The non-surgical options for resolution of snoring can be broken down into different types of approaches: medicines, devices and appliances, changes in lifestyle concerning diet and exercise, sleeping habits and alternative forms of therapy for snoring.
Any of these can be implemented with success depending on the root cause of the snoring, and knowing what that root cause is.
This may require a combination approach, and will definitely require observation of the effects of these measures on the snoring issue itself in order to estimate how much relief results.
In many cases, prescribed medicines can provide a way out of the snoring nightmare. Drugs are prescribed to achieve relief from snoring by accomplishing these tasks:
Unfurl the nasal airway
Counteract deep R.E.M. sleep (Rapid Eye Movement)
R.E.M. sleep is an integral part of sleep. It is the deep state of sleep in which the body recoups vitality and allows the mind to stay sharp and healthy.
The effect of these snore related drugs is to limit the depths to which the body can relax when in this state so as to keep the throat from relaxing too much and keeping the air passage open and free of obstruction thus leading to relief from snoring.
Basically, these medicines have the opposite effect of what happens when someone takes a sedative or has too much to drink.
These things relax a person more than usual and can exacerbate an existing snoring problem, or cause a person who does not normally snore to do so.
There are over the counter drugs available from pharmacies intended specifically to clear nasal sinuses and air passages.
These drugs are meant to treat cold or flu symptoms but are also useful to snorers for the decongestive and antihistamine properties contained therein.
Saline sprays, because they are sold in pharmacies as well are considered part of the same group.
These sprays are not controlled substances, by merely salt water used to keep sinuses and other tissues surrounding the air passages moist in an effort to reduce or eliminate vibration and thus one snore.
Devices for Snoring
There are a number of devices out there to help people cope with their snoring. These items start with very basic items and go to the very complex.
Most of these can be acquired at your local drugstore, on the internet, and by catalog. The most popular and effective anti-snore items follow.
The Sandler Pillow™
Named after the inventor of this type of pillow, this device is designed to eliminate snoring by obliging the sleeper to sleep on their side.
This often promotes a closed mouth while sleeping and helps to minimize vibration and thereby cancels out any snoring.
The Snore Ball
Since its invention in the early 1900’s this effective device has helped countless people to stop snoring by sleeping on their side. The snore ball is inserted in a pouch located on the back of a set of pajamas.
When the sleeper goes to roll onto their back from sleeping on their side, the device makes this very uncomfortable, so the sleeper will resume the side sleeping position rather than sleeping on their back which is when most people snore.
The snore ball can be any kind of ball that will create enough discomfort to keep one from sleeping on their back. Over time, a habit is formed making the ball unnecessary.
This electronic device basically accomplishes the same goal in a different manner. Instead of creating physical discomfort when a person lies on their back, which is when snoring occurs, the sleep position monitor starts to beep when the sleeper lies on their back.
The beeping can be disturbing to others, but the point is that this device helps establish new sleeping behaviors. Anyone who has suffered a person snoring can deal with a little beeping until the problem is resolved.
By learning a better way to sleep, the person will stop snoring and the beeping will not be an issue over time. Eventually, the sleep position monitor may not be necessary either.
This is a simple yet highly effective device that has become popular for many people. The concept is basic, open up the nostrils to make breathing easier. The device consists of a springy plastic strip combined with and adhesive material.
The strip is put on at bedtime and taken off in the morning. The strips are so effective in maximizing breathing through the nose that they are used by many players of different sports.
This is an over the counter remedy that anyone can use because there is absolutely no medicine involved.
Even non-snorers are using them to get better more restful sleep by breathing easier and recharging their body with more oxygen.
Nasal dilators offer the same relief of opening up the nostrils to ease breathing but take a slightly different approach than the nasal strips.
This kind of device is actually a coil made of steel or plastic placed into the nostrils when going to sleep. The effect is easier breathing, less snoring.
This is another way to combat snoring. A simple spray to the back of the throat keeps the tissues well lubed in order to reduce or eliminate vibration.
This is similar to a saline spray, the difference is what the spray consists of which in this case are specialized oils, not just salt water.
Throat sprays are another form of simple, inexpensive, yet effective of combating snoring when used properly.
Overuse of throat sprays can irritate the throat and then actually cause snoring.
If an over the counter spray is not good enough, a doctor can prescribe a more effective version of the same implement.
The snore stopper is a device that provides a negative association with snoring to make the person sleeping stop snoring.
The device can be worn on the arm or the wrist and whenever snoring is detected the device gives the sleeper a small jolt of electricity to get them to stop.
Another version actually causes the tongue muscles to tense which opens the airway making it easier to breathe and hence stop snoring.
Snoring appliances are applied inside the mouth to directly influence or affect the components of the mouth to eliminate snoring.
These work to manipulate the tongue, jaw, and palate in some combination to stop snoring and provide better rest.
These sets of tools are often designed by medical and dental professionals to help with the snoring dilemma.
By influencing the parts of the mouth these devices affect three basic properties to eliminate snoring.
Keeping the mouth closed so that a person may not snore by making the trachea vibrate.
Positioning the jaw in a forward placement to keep the tongue from sliding back and blocking the airway.
Opening the airway as much as possible to ease breathing and prevent snoring.
This style of appliance specifically targets the tongue. The effect of this appliance keeps the tongue forward by using suction to train the tongue not to lay back over the airway.
This increases airflow making it easier to breathe and preventing the vibration that causes snoring.
A tongue retainer is for people who cannot or will not sleep on their side, and although a tongue retainer may be less than comfortable, it is a highly effective option.
Shortened to MAA, this is a splint style of appliance that are basically like a mouth guard used in sports.
This keeps the jaw locked in a position that keeps it from moving back and creating an obstruction that leads to snoring.
These must be custom molded by a dental professional and may be somewhat costly but are a great way to stop snoring.
The Silencer™ is a popular example of this kind of device, which was created by Dr. Thronton in the 1990’s.
This is an expensive option, but for a reason; it is adjustable and is sometimes crafted from titanium.
These are often referred to as TAPs and are similar in nature to MAAs in that they move the jaw forward in order to keep the airway open and prevent snoring.
Also known as lip shields, or lip lifters, this appliance augments the palate to keep from vibrating and causing a person to snore.
This is an option to consider, although there has yet to be a resolute opinion in the efficiency of this type of appliance.
This appliance is designed to tackle Sleep Apnea specifically. It works similar to an oxygen mask.
The mask is worn on the face, or over the nose and keeps what is called positive pressure in the airway which prevents the collapse of tissue and eases breathing to the point of controlling one’s blood pressure while asleep.
Lifestyle and Snoring – Diet
Allergies have been linked to snoring, but because there are so many allergens, and each person is different, it is up to the individual to observe when they are snoring and what they are allergic to.
Any kind of allergic reaction can lead to snoring, so when you are suffering from allergies, whether they a food allergies or pet, you need to take notice and take the appropriate measures to handle these allergies.
If you are overweight and snore, you can bet that your snoring is at least in part related to your obesity.
Losing weight has a wide variety of health benefits, including better sleep by not snoring.
This has to do with your diet and eating habits, so if you shape up, you may stop snoring altogether.
Certain foods cause congestion, like dairy, fried foods, junk food and sweets. If you snore, your diet probably has something to do with it.
Eating a healthier diet can improve your health as well as minimize if not alleviate any snoring. There are foods that are considered to be beneficial for people who snore, which consist mostly of leafy greens.
Your habits can determine whether or not you will snore. Healthy habits actually prevent snoring. Drinking and sleeping pills are known to cause snoring; use these in moderation.
If you smoke and you snore, chances are quitting will help you sleep better by not snoring. Caffeine has been linked to respiratory issues, so keep your intake to a minimum.
Lifestyle and Snoring – Exercise
Exercise, in general, is good for the body and helps to achieve more restful sleep. Healthy habits help prevent to minimize snoring, but there are snoring specific exercises one can do.
Throat Work Out
Toning the muscles of the throat can really improve the breathing process when sleeping, thus helping with snoring if not eradicating it all together.
There are a few options to stress the muscles systems that affect snoring. You can firmly hold a pencil between your teeth for up to five minutes. Pressing a finger to the chin with moderate pressure for a few minutes builds jaw strength.
Also holding the tip of the tongue firmly against the bottom front teeth strengthens the tongue. These are exercises that can be done anytime, anywhere.
These should not be painful, and the more these exercises are implemented, the better the results will be.
One needs to consider the way in which one sleeps and how that affects the way you breathe at night.
Sleeping on your back promotes snoring, but having a good pillow, or sleeping with something under the chin can help to stop snoring. Anything to keep the mouth shut during sleep is a big help.
Your sleep environment plays a role in snoring too. A humidifier will help keep the throat and sinuses moist, and making the room as dark and quiet as possible helps to reduce stress, and calm the person sleeping to the point that breathing becomes easier.
Snoring Therapy Alternatives
Here are some other approaches one can try when dealing with snoring; these have been around for some time because of how successful they have been in combating snoring.
A warm drink before bed or herbal tea can really help alleviate snoring. Relaxation techniques to calm the mind and practice breathing techniques like Tai Chi and Yoga have been of great benefit to many snorers.
Other forms of relaxation include meditation and massage, or even just soothing music. Homeopathic medicines offer many ways to deal with snoring too.
Homeopathic alternatives look to achieve the same end result in different ways, such as dissolving blockages in the nose and throat or lubrication with natural products.
Magnetic therapy is popular in china and can help ameliorate snoring by affecting the nerves found in the nose. Magnets can be put all over the body to achieve results that improve issues with snoring.
This applies even to weight loss which can affect snoring. Even hypnosis has been used to help control snoring by some, although many are skeptical of this practice as it is not a recognized successful solution to snoring.
Other more “alternative” therapies are based on light and color, or in other circumstances gems and crystals as sources of healing power.
These latter examples have yet to be established as effective by science or medicine, but the power of belief can be enough to produce the placebo effect.
As long as the end result is the cessation of snoring, any means can be tried and tested to see if they work for a given individual.
POINTS TO REMEMBER
Devices for Snoring
- The Sandler Pillow
- The Snore Ball
- Sleep Position Monitor
- Nasal Strips
- Nasal Dilators
- Throat Sprays
- Snore Stopper
- Snoring Appliances
- Oral Appliances
- Tongue Retaining Appliances
- Mandibular Advancement Appliances
- Thronton Adjustable Positioners
- Palate Lifters
- Continuous Positive Airway Pressure
Lifestyles and Snoring – Diet
- Eating Habits
- Clean Living
Lifestyles and Snoring – Exercise
- Throat Work Out
- Sleeping Factors
- Snoring Therapy Alternatives
– Are you aware that you are snoring at night?
– Do you know someone who is a loud snorer?
– Are you familiar with other solutions to snoring?
– Does lifestyle changes (diet and exercise) can affect snoring?
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