How To Stop Snoring

If there is one solution that most of my patients are dying to know it's "how to stop snoring". Granted, snoring isn't the only reason patients come to a sleep center, but it is definitely the most common reason I see patients. If you are wondering how to stop snoring, then look no further. This may not be the answer you were hoping for (it's not always an easy solution), but this is the medically correct answer to your question.

In order to understand how to stop snoring, it is first important to understand why you are snoring. Snoring can be produced by a number of different causes, but at the root of all snoring is a very basic principle: there is vibration in tissue. This vibration can occur anywhere in your airway between the nostrils to the back of your tongue. The extent of that vibration can range anywhere from simple quiet snoring to complete collapse of the upper airway. Obviously, if the airway is collapsing frequently (referred to as sleep apnea) you have much bigger problems then just simple snoring. Sleep apnea can lead to a number of serious health issue including high blood pressure, heart disease, and strokes.

Thus, the question you should now be thinking should not be "how to stop snoring" but rather "is my snoring an indication of a more serious problem?" Regardless, the next step is to go to a sleep doctor and be evaluated. More than likely, your sleep doctor will order an overnight sleep study that can determine whether your snoring is just simple snoring or if it is the more serious sleep apnea.

So now you've had your sleep study and your question of how to stop snoring can finally be answered. If your sleep study reveals that it's just simple snoring, then you have a number of options, as described in the following paragraphs.

Some people have success with nasal strips. These strips (Breathe Right Strips is a well known brand) act by "tenting" the nasal airway open. If your snoring is coming primarly from your nose, then these can work. Unfortunately, much snoring actually comes from lower down in the airway such as at your soft palate or behind your tongue.

If your snoring is coming from your palate, then a relatively common procedure called a uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) can be attempted. This procedure involves trimming-back or completely removing the uvula and the floppy tissue on either side of it, in the back of your throat. UPPP can often be helpful for snoring although it's not always helpful if you have sleep apnea. However, if you're just wondering how to stop snoring (and not necessarily how to treat sleep apnea) then this may be a great option. Realize that this is an actual surgery so you will want to have your sleep doctor refer you to an otolaryngologist (ENT doctor) to discuss the surgery further.

Even though you may only be interested in how to stop snoring, a treatment option for sleep apnea can actually be a very effective way to treat snoring. Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) is the gold standard treatment for sleep apnea. It involves wearing a mask at night that blows air into your airway while you sleep. Many people believe that these are only for sleep apnea, but in reality they are considered an excellent treatment for simple snoring as well.

If your snoring only occurs when you sleep on your back, then an old fashioned "tennis ball in the back of a shirt" is a classic answer to the question of how to stop snoring. By fastening a tennis ball to the back of a shirt (usually with a rubber band), you create a "reminder" for yourself to roll back onto your side. There are also now companies the manufacture special "sleep shirts" that have a pocket in the back of the shirt designed to hold a special balloon that prevents you from rolling onto your back.

So if you're wondering how to stop snoring, hopefully you realize that the more important question is whether or not your snoring represents a more serious problem - sleep apnea. If a sleep study shows that you just have simple snoring, then hopefully one of these many options will be helpful to you.

Disclaimer: As with all the content on this site, this article is to be viewed as educational only. In no way should this be construed as medical advice. If you are concerned that you might have a sleep disorder, make an appointment with a sleep physician for proper advice.