Snoring is caused by an obstruction to the airflow in the upper airways, which causes turbulence and change in air pressure in the passages. This turbulence then typically produces a vibration of the soft palate in the roof of your mouth. However, snoring can also be due to vibration from restriction in your nasal passages, through the mouth at the oropharynx (base of the tongue), tonsils and even your vocal chords, and as a result of sleep apnoea, which is a more serious medical condition which can require medical intervention.
Top ten tips
1) Lose Weight; Adults with a neck circumference of more than 17 inches (43cm) usually snore a lot, as the extra weight around the neck squeezes the throat. Our tongue also gets fatter when we are overweight, further restricting airflow.
2) Avoid Alcohol. Don’t drink alcohol at night, as it relaxes the throat muscles.
3) Increase Exercise as it can help strengthen your neck muscles, stopping them from collapsing at night.
4) Stop smoking. Cigarette smoke is an irritant to both the nasal cavity and throat and can cause catarrh and swelling. If the nasal passages become congested it becomes harder to breathe through your nose.
5) Make sure you are hydrated. Drink more water, as when we are dehydrated our nasal secretions, and a surface of the soft palate dry out slightly and become stickier. Also if you use sleeping pills try to reduce them as they can also dry the nasal passages.
6) Sleep on side not your back. When we lie on our backs gravity can act on the palate and tongue and the fall backwards, narrowing the airway, and making the throat vibrate causing snoring.
7) Reduce any allergic responses: Use topical steroids if you have allergic and none-allergic rhinitis, and change your pillows. Dust mites can cause allergic reactions.
8) Raising your head, with more pillows as this helps stop your throat restrictions, and also stops the tongue from falling into the back of your throat.
9) Try an oral device. These can be bought online or custom made. Custom made solutions are used to force the jaw anteriorly, pulling the tongue and the attached soft tissue forward.
10) Open Nasal Passages with salt water rinse, with steam, or with hot shower. Alternatively, nasal strips can help, as can plastic solutions which keep the nasal passages open whilst you are asleep.