Stop Snoring
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March 8, 2008, last updated December 12, 2014
By Susan M. Callahan, Associate Editor and Featured Columnist

Snoring, and other disorders that disrupt sleep, have a
profound impact on your health. They have been linked
with significantly higher rates of cardiac arrest, stroke,
daytime drowsiness choking in your sleep. In fact, a 2011
study co-led by Dr. David Seaman of the National University
of Health Sciences in Florida found that snoring's impact on
your health rivals the damage to your health from smoking.

What can you do to decrease the amount you snore? We
have compiled the folowing list of the known remedies that
work in many cases:

Sleep on Your Side.  Studies of snorers have shown that
most snorers sleep on their backs. Sleeping on your side
can help reduce snoring.  But how do you avoid sleeping
on your back?  Try impeding your comfort. Remember the
fairy tale of the princess who couldn’t sleep because of a
pea underneath her mattress?  Try putting a tennis ball
behind your back. When you roll over on your back, you
will become uncomfortable, forcing you to turn over. After
a while, you will find that you sleep less and less on your

Raise Your Head.  Adding height will open the throat more,
reducing snoring. Use an extra pillow or a thicker one.

Skip Milk.  Dairy products are known to increase the
mucous in your throat and nasal passages. Eliminating
them will decrease congestion and snoring.

Lose Weight.  You need clear airways to breathe. A heavy
chest or heavy throat will close more of your air space,
causing snoring.
Don't drink alcoholic beverages, take sleeping pills,
tranquilizers, or antihistamines right before going to sleep,
they will cause your muscles to relax and limit your air
passage way.

Relax Your Throat with Tea and Honey.  Did you know that
many opera singers drink tea with honey to open their
throats for singing? Tea and honey also open the throat for
breathing, helping to prevent snoring.

Don’t Smoke.  Smoking closes air passages, increasing

Avoid Big Meals.  That “stuffed” feeling means that you
have crowded your diaphragm, giving you less room to
breathe, and increasing the chances that you will snore.

Nasal Strips and Nasal Sprays. Yes, some of them work.  
Try one at a time, one per week until you find one that
works for you.

Steam.  Anything that reduces congestion will help to
reduce snoring. Humidifiers help by reducing inflammation
of your nasal passages.

Firm Pillows.  If your pillow is too soft, it may cause your
throat to relax too much during the night, causing snoring.

Vocal Exercises for Snoring.  The inner mouth is a complex
space which include he tongue, the soft palate and other
muscles. There are exercises which you can do to tighten
these muscles and help gain some control over your


Change an Old Mattress to Stop Snoring. From my personal
experience, I can tell you that I was a habitual snorer. A
family vacation to a town near the ocean helped me
discover why. During the vacation, I slept soundlessly ---
not a hint of snoring, not even once. Yet, as soon as I
returned from the vacation, I started snoring again. Thus, I
knew that the problem was somewhere in my environment.
One part of the problem was that dust had accumulated
under the bed. However, remedying that problem did in
fact decrease my snoring. But it didn't eliminate it.

It wasn't until I slept on the couch just to test my theory
that my snoring stopped completely. The problem, it turned
out, was the mattress. If you're like me --and most people
--- you probably have been sleeping on the same mattress
for many years. Mattresses are perfect environments for
mites, fungus and bacteria, all of which can irritate your air
passages and  trigger congestion and snoring.

In fact, a 2012 study from the International Emergency
Medical Development Center, Show Chwan Memorial
Hospital in China found that daily vacuuming of mattresses
significantly reduces dust mite allergens.

Daily vacuuming can reduce dust mite allergens by up to
85%. But to achieve these levels of dust reduction, you
should vacuum daily for about 8 weeks.

The morale of the story is you should change your
environment to try to isolate the reason for your snoring.
If the problem is your mattress, toss it. If tossing is not
feasible, consider covering your mattress with a
hypoallergenic covering or  vacuuming your mattress every
single day.

Singing Can Help Stop Snoring.  New reports have found
singing strengthens the throat muscles which can help
stop snoring in some cases.

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Type Disease
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Sleeping on your side can help reduce