No woman likes the idea that she snores like a truck driver. But a lot of us do just that. In fact, it’s been estimated that up to 50 percent of the US population snores at one time or another. And snoring is more than just a nuisance—it’s been shown to disrupt the sleep of 90 million American adults and their partners. The good news is that lifestyle changes and medical advances can minimize the log sawing. Here’s how.
Skip the Nightcap
Alcohol can make snoring worse by relaxing the muscles in your airway, which makes breathing harder—and the effort to breathe louder.
Lose a few pounds
The heavier you get, the more suction is needed to inhale. The extra suction causes swelling and vibration in the back of the throat, uvula, and palate, said Dr. Barbara Phillips, professor of pulmonary critical care and sleep medicine at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. Losing even just a few pounds can help reduce snoring or even resolve sleep apnea.
Try a Nasal Strip
A stuffed nose or clogged nasal passages can make things worse by forcing you to breathe through your mouth. A nasal strip on the bridge of your nose can help open nasal passages.
Buy a Humidifier
Dry heat—and dry mouth and nasal passages—can trigger snoring. A humidifier can help keep the room (and you) moist.
Sleep with a Ball
If you snore mostly when on your back, sew a tennis ball on the mid-back of a tight pajama top (put it in an old shirt pocket and sew it on). The discomfort forces you to roll over and sleep on your side—without waking you up, said Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum.
Consider a CPAP
A continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device uses air pressure to keep the throat open and help reduce snoring. A sleep disorder specialist can determine if a CPAP can help you.
Take Up Singing!
Sing! Researchers at the University of Exeter in England found that people snored significantly less once they had started singing for 20 minutes a day for three months. Singing may help by firming up flabby muscles in the upper airways.