Snoring has become big business. Just do a quick search, and you will find yourself bombarded with snoring remedies of all sorts. There are nasal strips and knock-off mouthguards that are designed to look like prescription ones. There are rinses and sprays and even yoga courses. Everyone is trying to make money off your snoring.
But before you invest in any of these snoring remedies, there are a few things you should try that can save you a lot of money and get better results than these over-the-counter remedies. The home treatments below are all good things to try if you have light, occasional snoring. If your snoring is severe and constant, you should get tested for sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a potentially deadly condition and requires professional treatment. Sleep dentist Dr. Kevin Berry at the TMJ Therapy & Sleep Center of Colorado in Denver can help you get tested for sleep apnea. That way, you’ll know if your health depends on professional treatment.
Change Your Sleeping Position
This is one of the best things you can do to get your snoring under control. If you are sleeping on your back, gravity will pull down on your throat and encourage it to narrow, which is what creates snoring. This is what your partner is trying to accomplish when they nudge you in the night, anyway.
Start by trying to change your sleeping position on your own. But if you’re having trouble, sew a pocket on the back of your pajamas and put a tennis ball in there–you’ll learn not to roll onto your back.
Not everyone can adjust to side sleeping. If you’re having trouble, consider elevating your head and torso with a wedge pillow. This can also change how gravity pulls on your airway, making it less likely to close.
Keep a Snoring Diary
Occasional snoring can actually be more disturbing than chronic snoring, but the cause can be harder to track down. Keeping a snoring diary in which you record some basic facts (what you ate and drank, the weather, and how much you snored, which your partner will probably be happy to fill in, along with some colorful commentary) can help you track down the cause of your snoring.
Smoking irritates and inflames your airway. This makes it narrower, which can lead to snoring. If you quit smoking, your airway will be more open, and you’ll snore less. Since smoking is terrible for your health in many ways (not to mention an expensive habit), this can be a big boon to your health (and finances).
Cut Alcohol in the Evening
Your snoring diary may clue you in on this one, but consuming alcohol in the evening is a common cause of snoring. Alcohol encourages your neck muscles to relax even more when you sleep, increasing the severity of snoring.
Drinking less in the evening may make you snore less.
Reconsider Sleeping Pills
Do you currently rely on sleeping pills to fall asleep at night? Although these can be effective, they might also contribute to your snoring. Sleeping pills relax your muscles, including the muscles in your throat that need to keep your airways open for breathing.
Talk to your doctor about alternatives to help you fall asleep without sedatives that might lead to snoring.
Consider Getting Tested for Allergies
Allergies are another common cause of snoring. An allergic response can trigger mucus production and swelling, which can clog and narrow your airway.
Think everyone in your family has allergies, but you? Your allergy may be the cause of your snoring. If your snoring seems to intensify when certain allergens are high, when you eat certain foods, or when it’s cold and the furnace is running, you should consider an allergy test to learn what could be causing your snoring. Sometimes improving your sleep hygiene can make a big difference in your ability to fall asleep.
Use a Humidifier
With the exception of an occasional rainy spring, the air in Colorado tends to be very dry, especially during the winter months when you have your furnace running. Dry air can lead to throat irritation, which narrows the airways. Adding some moisture to the air can help you breathe smoothly, reducing snoring.
If you’re already in great shape, this may not apply to you, but most of us snorers could stand to be in better shape. People will advertise specific exercise routines for snoring, but the truth is that getting more exercise of any type will help with snoring, especially if you start losing a little weight.
Although this is easier said than done, it could make a big difference for snoring. Snoring occurs when your airway narrows while you sleep at night. Fat deposits in and around your airway contribute to narrowing. Losing weight will cut down on those deposits, helping you to breathe more easily–and more quietly.
When to Seek Snoring Treatment in Denver
Home care is a good place to start for minor and occasional snoring. But if you have excessive snoring and are finding yourself tired in the morning, falling asleep during the day, and regularly suffering from morning headaches, you should seek professional care. These are symptoms of sleep apnea, when your breathing actually stops at night–a life-threatening condition that needs medical attention.
Denver sleep dentist Dr. Kevin Berry can help you get a test for sleep apnea. He can also design a custom treatment for snoring or sleep apnea, whichever you need.
If you suspect you have sleep apnea or are looking for a snoring solution that works, please call 303-691-0267 for an appointment with a sleep dentist at the TMJ Therapy & Sleep Center of Colorado in Denver.