Snoring Sleep Apnoea
Lifestyle Changes And Tips To Help You Stop Snoring For Better Sleep
September 24, 2021
When we sleep, our muscles relax and we lose consciousness of how our body responds. The muscles around the throat and nasal passages also relax and partially block the airways. This results in vibrations and sounds that we recognise as snoring.
Have you ever felt like you did not get a good night’s rest and you wake up feeling tired? Snoring is a common occurrence and while many people brush it off as ‘part of their nature/bad habit’, there’s actually more to snoring than meets the eye. Not only is snoring a source of discomfort or embarrassment for the snorers, but it also reduces the quality of your sleep.
More than just a night-time noise, Sleep Medicine Specialists in Singapore (sometimes known as “Snoring Specialist”) also warn that snoring could be associated with a serious condition called Obstructive Sleep Apnoea or OSA. Despite it sounding severe, the good news is there are several lifestyle changes that you can make to help you stop snoring.
Read more: Snoring & Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA)
Change your sleeping position
In many cases, snoring tends to happen if you are sleeping in an awkward position. If you are a back sleeper, then you have a higher chance of snoring since this position allows the soft tissues in your mouth and throat to fall backward. As such, the airways become blocked or narrowed, and when you breathe, the narrowed airway vibrates to create a snoring sound.
Many Sleep Specialists in Singapore recommend switching your sleeping position to sleep on your side. If you often find yourself rolling onto your back mid-sleep, you can invest in a body pillow to help you maintain a side sleeping position. Alternatively, a cheaper and easier approach would be to tape a tennis ball to your back during sleep!
Add humidifiers to your room
If you are snoring and have allergies or upper respiratory illness, a humidifier may be an option to help decrease your snoring. Dry air (especially in an air-conditioned room) may aggravate your snoring and humidifiers work by adding moisture in the air to prevent your nose as well as throat from drying up.
Change your beddings
Nasal allergies due to common house dust mites and other allergens in your bedroom is a major cause of snoring. As such, it is advisable to clean your pillows, mattresses, and sheets regularly or change them frequently for quality sleep every night. Furthermore, you can also keep your head elevated during sleep by choosing a pillow that aligns your head and shoulders to keep your airways as open as possible. Not only does this help keep your head elevated but it also encourages better breathing to reduce snoring.
Open nasal passages
Another possible treatment option for snoring would be the use of over-the-counter products like stick-on nasal strips – these can be placed on your nose bridge to widen the space in your nasal passage. Similarly, a nasal dilator can be applied across the nostrils to make your breathing more effective, allowing you to experience lower airflow resistance, overall reducing your risk of snoring.
However, the effectiveness of these products often varies from person to person. Thus, you may have to visit an ENT Specialist to find out the root cause of your blocked nose and receive the optimal treatment option so you can have a better quality of life.
If you are overweight or obese, there will be more fat tissues around the neck and throat region. This results in a narrower breathing passageway, making it more susceptible to collapse during sleep. The key to losing weight is to reduce your calories intake and exercise regularly.
Check if you have OSA and seek treatment
While the above tips can help you reduce or potentially stop snoring, ultimately they are not treatment options to cure your snoring. Instead, they are lifestyle modifications with effectiveness that varies from person to person. Hence, if you experience irregular breathing patterns, loud snoring followed by episodes of quiet during which you cease breathing, there is a high chance you may have Obstructive Sleep Apnoea.
Consult an ENT Specialist or a doctor trained in Sleep Medicine to get a diagnosis and treatment for the condition. Doctors have observed that overweight men who drink alcohol are the most common group who suffer from OSA, yet this does not rule out the other demographics such as women, children, or slim people. If left untreated, there’s a higher risk of fatigue-related conditions as well as heart disease.
Medically reviewed by Dr Gan Eng Cern