Certain habits can cause or worsen snoring in people who are prone to it. By making changes in these areas, patients can improve their own sleep quality as well as that of their bed partners. Here are five bad habits that snorers should quit.
1. Eating dinner shortly before bedtime
Going to bed before fully digesting dinner makes hyperventilation, and therefore snoring, more likely to occur. This is especially true after a dinner high in protein and fat because these nutrients take longer to digest. To prevent this from happening, eat dinner at least four to five hours before bedtime depending on how quickly you digest your food.
2. Sleeping under the influence of alcohol
Alcohol worsens snoring in two ways. First, it increases hyperventilation. Second, it relaxes throat muscles involved in snoring. If you drink, limit your consumption in the evening and avoid it altogether late at night. Not only will this reduce snoring, but it will also improve your sleep quality overall.
3. Staying too warm during sleep
Excessive warmth can cause snoring by increasing the depth and rate of breathing. To avoid getting too warm, keep your bedroom cool and avoid sleeping under too many blankets. Sleep apnea, which can cause snoring, has also been linked to higher bedroom temperatures.
4. Sleeping flat on the back
Snoring is more likely to occur when patients sleep on their back. For the easiest breathing during sleep, it’s best to sleep on your left side. One way to get out of the habit of sleeping on your back is to sew a tennis ball to the back of an old t-shirt and wear it to bed.
5. Letting pets sleep in the bed
Dogs and cats can contribute to snoring by worsening allergies. When this causes the nasal passages to swell, mouth breathing is likely to ensue and result in snoring. Animal dander can also make breathing more difficult by irritating the lungs and worsening asthma. Ideally, allergy sufferers should not allow dogs and cats in the bedroom at any time.
Stop snoring. Live better
Snoring can reduce quality of life and daytime alertness by causing fatigue. For some patients, snoring is also a symptom of obstructive sleep apnea, a potentially deadly condition. In addition to the lifestyle changes listed here, dental treatments such as soft tissue removal and oral appliances can be used to stop snoring.
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