It is estimated that approximately 45% of adults snore (even if it's only occasionally) and if you do not snore yourself, then you probably know someone who does. Snorers are often the brunt of jokes from family and friends, but it can be serious business.
It may cause problems in a marriage because a spouse is unable to get any sleep and can lead to separate bedrooms. Not only that, but it is thought that about 75% of people that snore have obstructive sleep apnea, which can lead to heart disease. You should therefore speak to your doctor and rule this out before buying any over the counter sprays or snoring aids.
Once you have ruled out any possibility of sleep apnea, you can try these natural solutions and changes to your lifestyle, which may help you to stop snoring:
Your Sleep Position
If you normally sleep on your back then try sleeping on your side instead. When you're lying on your back, the base of your tongue and soft palate relax against the back of your throat and this causes a vibrating sound ie snoring. You can also try using a full-length body pillow as this will help you to stay on your side. There's also the old trick of taping tennis balls to the back of your pajamas to stop you from rolling onto your back.
You can also put blocks under your bed so that the head is raised as this will open up the nasal airway passes and may help prevent snoring. This however, may lead to neck pain and you may then have to consider another solution.
Change Your Pillow
If you are feeling fine during the day, but feel blocked up at night or when you wake up, then it's possible that it's your bedroom that's causing the problem.
Any allergens in your bedroom or in your pillow may contribute to snoring. Make sure your bedroom is kept clean and dust free. Dust mites can gather in your mattress and pillow, therefore, you should regularly vacuum your mattress. Fluff your pillow regularly in the dryer and consider buying new pillows every six months.
Do not allow pets to sleep on your bed as you will be breathing in their dander, which is another common irritant.
Good Sleep Routine
A poor sleeping routine can have a similar effect to alcohol and sedatives. People who burn the candle at both ends, working long hours, partying, etc are more likely to snore because when their body does finally get the rest that it needs, it's overtired, resulting in a deaf sleep and again, the muscles will become floppier and can cause you to snore.
Make sure that you're drinking enough fluids because secretions from your nose and your palate become a sticker when you're dehydrated. You should be drinking at least eight glasses of water each day.
Being overweight is also a possible cause. Thin people snore too of course, but if you are carrying some extra pounds then it's possible that once you lose the excess weight, the snoring will stop. Any extra weight around your neck will squeeze the diameter of your throat when lying down.
Alcohol and Sedatives
Both alcohol and sedatives will relax the muscles at the back of the throat making it more likely that you will snore, resulting in people snoring who do not normally.
Make sure the nasal passes are kept open so that the air can run freely while you sleep. If you have a cold, allergies, etc then have a hot shower before going to bed to help clear the nasal passes. You can also keep a bottle of saline rinse in the shower and rinse your nose with it while showering to help keep the nasal passes free of any blockages.
If all of the above fails, then there are various snoring aids available over the counter. Shop around, but probably the best ones available are the nasal strips (if you feel the problem is due to a blocked nasal passage) and a snoring spray made from natural oils, which will prevent the back of the throat becoming dry and the tongue sticking to the soft palate.