According to NHS statistics, a quarter of the UK population snore. It is more prevalent in those aged 40-60, and twice as many men snore than women. Snoring noise is made by the soft palate and tissue in the mouth, nose or throat vibrating, and can disrupt quality sleep for both snorers and their bedfellows. While chronic snoring can sometimes be a symptom of an underlying health issue that may require medical attention, mild snoring can be curbed with some simple habitual and lifestyle changes.
Strike the right position
Sleep on your side, not your back. Doing so will encourage your tongue and chin to lie naturally, rather than relaxing back and disrupting the flow of your breathing. For added comfort and ease of breathing, make sure your pillows have a supportive and comfortable structure.
Watch your weight
There are lots of health benefits to keeping your weight in check, and combatting snoring is one of them. Excess weight around your neck can restrict your airwaves while sleeping, making you more prone to snore. Let the thought of a snore-free snooze motivate you to get active and trim.
Moderate your alcohol intake
A glass of your favourite wine or spirit is sometimes a lovely way to wind down from a stressful day, but avoid drinking alcohol at least four hours before bedtime. Alcohol relaxes the muscles at the back of your throat, which can encourage you to snore when your head hits the pillow. Many medications – including tranquilisers, sleeping tablets and anti-histamines – have the same relaxing effect. If you take such medication and snoring is having a major negative impact on your life, it may be worth discussing alternative solutions with your doctor.
Smoking wreaks havoc with health on all fronts, and it’s a demon for snoring. Cigarette smoke inflames the inside of your nose and throat, triggering swelling and catarrh. This diminishes your natural airflow, one of the major causes of snoring. So give your health and sleep patterns a nicotine-free boost, and kick the habit now.
Be allergy aware
Allergies to such things as types of bedding, dust mites, pet hair, wheat and dairy are increasingly impacting on our lives. They generally create congestion and irritation, which are common causes of snoring. Taking an allergy test could unlock answers to whether pesky allergens are causing you to snore, and allow you to eliminate them from your life and sleeping environment.