You or your sleep mate snores too much. What this means is your breathing is intermittently partially obstructed while you’re sleeping. Snoring is the sound of air moving past that obstruction. Whether serious or not, first you should know it’s common, occurring in about 50% of adults. It could be serious or just positional. Here are some Quick Tips for you.
- Sleep on your side. This should remove the tongue as a cause of a partial obstruction.
- Avoid sedatives if possible. Sedatives cause significant enough relaxation to the tissues in your throat to cause that partial obstruction.
- Limit alcohol before sleeping (by about two hours). Alcohol is a sedative.
- Elevate the head of your bed or prop your head up by about 4-6 inches. This should manually move partially obstructing tissue out of the way.
- Fix what ails your nose. If you have chronic problems with nasal obstruction or a deviated nasal septum, you’re more inclined to breathe through your mouth. This will increase the chances that you snore. Similarly, those nasal strips you may have seen work (when they do) by increase the area in the nose through which they can breathe.
- Finally, losing weight (if you have it to lose) works by reducing the tissues in and around your throat that cause snoring.
It’s time to see your physician if you find yourself awakening from sleep choking, gasping or otherwise short of breath. This could be an indicator of a serious condition, including sleep apnea. Additionally, you may want to seek care if your sleeping causes functional problems (e.g. you or your partner have difficulty sleeping as a result of your snoring).
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