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Photo: Kampus Production

Has your partner ever complained about your loud snoring at night? If you snore loudly, are fatigued in the daytime, and enter into bouts of breathlessness in your sleep, your condition could be caused by a sleep disorder called sleep apnea.

Snoring is caused by the relaxation of the uvula muscle during sleep—where airflow is pushed out through a narrower opening than normal. Whether you have sleep apnea or not, excessive snoring can be a huge hindrance for you and your partner in an attempt to get quality sleep.

If you're looking for ways to fix your snoring problems, you've come to the right place. Here are some remedies that can alleviate loud snoring:

1. Avoid sleeping on your back

Sleeping on your back contributes to snoring sounds by having gravity flatten the parts of your throat's soft palate. This should clear your airways so air can flow directly into your lungs with minimal snoring or sounds.

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Photo: Hannah Xu

2. Take a hot shower before bedtime

Taking a hot shower before you sleep has a way of relaxing your muscles so that you can have a more comfortable slumber without snoring.

Steam from the water loosens up mucus and phlegm built up inside your respiratory system, which will result in the relaxation of your throat muscles.

For this home remedy to work, make sure you don't raise your body temperature too high as this may scald the skin. Moreover, pay attention if you feel lightheaded or abnormally hot after taking a shower.

3. CPAP Machines

CPAP, which stands for continuous positive airway pressure, is one of the most common and effective remedies to cure snoring. A CPAP machine uses mild air pressure to keep the airways open during sleep, allowing your lungs to breathe with no obstructions. It's typically reserved for people who're diagnosed with sleep apnea disorders.

The CPAP machine goes through a mask that fits over your nose or mouth. It also comes with headgear that holds the CPAP mask in place. There are various types of CPAP masks that you can wear, depending on the doctor's prescription and your choice of comfort.

These masks are:

  • Full face masks
  • Cradle masks
  • Nasal masks
  • Fit pack masks
  • Pillow masks

Depending on the mask you choose, you can experience a high-pressure airstream, better ease of use, high comfortability, or better breathability options. Everyone's needs are different, so you and your physician must be on the same page on what CPAP machine best fits your needs.

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Photo: monicore

4. Gargling Salt Water

Another home remedy to reduce the chances of you snoring in the night gargling salt water right before bedtime. Gargling a quarter to a half teaspoon of salt dissolved in an 8-ounce glass of warm water provides an effective way to relax your throat muscles and reduce snoring sounds.

The reason this works is that salt opens up the nasal passageways in your nostrils. By gargling saltwater, you're increasing your chances of getting quality and quiet sleep, which is desirable for both you and your partner.

5. Limit alcohol intake

Drinking a glass of wine or beer before going to sleep can contribute to a noisy slumber. Alcohol relaxes the muscles in your throat, which leads to a narrowing of your airways and increased chances of snoring.

If you want to avoid loud snoring, it's best to limit alcohol consumption at least 3 hours before you sleep.

6. Maintain a healthy weight

Being overweight contributes to having a narrow airway passage while also lowering the quality of your sleep. By losing weight, not only are you uplifting all aspects of your health, but you're also making it easier for your lungs to breathe more clearly too.

The reason for this is because throat tissue tends to accumulate the more weight we pack into our bodies. By losing our body weight, we subsequently also lose our extra throat tissue, making it easier for airways to stay open.

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Photo: cottonbro

7. Humidifiers

Humidifiers are used to add moisture into the dry air in your bedroom during the winter or summer months. This machine contributes to retaining the moisture of the air, so adding a humidifier in your room is another way to keep yourself from snoring too loudly.

Aside from its main purpose, humidifiers also ease symptoms of sinus-type headaches, dry nose, chapped lips, running nose, and nose bleeds. This is because it warms (or cools) the air we breathe in, which is our nose's usual job and protects our sinuses from irritation and our organs from intense temperatures.

8. Consider uvulopalatopharyngoplasty

Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty is a major surgical procedure that's prescribed for sleep apnea patients who failed to respond to other treatments.

This surgery involves removing the excess tissue in the soft palate and throat, which helps widen the airways that vibrate due to snoring. This gives way for unobstructed airflow into your respiratory tract throughout your sleep.

Note that a uvulopalatopharyngoplasty surgery is considered major surgery and involves general anesthesia, so bear in mind the risks involved with the procedure. Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty is also a noticeably more expensive option compared to equipment and lifestyle changes. Consult with your doctor and explore other options before resorting to this method.

Lots of love,
Liz