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Snoring (cont.)

Prevention

To help prevent snoring, you can:

  • Avoid the use of alcohol and medicines that slow your breathing, such as sleeping pills and tranquilizers.
  • Eat sensibly, exercise, and stay at a healthy weight.
  • Go to bed at the same time every night and get plenty of sleep. Regular sleep patterns help you sleep better, and more restful sleep may reduce snoring.
  • Sleep on your side, not on your back. Sleeping on your back can increase snoring. Try sewing a pocket in the middle of the back of your pajama top, putting a tennis ball into the pocket, and stitching it closed. This will help keep you from sleeping on your back.
  • Quit smoking. This reduces inflammation and swelling in the airway, which may contribute to the narrowing of the airway.
  • Raise the head of your bed 4 in. (10 cm) to 6 in. (15 cm) by putting bricks under the legs of the bed. (Using pillows to raise your head and upper body will not work.) Sleeping at a slight incline can prevent the tongue from falling toward the back of the throat and contributing to a blocked or narrowed airway.
  • Promptly treat breathing problems, such as a stuffy nose caused by a cold or allergies. Breathing problems can raise the risk of snoring.

Home Treatment

Snoring typically is first treated at home. Treatment includes:

  • Losing weight. Many people who snore are overweight. Weight loss can help reduce the narrowing of the airway and possibly reduce or stop the snoring.
  • Limiting the use of alcohol and medicines. Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol or taking certain medicines, especially sleeping pills or tranquilizers, before sleep may make snoring worse.
  • Going to bed at the same time each night and getting plenty of sleep. Snoring may be more frequent when you have not had enough sleep.
  • Sleeping on your side. Sleeping on your side may stop the snoring. Try sewing a pocket in the middle of the back of your pajama top, putting a tennis ball into the pocket, and stitching it closed. This will help keep you from sleeping on your back.
  • Promptly treating breathing problems. Breathing problems caused by colds or allergies can disturb airflow, leading to snoring.
  • Using nasal strips. Nasal strips, such as Breathe Right, widen the nostrils and improve airflow.
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