Tips to help you (or your partner) stop snoring
1. Sleep in the correct position
- Avoid sleeping on your back. If you struggle to remain on your side throughout the night, try stitching a tennis ball into the back of your pyjama top.
- Raise the head of your bed with good quality pillows – one thick or two thin pillows should be about right.
2. Lose weight
Snoring is more common if you’re overweight. Excessive weight, particular around your neck, can narrow your airways making you more likely to snore. Losing a small amount of weight can have a big impact on your snoring and quality of sleep – just the motivation you need to keep on track towards your weight loss goal. The best way to lose weight safely is by eating well and exercising more at the same time.
If you’ve started to get moving but your willpower is waning, find out how to stay motivated with our Staying motivated blog. And for some healthy eating inspiration check out our healthy lunch ideas or sugar swap videos.
3. Cut down on alcohol
Alcohol relaxes the structures in your mouth including your pharynx, palate and tongue, obstructing your airways and making you more likely to snore. Cut down on alcohol to help you stop snoring – and when you do drink, remember to stay well within the recommended drinking limits.
Sleeping medicines have a similar effect to alcohol on snoring, so cut down or avoid these where you can too.
4. Stop smoking
If you smoke, try to stop. Cigarette smoke aggravates the space behind your nose and throat, and causes a buildup of mucus, which together restrict airflow and contribute to snoring. Find out more about the effects of smoking and how you can stop smoking.
5. Get allergies under control
If you have an allergy, for example you’re allergic to dust or have hay fever, you may get a stuffy nose. This can disrupt your sleep and cause you to snore. Try to avoid contact with potential triggers (allergens) and get the right treatment to help prevent snoring.
If none of these things work, then try snoring strips or a mandibular advancement device.
Snoring strips fix onto the outside of your nose and work by opening your nostrils wider. You can get them from most chemists.
Mandibular advancement devices are like gum shields. You wear them in your mouth at night and they move your jaw forwards, which can reduce snoring. You can buy non-custom devices online, but there’s little evidence to show that they’re effective for snoring. It’s better to have one made by your dentist, or buy an adjustable device that your dentist can amend to fit your mouth correctly.
If none of these work, and snoring is having a big impact on your day-to-day lives, then surgery is an option. An operation can remove anything that’s blocking your airways or reshape them. Talk to your GP for more information.