How to Stop Snoring Naturally
Eliminating snoring to reclaim a full night’s sleep and a healthier future.
Snoring can be described in a lot of different ways, from a snorting or wheezing sound to a downright chainsaw. No matter what it sounds like, though, it’s often disruptive to the sleep of both the person snoring and their partner. Whether or not this snoring is tied to a sleep disorder, not getting enough sleep can lead to exhaustion, moodiness, and put stress on relationships. It goes beyond this, however, because your body needs sleep to survive. Sleep deprivation can lead to a range of health issues, so any time snoring is interfering with your sleep, it’s important to address it.
Thankfully, regardless of the cause of your snoring, there are more options than ever to address it—including plenty of ways to stop snoring naturally! Since we want you to be the healthiest you can be in every way, we’ve put together some information on snoring, what you can do to reduce or eliminate it, and how your dentist could help.
Causes of Snoring
Although some people are simply natural snorers for no apparent reason, there’s often an underlying cause. This underlying cause could be a condition that narrows your airway, such as allergies or chronic congestion, structural problems in your nose like a deviated septum, or enlarged tonsils or adenoids. Obesity and even a misaligned bite can also cause or contribute to snoring.
It’s important to realize, however, that while each of these factors could be the full cause of snoring on its own, they could also be contributing factors to another cause of snoring: sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a condition where you stop breathing at least 30 times per hour throughout the night. Not everyone who snores has sleep apnea, but this condition has severe enough long-term health effects that it’s always important to rule it out just to be safe.
Most Common Sleep Apnea Treatment
CPAP machines are such a common sleep apnea treatment that they’re often looked at as “the” sleep apnea remedy. They’re so common because they really are effective. This machine helps ensure that you continue breathing throughout the night by blowing a constant stream of pressurized air into your nose and mouth through a mask.
This prevents your airway from closing throughout the night, ensuring that you’re able to continue breathing easily. It’s used to treat both obstructive and central sleep apnea and is so effective that it works for all severity levels of the condition, from minor to severe cases. It’s this efficacy that makes it such a common, go-to treatment option for the condition.
Why People Prefer to Avoid CPAP
Despite how common CPAP machines are, most people prefer to avoid using them if possible. There are many reasons for this, but a lot of it comes down to comfort and convenience. Many people find the CPAP mask and wires uncomfortable. It limits what positions you can sleep in and can impact how much you’re able to move around in your sleep. The sensation of the pressurized air flowing through the mask itself is often uncomfortable at first as well and takes some time to get used to.
Plus, CPAP machines require regular maintenance to keep them clean and functioning well, and they take up quite a bit of room. This makes them hard to travel with, so if you travel often, you may have to buy a smaller, travel-sized machine in addition to your daily-use CPAP. Even if your insurance helps cover the cost, this can be an added expense that many people prefer to avoid. Because of this, more and more people are looking for natural remedies for sleep apnea or snoring.
Other Snoring Remedies
Thankfully, the good news is that CPAP machines aren’t always your only option! There are several ways that you can treat mild to moderate sleep apnea or stop snoring naturally. The key is to identify factors that are causing or contributing to your snoring or sleep apnea and make changes to address those factors. Sometimes this means making a relatively simple change, but other times it means making more major lifestyle changes. In the end, though, these methods can bring significant symptom relief and improve your overall health, making it beyond worth it!
1. Relieve allergies and stuffiness.
If you deal with allergies or chronic congestion, relieving stuffiness can go a long way toward eliminating snoring. You can do this simply by using allergy medication or nasal strips that stick onto the bridge of your nose.
2. Change your sleeping position.
If you sleep on your back, simply changing your sleeping position can be surprisingly helpful as well. Sleeping on your side is a good alternative. It might take some time to get used to or may take some creative solutions, like sewing a tennis ball to the back of your PJs to prevent you from rolling over in your sleep. It’s still a simple change that often yields real results. Alternatively, you can continue sleeping on your back but raise the head of your bed slightly, as this position is also much better at keeping your airway open and preventing snoring.
3. Lose weight if necessary.
People of any age and weight can get sleep apnea, so this isn’t necessary for everyone, and we know it isn’t always easy, especially if you’re dealing with fatigue and inflammation due to lack of sleep. When it’s necessary, though, it can be incredibly helpful. This is because fatty tissue in your neck or throat can fall back or collapse when you sleep, obstructing your airway. When you put in the work of eating healthily and exercising to lose extra weight, the fatty tissue causing the problem shrinks or goes away, relieving sleep apnea symptoms.
4. Quit smoking or reduce your alcohol consumption.
Smoking and alcohol consumption each contribute to snoring or sleep apnea in different ways. Smoking, for example, irritates your nose and throat and can cause inflammation there, narrowing your airway. Alcohol, on the other hand, can make the muscles in your throat or tongue relax more than usual when you sleep, causing them to collapse and block your airway. You don’t have to completely give up alcohol, but you should reduce how much you drink and stop drinking several hours before bed so that it has time to get out of your system.
5. Consider getting a snoring appliance.
One of the best ways to treat sleep apnea or stop snoring naturally is to use a custom-made snoring appliance, sometimes called a nightguard. Snoring appliances work by positioning your tongue, jaw, or palate into the ideal position—one that is naturally comfortable but keeps your airway open.
The main types of snoring appliances either prevent your tongue from falling back in your mouth or gently hold your jaw in the best, most comfortable position for it while you sleep. This ideal position keeps your airway as open as possible, but it’s also comfortable.
Since you’re meant to sleep in them, nightguards are designed with comfort in mind, ensuring that you’ll be able to fall asleep more easily while wearing them. They can stop snoring naturally and even help relieve mild to moderate sleep apnea, but they aren’t the best treatment for more severe cases of sleep apnea.
If your case is more severe, you’ll need to use a CPAP machine to treat your sleep apnea. That said, you may be able to work with your doctor to reduce your symptoms through other means, like lifestyle changes, until you’re at a point where a snoring appliance could work for you. Always consult your doctor and let them help you get to where you want to be with your treatment!
Your Dentist Can Help
While a dentist being able to help treat sleep apnea or stop snoring naturally may sound strange at first, a skilled dentist with experience in this area, like Dr. Alhadef, can absolutely work with you to help relieve your symptoms using a snoring appliance. Dr. Alhadef has studied physiologic and neuromuscular dentistry in depth at the Las Vegas Institute and is always learning and keeping up to date with the latest science around sleep apnea, as well as with related issues such as TMD and occlusions. This makes him uniquely qualified to give you the best care possible, fitting you with a custom-made oral appliance that’s designed to meet your specific treatment needs.
The amount and quality of sleep you and your partner are getting every night is an essential part of how you feel every day and is vital to your continued overall health. Thankfully, snoring and sleep apnea no longer have to get in the way of your or your partner’s sleep. You may even be able to relieve sleep apnea symptoms without a CPAP machine! If you’re interested in working with the best dentist in Dallas, TX, to address sleep apnea or stop snoring naturally, feel free to schedule a consultation with Dr. Alhadef at any time.