Snoring is one of the most common sleeping issues that people face, an estimated 45% of adults snore occasionally, while 25% snore regularly. It can be a very annoying and frustrating condition, not only affecting the sufferer’s sleep, but also their partner’s and family’s sleep as well.
While it is a common issue, many people don’t know how to fix it, and they, and their loved ones, often end up suffering in the long run. But some simple behavioural changes and investing in the right pillow can do wonders to help reduce and eliminate your snoring.
What causes snoring?
Snoring is simply the sound of obstructed breathing, which can be caused by a wide variety of issues. Some of the more common contributing factors of snoring include drinking alcohol, smoking, your sleeping position, being overweight or obese, a cold, sinus or allergy problems, certain medications, and pregnancy.
Some more serious conditions that can cause people to snore are obstructive sleep apnoea and enlarged tonsils, which is more often seen in children.
How can pillows help with snoring?
While there is no special pillow to buy that can magically stop your snoring, considering the way your head rests when you sleep can go a long way to alleviate your snoring.
An Australian study showed that tilting the head forward (chin towards the chest) worsens breathing patterns and inhibits normal breathing during sleep and that tilting the head backwards has the opposite effect. By ensuring that your pillow has your head in a forward tilting position, you can help to alleviate your snoring.
Do I need to buy a special “Snore Pillow”?
You may see pillows advertised as “snore pillows” that you can buy. These pillows work by simply tilting the head backwards as we have mentioned, and they can improve snoring in some people. That being said, if you invest in a good-quality pillow that suits your sleeping habit you shouldn't need to bother with these.
You can learn more about matching your pillow to your sleeping position here.
Best sleeping positions to stop snoring
Lying on your back while you sleep can be a contributing factor to your snoring, as this position makes the base of your tongue and soft palate collapse to the back wall of your throat, causing a vibrating sound during sleep. Sleeping on your side may help to prevent this.
If you have trouble making yourself sleep on your side, there is a trick which involves a tennis ball, which is taped or sewn into the back of the pajamas to prevent a snorer from rolling onto his or her back at night. Alternatively, you can try setting up pillows around you as you sleep to stop yourself turning over during the night.
Know when to seek additional help
While the tips we have suggested should be easy to try and may help to alleviate your snoring, we recommend that you talk to your GP if your snoring is irritating you and your household, or you wake up gasping or choking, as this may point to more serious sleep issues. Our tip is to bring your sleeping partner with you, if you have one, so that they can talk to the doctor about what happens when you're asleep.
At Spinaleze, we know the benefits that a good night’s sleep can bring, we hope that by using these simple tips, you can alleviate your snoring and enjoy a restful (and silent!) night’s sleep.