matter of trial and error.
How to Stop Someone from Snoring: General Advice
As humans, we are always looking for a quick fix to issues. Snoring is no different, that's why I focused on the various anti snoring devices as they can tackle the problem on night 1. But there are other more "lifestyle" based ways to reduce or eliminate snoring. Some may seem obvious, other not so much, but here are some other tips on how to stop someone from snoring.
- If you're overweight, lose it - We carry excess weight all over our body and that includes out head, neck and mouth. By losing weight you will be shrinking the tissue that's blocking the airway.
- Stop smoking - Smoking irritates all the tissues in the nose, sinus, mouth and throat. This irritation causes inflammation that blocks the airway.
- Avoid alcohol before bed - Alcohol relaxes the muscles in the head and neck. When those muscles relax too much then the excess tissue can fall into the throat making snoring worse.
- Use a humidifier in the bedroom - Dry air can irritate membranes in the nose and throat, so if swollen nasal tissues are the problem, a humidifier may help.
- Use an air purifier - These can reduce allergies and take dust and other particles that might be irritating your system.
- Be careful what you eat before bed. Research shows that eating large meals or consuming certain foods such as dairy or soy milk right before bedtime can make snoring worse.
- Change your sleeping position - Most snoring is positional, so sleeping on your side or stomach can be a quick fix.
Six Exercises You Can Use to Stop Someone from Snoring
By pronouncing certain vowel sounds and curling the tongue in specific ways, muscles in the upper respiratory tract are strengthened and therefore reduce snoring. Try the following exercises.
- Repeat each vowel (a-e-i-o-u) out loud for three minutes 3-4 times a day.
- Place the tip of your tongue behind your top front teeth. Slide your tongue backwards for three minutes 3-4 times a day.
- Close your mouth and purse your lips. Hold for 30 seconds.
- With your mouth open, move your jaw to the right and hold for 30 seconds. Repeat on the left side.
- With your mouth open, contract the muscle at the back of your throat repeatedly for 30 seconds. Tip: Look in the mirror to see the uvula (“the hanging ball”) move up and down.
- For a more fun exercise, simply spend time singing. Singing can increase muscle control in the throat and soft palate, reducing snoring caused by lax muscles. *
* Source (How to Stop Snoring)
How to Stop Someone from Snoring So You Can Both Sleep Well: Conclusion
Snoring Affects everyone in the bed. Whether it's you or your partner, snoring snoring will affect your physical, emotional and relationships health. Don't resort to sleeping separately unless it's a last resort. Use what you have learned here today to better your sleep, health and relationship.
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