Snoring – The 10 Step Plan to a Snore-free Sleep
Making sure we get a good night’s sleep is important to remain healthy and let the mind recover from the day’s activities. But there is one thing that often gets in the way of a peaceful night’s sleep – snoring.
For many, snoring is simply an unwelcome nuisance, a source of tiredness and irritability that rears its ugly head on a nightly basis. For others it is a more serious problem, one which they struggle to get to the bottom of and could have more serious health implications.
But the key to stopping snoring and getting a good night’s sleep could actually lie in the food we eat and the lifestyle we lead.
Mr Myles Black, ENT Consultant at The Private Clinic of Harley Street, discusses how a few simple diet and lifestyle choices could mean the difference between life as a snorer and sleeping soundly.
1) Shed the weight
We’re not talking dieting to the extreme, just losing some of the excess weight you might be carrying. If you do, you could not only reduce the amount you snore but also the volume of your snoring- increasing the chance of you (and your partner!) enjoying a good night’s sleep.
2) Ditch the Friday night curry
Eating spicy food can lead to acid reflux. Contrary to common belief, eating spicy food will not help to cure snoring; in fact it could make your snoring worse. By reducing the amount of spicy food you eat, like curries or chilli, you could help to put a stop to the problem.
3) Kick the butts
Smoking can cause mucus to form and can make breathing more difficult; both side effects are likely to increase the chances of snoring, especially if you smoke before you go to sleep.
4) Bin the booze
We all know that if we come in from a night of drinking, we are far more likely to be woken up by an elbow in the ribs from our partner because we’ve been snoring. Alcohol is a relaxant and can cause even the muscles in the throats to relax. This in turn causes the airways to narrow and means it is far more likely that you will snore.
5) Get a decent pillow
Invest in a relatively firm pillow, which is not too large in size or too soft. Try also to get out of the habit of sleeping with two pillows and learn to sleep with just the one.
6) Get dusting!
Dust can irritate the nasal passage, causing the body to create a barrier of mucus blocking it. When we are asleep our only option then is to breathe through our mouths, increasing the likelihood that we will snore. Changing the sheets, hoovering and dusting regularly will get rid of the dust.
7) Stick to your side
If you’re a snorer, it’s more than likely that at one time or another you’ve been told by your partner to roll over in a bid to shut you up. You are more likely to snore if you sleep on your back, so either put pillows in the bed to restrict the way you sleep or if you’re desperate sew a tennis ball into the back of your t-shirt to stop you from rolling onto your back during the night.
8) Rule out sleep apnoea.
Sleep apnoea is a disorder where people stop breathing periodically when they are asleep. In the most severe cases this can happen more than 30 times in an hour, with each pause lasting a few seconds or even minutes. Sleep apnoea can be a serious condition and should be discussed with your GP. While there is no known cure for the condition, it can be managed and controlled.
9) Dig a little deeper
It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to get rid of the problem completely unless you find out what’s causing it.
You need to discover if the cause of your snoring is a partially blocked nasal passage, a partially blocked airway in the throat, an offset palate or a combination of these. If the snoring persists and the above changes don’t work, it’s time to go to the doctor or to speak to an ENT specialist who will be able to tell you which type of snorer you are. This could save you a lot of money on over-the-counter treatments that will prove to be a waste of money!
10) If it’s that bad, get it sorted
If the prospect of a lifetime of snoring fills you with dread, it may be time to look into a more long term solution. A non-invasive laser treatment which clears the airways in the throat, or a laser treatment to open the nasal passage, may be suitable for your consideration. Carried out under local anaesthetic, both treatments take around 30 minutes and could remove the nightmare of snoring for good.