Change your sleeping position
If you sleep on your back, chances are, you’re snoring. According to John Hopkins Medicine, sleep position is key. Sleeping on your side will help keep your airways open, explains Dr Benjamin Smarr. “One of the easiest things to do if you snore is to try and sleep on your side and to make sure you have good neck support,” he says. “Both help keep your neck from bending too much and cutting off your airways as you sleep. The more open your airways are, the more freely air can flow, and the less turbulent air causes the noise we call snoring.”
Get creative with tennis balls
Dr Edward Alvarez, a dentist specialising in snoring, cautions snorers to explore the cause of their issue. “The reality is that snoring is a major problem,” he says. “If you’re snoring, then you probably have sleep apnoea. If you have sleep apnoea, you will eventually develop organ damage. Sleep apnoea can lead to diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and even stroke.” See a sleep specialist about your problem, Dr Alvarez stresses. And in the meantime, to keep from sleeping on your back try sewing or taping a tennis ball to the back of a shirt. “The ball won’t allow you to sleep on your back,” he explains, and that will help keep your airways open.
“Jaw repositioning devices and dental snoring mouthpieces do work,” explains Dr Alvarez. “There are two variations, the ones that you can buy in stores or on the Internet, and the ones made professionally by a dentist. I can say that nine out of ten patients that I make one of these devices for sees significant improvement in sleep quality and snoring,” he says. Bringing the jaw forward keeps the airways opened: “A dentist trained in sleep medicine can fabricate a well-fitting device that works. The over-the-counter versions tend to not be as effective. They are made of poor materials, and they do not account for your bite. It is very easy to create bite disharmonies or jaw pain if these devices are not made and fitted properly.”