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8 Easy Ways to Stop Snoring

By Staff | October 22, 2021 | Mayo Clinic Health Information Library

As anyone ever jolted awake by a roommate or partner sawing logs can tell you, snoring can disturb you as well as those around you. It's a common problem. But that doesn't mean there isn't anything you can do about it.

For many people whose snoring isn't caused by an underlying sleep disorder, there are simple lifestyle changes you can make to prevent or quiet snoring:

  • Lose weight. If you're carrying extra weight in the throat area, it could cause snoring.
  • Sleep on your side. When you sleep on your back, your tongue falls backward into your throat, partially obstructing your airflow. Try to make it a habit to sleep on your side. Try wearing a T-shirt with a pocket backwards and place a soft object in that pocket; it will keep you off your back.
  • Adjust your bed. Raising the head of your bed can help keep your head and throat at a better angle for increased airflow and reduced snoring. If you can't raise your bed, consider a wedge pillow.
  • Use nasal strips. Nasal strips and external nasal dilators are applied to the bridge of the nose, helping you increase your nasal passage and improve your breathing — which could help you reduce your snoring.
  • Treat congestion. If you're congested from allergies or a deviated septum, it could lead to snoring. While decongestant or anti-inflammatory sprays might help in the short term, talk to your doctor about remedies for ongoing congestion.
  • Limit alcohol use. Both alcohol and sedatives depress your central nervous system, which relaxes your muscles, including the muscles in your throat. Avoid alcohol use at least two hours before bedtime to reduce snoring.
  • Quit smoking. Kicking your smoking habit will not only help you prevent snoring, but allow you to experience a variety of other health benefits.
  • Find a healthy sleep routine. Make sure you're getting your zzz's. Healthy adults should aim for at least seven hours of sleep per night.

When should I see a doctor about snoring?

Snoring generally isn't associated with serious health consequences unless it's accompanied by obstructive sleep apnea. It might be time to see a doctor if you try lifestyle changes and your snoring doesn't subside, or you have any of the following:

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Morning headaches
  • Chest pain at night
  • Breathing pauses, choking or gasping during sleep
  • Loud snoring that disrupts your partner's sleep
  • Sore throat upon awakening
  • Restless sleep
  • High blood pressure

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