Snoring can be a sign of a sleep disorder but there are many people who just snores.  For those who do not have sleep apnea, a disruption or reduction in breathing during the night, snoring can be because of the shape of the soft palate or due to other issues that cause vibrations during sleep.   The problem is that snoring has been found to contribute to health issues for both the person who experiences it as well as those who living with the snorer.  Sleep deprivation and the physical act of snoring has profound effects on sleep. 
Snoring has been found to contribute to plaques on the Carotid arteries and also has been known to loosen those plaques which can lead to a stroke. 
So what do you do to treat snoring if you do not have sleep apnea?

  • The first thing is to not sleep on your back.  There are several techniques and products out there that can help.
    • The least expensive is the tee shirt and tennis balls.  You take a piece of cloth and make a sleeve on the back of a tee shirt using seam glue.  This will cause discomfort and the person will roll to the side.  It is not attractive but it has been used for many years successfully.
    • If you want something that looks more professional then there are products on the market to help you not sleep on your back such as the sleep bump.
  • You can elevate the head of the bed.  This will also help with gastric reflux.  The easiest way to do this is to purchase a wedge pillow.  They can be ordered online or gotten at Walmart or Bed Bath and Beyond.  This will elevate the head to 45 degrees which would be optimal and should not cause issues with a person’s back.  It also helps pregnant women who are experiencing breathing issues. 
  • You can purchase on oral mouth guard either from your dentist or from your local drug store.  The drawback is that it may not work or it could cause issues such as TMJ or headaches.
  • There are special pillow that will help to extend your neck further back.  Again there are drawbacks including a stiff neck or a headache. 
  • A white noise machine or room fan may help if the snoring is mild. 
  • There are a couple of chin straps on the market that may help with snoring.  They are designed to help bring your jaw forward which increases the size of the airways and could reduce snoring in some people

What does not work to help reduce snoring?

  • Any oral spray that says it will fix snoring.  Most of these are just vegetable oil of some sort and although they may lubricate the airway in the beginning of the night they do not do anything that help to open the airway.
  • Nasal strips or dilators.  These were designed to open up the nasal passages.  Although it may help someone who has an issue with a moving air through the nose it is not designed to fix snoring. 
  • Anything at all that says it works all the time.  People snore because of different issues with the build of their airway.  Therefore that is no one right fix for anyone. 

Keep in mind that sedatives and drinking do increase snoring.  Muscle relaxants have also been known to increase snoring.  They are also known to contribute to sleep apnea so keep in mind how these affect your body.
The last issue to help is for those who live with a snorer.  I am sorry to say that other than ear plugs, hick will help drown out the noise the only way to help is to treat the reason for the snoring. If it is affecting the person’s sleep then insurance will cover some of the procedures used to help reduce snoring.  

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