Snoring disrupts your sleep and your partner’s. By making lifestyle changes or trying therapies or treatments, you can stop snoring and improve your quality of sleep. Located in Houston, TX, Dr. Marilyn Jones and the team at Houston Biological Dentist give tips on how to stop snoring. Now you can rest more soundly.
Tips on how to stop snoring
Snoring occasionally is common. Colds, seasonal allergies, or environmental changes can cause normal snoring from time to time. If you suffer from occasional snoring, try the following at-home solutions for a better night’s sleep.
- Sleep on your side. When you sleep in a supine position on your back, your tongue and soft tissues may fall against the back wall of your throat. When these structures fall, you may notice vibrating or snoring sounds. Sleeping on your side helps prevent collapse by keeping the structures in place.
- Avoid alcohol. Alcohol and sedative medication relaxes the muscles throughout the body, including those in your throat. This increases the possibility of snoring. Alcohol consumption at night often makes snoring worse, even for people who normally do not snore.
- Develop good sleeping habits. Patients who work long hours or do not get enough sleep are more likely to crash into a deep sleep. The muscles of the throat are floppier when the body is overly tired. Snoring is possible if you do not have a good nighttime routine or do not get enough sleep.
- Open your nasal passages. When your nose is blocked due to allergies or a cold, opening the nasal passages can help improve the flow of air. Before going to bed, try taking a hot shower, rinsing your nasal passages with saltwater, or applying nasal strips.
- Clean your bed pillows. Dirty pillows or pillowcases can trigger allergies and cause snoring. Keep allergens such as dust mites and animal dander away by cleaning your pillows regularly. Simply put your pillows in the dryer periodically to minimize allergens. Replace old pillows with new ones every six to twelve months.
- Stay hydrated. When you are dehydrated, your nose and soft palate get stickier. This stickiness increases the chances of snoring. Drink fluids and stay properly hydrated to avoid dehydration.
If you have tried simple at-home changes and snoring treatments without success, it is time to seek medical attention. A consultation, physical exam, and sleep study may help determine the cause of your snoring. In some cases, patients may have excess floppy tissue that contributes to snoring and disrupted sleep. Other patients may have a medical condition known as sleep apnea. Once the cause of snoring has been determined, a customized treatment plan is created. The goal of snoring therapy is to help you breathe more clearly. This improves your quality of sleep. Personalized treatment plans may include one or a combination of the following:
- Lifestyle changes
- Functional orthopedics using Daytime/Nighttime Appliances (DNA)
- Non-invasive laser treatments
- Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine
In some cases, functional orthopedics using an oral Daytime/Nighttime Appliance (DNA) may be recommended. This device gently and painlessly applies pressure to expand the upper jaw. This increases the size of the upper airway and lessens snoring. This appliance comfortably expands the upper jaw and moves the lower jaw forward into a more ideal position to keep the airway open. This increases the space around the airway to help you breathe more easily allowing you and your partner to get a full, peaceful night’s sleep. When in place, this appliance allows you to sleep comfortably without interruption.
Laser procedures such as NightLase combine state-of-the-art technology with safe treatments for a healthy, successful result. NightLase is a laser treatment that treats and tights the tissues of the oropharynx to reduce the vibrations of snoring. This non-invasive therapy is safe and effective. The laser can be calibrated for each patient, so the settings are adjusted to each patient’s needs. NightLase tightens the excess or floppy nasal or throat tissue making it less prone to vibrations during sleep. Only the specifically targeted tissues of the mouth are treated. Patients benefit because the treatment is gentle yet effective so there is minimal recovery time.