Whether you sleep alone or share a bed with a light sleeper, snoring can be a pain. Lifetime snorers may feel like there's nothing they can do to stop their head from sounding like a lawnmower at night, but it doesn't have to be that way. Special equipment, lifestyle changes, and even readjusting your body can make nights more peaceful for your entire household.
1. Sleep on your side.
One of the simplest ways to reduce snoring is to switch your sleeping position. Going to bed on your back constricts the space between the base of your tongue, soft palate, and the back of your throat. As you breathe, this sometimes produces noisy vibrations that may bother your bedmate. Sleeping on your side can clear this passageway and prevent snoring without the need for any special equipment.
2. Invest in a mouthpiece.
Wearing a mouth guard is another way to keep your air passages clear. A well-fitted device can move your jaw forward and help your tongue lay flat. Talk to your dentist about making one that's custom-designed for your mouth, as over-the-counter devices won't work correctly. A tongue retaining or stabilizing device is also an option; instead of repositioning your jaw, this mouthpiece uses suction to hold your tongue in place.
3. Cut back on the alcohol.
If you snore on some nights and not others, your alcohol intake may be to blame. Drinking can relax the muscles in the tongue beyond their normal resting state, turning normally silent sleepers into snorers. You can reduce your chances of snoring by cutting back on the booze—especially in the hours before bedtime.
4. Clean your pillows.
In some cases, your environment is the cause of your restricted airways. If you have trouble breathing in your bedroom, it's time to clean the thing you rest your head on each night. Pillows accumulate irritants like dust over time. You should be washing yours several times a year in addition to washing your pillow cases weekly.
5. Wear a nasal strip.
Nasal strips are some of the the least invasive anti-snoring implements available. After being applied to the outside of the nose, the adhesive strip uses tension to dilate the nasal passageways. Internal nose dilators are available as well, and they've been found to be more effective than the external kind. They're more comfortable than a mouth guard, but doctors warn that nasal dilators are only effective in certain snoring cases.