Tips to Help You and Your Partner Sleep Better
Just about everyone snores occasionally, and it’s usually not something to worry about. But if you regularly snore at night, it can disrupt the quality of your sleep—leading to daytime fatigue, irritability, and increased health problems. And if your snoring keeps your partner awake, it can create major relationship problems too. Thankfully, sleeping in separate bedrooms isn’t the only remedy for snoring. There are many effective solutions that can help both you and your partner sleep better at night and overcome the relationship problems caused when one person snores.
Common Causes of Snoring
- Being overweight or out of shape
- The way you’re built
- Nasal and sinus problems
- Alcohol, smoking, and medications
- Sleep posture
- Change your sleeping position
- Sleep on your side instead of your back
- Try an anti-snoring mouth appliance
- Clear nasal passages
- Keep bedroom air moist
- Lifestyle changes to help you stop snoring
- Lose weight. Quit smoking
- Avoid alcohol, sleeping pills, and sedatives
- Be careful what you eat before bed
Snoring happens when you can’t move air freely through your nose and throat during sleep. This makes the surrounding tissues vibrate, which produces the familiar snoring sound. People who snore often have too much throat and nasal tissue or “floppy” tissue that is more prone to vibrate. The position of your tongue can also get in the way of smooth breathing.
Since people snore for different reasons, it’s important to understand the causes behind your snoring. Once you understand why you snore, you can find the right solutions to a quieter, deeper sleep—for both you and your partner.
You should consider using snoring aids when you start feeling like your snoring is taking a serious toll on your quality of life. Some people snore so much that they wake up feeling exhausted and completely drained of energy. Snoring reduces the amount of oxygen in the brain during sleep and disturbs the sleep cycle, so, logically; a night of snoring is never a restful night. A sore throat and irritability are also very common consequences of snoring.
Another reason why people resort to snoring aids is the fact that no one around them is able to get any sleep because of all the snoring. Spouses and partners are the ones who suffer the most and there have even been cases when snoring led to breakups or divorces. If you feel that your snoring is disturbing or irritating those around you, it might be time to try one of the various snoring aids available on the market.
Again, this depends on the type of device, materials, technology, manufacturer and other factors. It also depends on how often you use it. Obviously, the more you use it, the shorter it will last.
Most devices are made to last approximately one year. After that, they start losing their firmness and they get harder and harder to clean properly. Most manufacturers recommend changing your snoring device and getting a new one every 12 months or so. There are some devices that are made to last longer, up to two or three years.
Anti-snoring devices open up the airway, redirect breathing to the nose or strengthen upper airway muscles so that they do not collapse. Each works slightly differently.
You wear these inside your nostrils’ openings. They part the nostrils and create more space in your nasal passages. This eases breathing and lessens snoring.
No manufacturer will ever promise 100% product satisfaction. Since everyone is different and there are so many potential causes of snoring, a certain device may not even be suitable for you and your particular problem, not to mention that all these aids only reduce snoring. They rarely stop it altogether and they certainly don’t cure it for good.
These are strips of tape that you put on the bridge of your nose as you sleep. They part nasal passages and leave more space in your airway. They reduce breathing pauses and decrease snoring.
These are strips of tape you put below your chin as you sleep. The tape lifts the jaw, preventing breathing through the mouth. You breathe through your nose instead. This stops the tissue in the airway from vibrating and prevents snoring.
You will first have to find out why you snore. If you only snore when you are extremely exhausted or have had a few drinks, you only need simpler devices such as nasal strips, chin-up strips.
If you snore no matter how you try to ease the problem, see a doctor.
In most cases, no. You can purchase a snoring aid online or in a drugstore or pharmacy without a prescription. There is a loophole at work here since most snoring aids, especially mouthpieces like MADs and TSDs, are classified as FDA Class II medical devices and those generally require a prescription from a physician. However, they are legitimately and legally sold without a prescription since they comply with the Federal Regulation Code. The manufacturer and the supplier simply put down detailed and adequate directions for proper use, which makes selling and purchasing them without a prescription legal.
Maintaining and caring for your snoring aid is generally not complicated and does not take too much of your time, but it’s very important to do it properly. Good maintenance will assure maximum performance from your device and prolong its lifespan.
For one, it’s important to keep your snoring aid away from children and animals that tend to chew on things. Keep it safe from physical damage by storing it in a special case (most devices come with a convenient plastic container) or in a clean glass or cup. Clean your device daily, preferably every morning after you take it out, with some lukewarm water and a clean soft toothbrush. This will keep bacteria and fungus away. Also, make sure to keep it dry when you’re not using it. There are special cleaning solutions that come with some devices, or you can purchase one online, but, like we said, plain water is usually sufficient. Always make sure to read the instructions leaflet that comes with your snoring aid, as there will be detailed instructions for proper care.
Snoring is not very common in children, so if your child does snore, it’s recommended to try to find out what the underlying cause is and then address it. For example, it might be a symptom of an allergy or a deviated septum, perhaps even nasal polyps. Children will snore occasionally when they have a cold or the flu and their nose is stuffy, but persistent snoring could be a sign of something more serious.
If your child’s snoring is becoming a serious problem and if you are considering using a snoring aid, make sure to consult a pediatrician first. Most snoring aids are designed for adults, who are already fully grown and developed. Devices like MADs and TSDs are generally not recommended for children because they can interfere with the normal growth and development of the jaw. Before you resort to snoring aids, try some safer, simple remedies such as elevating your child’s bed head or throwing in an extra pillow or two and helping them learn to sleep on the side.