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How to stop snoring

Jan. 22, 2024—Snoring is a common sleep problem—and it can be a frustrating one. Whether you snore yourself or you're affected by someone else sawing logs, there's good news: Snoring doesn't have to be unstoppable.

Speak up about snoring

If you want to stop snoring, start by talking to your doctor. Snoring—the sound produced by relaxed muscles and tissues in the upper airway vibrating during sleep—has a wide range of causes, from stuffy noses to facial structure. It's not always a cause for medical concern, but it can be a sign of a serious medical condition, such as sleep apnea.

With sleep apnea, breathing stops and starts several times during sleep. Loud and frequent snoring is more likely to be caused by sleep apnea if you also:

  • Wake up gasping for air during sleep.
  • Have morning headaches.
  • Feel very tired during the day.

If you don't think you're getting enough quality sleep, take this assessment to see if you might have a sleep disorder, and share your results with your doctor.

If your snoring is caused by sleep apnea or another medical condition, such as a thyroid problem, treating that condition can improve your snoring—and your overall health.

8 strategies for a silent night

Still snoring? If your doctor has ruled out sleep apnea and other conditions, you still have options. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) and other experts, some simple changes can help reduce—or even eliminate—snoring.

  • Try sleeping on your side. People tend to snore more on their backs. Sleeping on your side (or at least with your head to the side) may help prevent the tissues in your throat from relaxing. Position pillows to help train yourself to stay in the new position.
  • Use a nasal strip. These over-the-counter devices stick to the outside of the nose like tape. By lifting the skin of the nose, a nasal strip helps keep the nasal passages open, reducing snoring that's caused by nasal congestion.
  • Consider an anti-snoring mouthpiece. You wear this mouthguard-like device while you sleep. Some mouthpieces reposition the lower jaw or the tongue to help prevent airway obstruction and snoring. Your dentist can help you select the right device for you.
  • Say no to alcohol. Alcohol causes snoring by relaxing the muscles around the upper airway, according to the AASM.
  • Conquer chronic nasal congestion. If you often have a stuffy nose, tell your doctor. You might have chronic nasal congestion, which can contribute to snoring. You might need medicines or other treatments to improve a stuffy nose.
  • If you smoke, quit. Smoking may promote snoring by inflaming the airways. Research shows that quitting can help over time, reports the Sleep Foundation.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Excess weight can increase your risk for snoring (and sleep apnea) by causing you to have excess tissue around the airway. This tissue can make the airway prone to become narrow or blocked while you sleep.
  • Start a singing habit. Studies suggest that regularly exercising the muscles in your mouth and throat can help reduce snoring. Singing is one way to get started. Specialized exercises may help too—ask your doctor about them.

If your at-home efforts don't stop your snoring, make sure to let your doctor know. They may suggest additional treatment options.


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