When it comes to snoring, men are the worst offenders, according to the Australian Sleep Health Foundation. On average, 40 per cent of men and 30 per cent of women snore moderately every night. Snoring also increases when people get to middle age, and/or are moderately overweight. Drinking four or fewer hours before bedtime will also relax throat muscles and increase snoring.
If you have a partner that meets the above criteria and would like to try some snoring solutions (without paying for expensive medications or surgery), here’s some of the best tricks to try:
1. Wear flight socks
Flight socks are special pressure socks that are usually worn on planes. They reduce fluid build up at the bottom of the legs which is caused by the lower atmospheric pressure within the plane’s cabin. These socks also help to reduce the chance of developing blood clots, and can be bought at any good clothes shop.
The connection between flight socks and their effectiveness against obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) comes from research out of the University of Toronto. The study found that men who wore flight socks in the daytime had an average of half the sleep disruptions at night because of OSA than the men who didn’t.
Around a quarter of Australian men have OSA, which is caused when excess fluids and fat build up around the neck. Seeing as OSA can cause high blood pressure, it is especially important for older men to try everything they can to fix bad snoring habits.
2. Meal time
There is evidence to suggest that your dinner can affect your snoring.
Aside from smoking, having a big meal two hours before you hit the hay can put pressure on the back of your lungs, making each breath shallower. You’ll breath in and out faster than usual, resulting in more air going in and out of your mouth. Naturally this will make snoring more prominent and more likely.
3. Singing lessons
A theory exists that states that by taking special singing lessons, unused muscles at the top of your throat can be trained. This tightens them up and reduces snoring every night, similar to exercising biceps at the gym.
A program called Singing for Snorers was designed to “reduce snoring by toning lax muscles in the upper throat” and the program’s creator claims to have received positive feedback. It may sound silly to some, but if you or your partner’s snoring is really bad, this could be a cheaper alternative then going under the knife!
4. Buy new pillows
Hay-fever is a big cause of snoring. If you suffer from this, then it may be time to change your pillow.
Dust mites thrive in old pillows. If you’re allergic, each lungful of air breathes a number of these and exacerbates the problem.
5. Tennis ball
Sleeping on your back is one of the main causes of snoring. Your tongue has nowhere else to go except the back of your throat as you sleep. This disrupts the airways and increases the volume of your snoring significantly.
One solution people have come up with is to attach a tennis ball to the back of a T-shirt, making it uncomfortable to sleep on your back which forces you to sleep on your side.
Doing this for a number of weeks should eventually make sleeping on your side feel more natural.
Do you or someone you know suffer from heavy snoring? Do you have any other ideas of how to reduce OSA? Let us know in the comments below.