Snoring is defined as a noisy form of breathing that is done through the nose or mouth and takes place during sleep. Health experts say that most people snore on occasion, such as when a person has a head cold and is congested. Babies are known to snore and even pets such as cats and dogs sometimes snore.

Snoring only becomes a problem if breathing ceases during sleep and you find yourself having to wake up to catch your breath, if you are disrupting your spouse’s sleep and if you yourself are losing sleep because of your own consistent snoring.

What causes snoring in adults?

Snoring can be caused by several different things including:

  • anatomy of your mouth and sinuses
  • alcohol consumption
  • allergies
  • a cold
  • excess weight

When you fall asleep, the muscles in the roof of your mouth, tongue and throat relax. If the tissues in your throat can relax enough they partially block your airway and vibrate. The more narrowed your airway, the more forceful the airflow becomes. Forceful air increases tissue vibration and causes loud snoring.

The chances of snoring increase with: trouble breathing through the nose or throat, being overweight or obese, the natural aging process, male gender, and pregnancy.

Best ways to stop snoring:

  • If you suffer from mild snoring there are ways that you can help prevent it.
  • Elevate your head as much as possible by either sleeping on more than one pillow or else by sleeping on a thicker pillow.
  • Resist the urge to drink alcohol, or take sleeping pills, tranquilizers or antihistamine before you turn in for the night.
    • Alcohol, sleeping pills, tranquilizers and antihistamines will relax muscles, thereby limiting how much air can pass in and out of your lungs.
  • Steer clear of any dairy products such as milk, yogurt, cheese or ice cream before bedtime as these foods cause the build-up of mucus in the throat.
  • If you are overweight make an effort to lose some weight.
    • Even losing 10 to 15 pounds can make a difference when it comes to snoring.
  • Sleeping on your side as opposed to your back can help to keep your airways as open as possible.
    • (Some people have been known to sew a tennis ball to the back of their pajama top so that they would be discouraged from sleeping on their back due to the discomfort this action causes.)
  • Eat a spoonful of liquid honey before retiring for the night.
  • Try to go to bed at approximately the same time every night.
  • Avoid a big meal before you go to bed because when your stomach is full of food this puts pressure on the diaphragm and thereby limits breathing passages (this is especially the case if you have eaten fatty, fried or starchy food).
  • Stay away from foods considered to be “rich” foods right before bedtime such as pizza, chocolate, cakes and cookies.
  • Lay your head on a firm pillow at night and not a soft one because a soft pillow makes it easier for the muscles in your throat to relax, thereby narrowing the airways.
  • Before turning in for the night inhale steam or else sleep soundly in a room where a humidifier is turned on.
    • This will help keep your throat well lubricated.
  • Consider investing in some anti-snoring pills and/or nasal spray designed as an anti-snoring agent.
  • Buy a package of nasal strips and put them in place before you go to bed at night.
    • Nasal strips help to open up airways and will make sure that plenty of air can be brought into the lungs.