The following tips can help reduce snoring:
- Avoid alcohol and other sedatives at bedtime.
- Don't sleep flat on your back. Sleep on your side, if possible. Some doctors even suggest sewing a golf or tennis ball into the back of your night clothes. This causes discomfort if you roll over and helps reminds you to stay on your side. Eventually, sleeping on your side becomes a habit and you don't need to be reminded.
- Lose weight, if you are overweight.
- Try over-the-counter, drug-free nasal strips that help widen the nostrils. (These are not intended as treatments for sleep apnea.)
Call your health care provider if
Talk to your doctor if you have:
- Excessive daytime
drowsiness, morning headaches, recent weight gain, awakening in the morning not feeling rested, or change in your level of attention, concentration, or memory
- Episodes of no breathing (
apnea) -- your partner may need to tell you if this is happening
Children with chronic snoring should also be evaluated for apnea. Sleep apnea in children has been linked to growth problems, ADHD, poor school performance, learning difficulties, bedwetting, and high blood pressure. Most children who snore do NOT have apnea, but a sleep study is the only reliable way to tell for sure.
What to expect at your health care provider's office
Your doctor will ask questions to evaluate your snoring and perform a physical exam, paying careful attention to your throat, mouth, and neck.
Questions may include the following (some of which your partner might have to answer):
- Is your snoring loud?
- Does it occur no matter what position you are lying in or only in certain positions?
- Does your own snoring ever wake you up?
- How often do you snore? Every night?
- Is your snoring persistent during the night?
- Are there episodes when you are not breathing?
- Do you have other symptoms like daytime drowsiness, morning headaches, insomnia, or memory loss?
Referral to a sleep specialist for
Treatment options include:
- Dental appliances to prevent tongue from falling back
- Weight loss
- If you have sleep apnea, use of a
CPAPmask (a device you wear on the nose while sleeping to decrease snoring and sleep apnea)
- Surgical procedures on your palate
- Surgery to correct a deviated septum or remove tonsils (
- Other types of surgery involving the airway
Review Date: 08/03/2010
Reviewed By: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc., and Seth Schwartz, MD, MPH, Otolaryngologist, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, Washington.