The consequences of snoring can go far beyond simply annoying your bed partner. Even if you’re not aware of it, severe snoring may be causing you to lose out on sleep as well.
If you or your partner are snoring there are many things you can do to help reduce their symptoms — or even stop snoring altogether.
Not all of these tricks will work for everyone as their effectiveness depends on what is causing the snoring in the first place.
Finding what works for you can be a long process of trial-and-error, but I’m sure you’d agree that it’s all worth it for a night of noise-free sleep.
1. Sleep on your side
Countless studies have shown that what position your sleep in can either exacerbate or alleviate snoring.
Sleeping on your back is by far the worst for snorers, as it allows the tongue and other tissues of your throat and palate to fall backwards, obstructing your airway. Instead, sleep specialists recommend that you switch to sleeping on your side, which can help take unnecessary pressure off these areas.
If you find yourself rolling onto your back while asleep, taping or sewing a tennis ball into the back of your top can serve as a gentle reminder to stay on your side.
2. Lose weight
Being overweight can increase the amount of tissue in your throat and soft palate, and tighten the internal diameter of your airway.
If you recently started snoring after gaining some weight, this is very likely the cause of your problem. However, in some cases, while losing weight can help lessen your symptoms it may not extinguish your snoring altogether. After all, thin people can snore too!
3. Avoid alcohol at bedtime
Consuming alcohol 4-5 hours before bed has been proven to increase snoring in those affected.
Alcohol has a sedating effect on your central nervous system, leading to a decrease in resting muscle tone — including in those of your throat and tongue. This is the reason some people only snore after a night of indulgence.
Even if alcohol is not the primary source of your snoring problem, avoiding it around bedtime can help reduce your symptoms.
4. Quit smoking
Smoking irritates the tissue of your mouth, nose and throat, which can result in swelling that obstructs your airway. In fact, the likelihood of snoring increasing with the amount of cigarettes smoked per day.
Add ending your snoring habit to the list of reasons to kick your smoking habit!
However, it’s not just first-hand smoke that can impact your snoring — inhaling second-hand smoke can cause the same issues, especially in young children. For everyone’s health it’s best to maintain a smoke-free home.
5. Get enough sleep
Being overtired actually alters the way your body responds to sleep: sending you into a deep state of sleep that leads to overly relaxed muscles. Floppy muscles in the mouth and throat are more easily made to vibrate as we breathe — causing snoring.
Practicing good sleep hygiene by sticking to a set wake-sleep schedule and ensuring you are getting the right amount of sleep each night will prevent sleep deprivation.
6. Use nasal sprays or rinses
If your nose is congested or dried out, using nasal sprays and rinses can help irrigate and replenish much needed moisture. A plain saline solution is often just as effective as medicated formulas.
You can also try using steam to clear your sinuses: Take a hot shower before bed, or fill a bowl with boiling water and place a towel over your head to inhale the vapor.
7. Replace your bedding
Old pillows, mattress and comforters all accumulate dust mites and other allergens as the years go by. Most people are unaware that you should actually be replacing your pillows every year! If you can’t remember the last time you bought a new pillow, it’s likely time to make a shopping trip.
You can also take measures to keep your new purchases fresh and extend their lifespan by using a protective mattress pad and regularly running your pillows and comforter through the dryer once every couple of weeks.
8. Take antihistamine or decongestant medications
If your snoring is caused by a stuffy nose and sinuses, taking a decongestant or antihistamine (if you have allergies) will help clear your airway.
While medications may be effective, we recommend that you give some of our natural tips a try before heading to the drugstore.
9. Keep your room tidy
Maintaining a tidy room, free of dust and other contaminants, can go a long way to clearing up any breathing problems — including snoring.
Vacuum regularly, and don’t forget to get into those tiny nooks and crannies where dust bunnies love to hide. Remember to change your sheets frequently, particularly if you suffer from allergies. You may also want to consider making your room a pet free zone.
10. Use an air purifier
Air purifiers help remove microscopic particles of dust as well as allergens from the air. They can be particularly useful for people with seasonal allergies that simply cannot be cleaned from the room by any other method.
Reduce bedroom allergens (dust, pet dander, mold) to alleviate nasal stuffiness by vacuuming floors and drapes. Change sheets and pillowcases often.
11. Stay hydrated
When you’re dehydrated, the mucus in your nose and throat becomes stickier and can amplify the sound of snoring. While many of these other tips will help lubricate your nasal passages, if you’re not drinking enough water daily it might be time to start upping your intake.
12. Elevate the head of your bed
Raising your head and shoulders can help keep the tissues in your throat from collapsing down into your airway as you sleep.
You can buy wedge pillows, or prop up the top end of your bed using some wood boards. You should aim for about a four inch difference in height.Keeping your head higher than you chest also helps prevent acid reflux — which many people who snore also suffer from.
13. Wear a neck brace
A neck brace can be used to help keep your chin extended and your neck from bending in a way that obstructs your airway. Many people use the soft foam braces, typically used for whiplash injuries, that you can purchase at any drugstore.
However, changing your sleep position or getting fitted for a dental device can often do the work of a neck brace.
14. Increase the humidity
Breathing dry air can dry out your nose and throat, causing congestion that in turn results in more vibration in these tissues. Living in a dry climate, or using electric heating and air conditioning can all exacerbate this problem.
Humidifiers create steam to increase the humidity in your bedroom, and can be set for a variety of comfort levels. Many also enable you to add essential oils, and certain ones (like peppermint) are a great way to further decrease nasal and throat congestion.
15. Perform strengthening exercises
If the muscles of your tongue and throat are too weak, they are more likely to be overly relaxed while you sleep – resulting in snoring. Luckily, as with all muscles, you can perform certain exercises to help strengthen them.
- Exercise 1: Push the tip of your tongue against the roof of your mouth and slide it back as far as you can, hold for 30 seconds and repeat.
- Exercise 2: Open your mouth wide and say “A” while focusing on raising the back of your throat and uvula.
One study has shown that playing the Australian didgeridoo or taking singing lessons can also help decrease snoring by promoting healthy muscle tone. 
16. Watch what you eat before bed
Aside from dieting to shed extra pounds, there’s another good reason to watch what you eat — particularly in the evening. Going to bed with a full stomach can cause it to push against your diaphragm, affecting the rhythm of your breath.
Try to eat a light dinner, and stick to foods that are easy to digest. Additionally, milk and other dairy products can coat your throat with a residue of mucus, increasing the potential of experiencing an obstruction. 
17. Avoid sedatives and muscle relaxants
For the same reason you should not drink alcohol, you should also avoid taking sedatives and muscle relaxants around bedtime.
As for how much time you should allot for between taking these medications and heading to bed, this depends entirely on the type of drug and how long it stays in your system.
If you’re been prescribed one of these medications for another condition, talk to your doctor about your concerns and discuss possible alternatives.
18. Wear a dental or nasal appliance
There are different types of devices that can be worn at night to help keep your airways open if the other tips listed here are not effective.If you have a chronically congested nose, nasal strips (like breathe-right) can be placed on the top of the nose to gently pull your airway open.
For issues involving the throat and mouth, see your dentist about getting fitted for an appliance. These devices — which look similar to a mouth guard — pulls the jaw forward and can often completely eliminate snoring altogether. 
19. Use a CPAP machine
For severe cases of snoring and sleep apnea you may be prescribed a CPAP (continuous positive air pressure) machine. There are a variety of different models, with some inserted in the nostrils while others have a mask that covers the entire mouth and nose.
These devices work by helping to maintain the pressure in your airway as you breathe in and out, which keeps it from collapsing.
20. Undergo surgery
There are many different types of surgeries used to treat snoring, with each one designed to correct a specific structural issue that’s leading to obstruction. Deviated septum, enlarged tonsils, soft palate and nasal polyps are all conditions that can be resolved through surgery.
Surgery should always be reserved as a last-resort option when all other treatments have failed to help resolve your symptoms.
If your snoring doesn’t respond to at-home treatments, or you suspect you may be suffering from sleep apnea you should make an appointment with your doctor to discuss your symptoms.
Chronic snoring can lead to a deterioration in the quality of your life, and even contribute to the onset of serious health conditions.