ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How do I stop snoring?

Updated on March 26, 2012

Once and for all, let's put to rest two common myths about snoring: (1) There isn't a thing you can do about it and (2) snoring is just noise, laughable or annoying, of no medical significance.

In truth, there are effective remedies for nightly snorting and harrumphing. In some cases, you may be able to use self-care strategies to end the noise for good within a week. Plus, there are doctors (called somnologists) who can successfully treat snoring and other sleep problems. And snoring is not just benign clatter. One type not only raises the roof but signals a serious medical problem.

Why All the Racket?

About 45 percent of all adults snore occasionally; 25 percent snore habitually.

Most snorers are men. What causes all the noise? An obstruction in the airway, usually the tongue. Most often when a snorer relaxes during sleep, his tongue falls backward against the rear of his throat. When he breathes, the air that enters his throat causes the tongue to vibrate against the throat tissues that it's resting against. The farther back the tongue drops, the more vibrating, or snoring, occurs.

For about 30 percent of heavy snorers, the tongue drops back so far that it winds up getting sucked into the airway "like a moist cork," in the words of Chicago snoring specialist Charles F. Samelson, M.D. The floppy throat muscles collapse around the tongue, the snorer's airway is completely blocked (halting all sound), and he actually stops breathing for 10, 20, or 30 seconds or more. These frightening silences happen at regular intervals, often after long sequences of raucous snoring.

After breathing ceases, his survival instincts usually come to the rescue, and he awakens enough to move his tongue out of the airway so he can breathe again. As soon as he falls into another deep slumber, however, the process repeats itself.

This malady is called sleep apnea. Its cause is unknown, although some experts suspect that apnea victims have narrower airways than other snorers. In any case, doctors take the disorder very seriously for several reasons. For one, doctors suspect that 2,000 to 3,000 people die in their sleep every year because of sleep apnea. The deaths are usually caused by suffocation.

More often, victims of sleep apnea spend many of their days in a half-awake condition due to the lack of a good night's sleep. And all that nightly breath holding also takes a slow but steady toll on the heart.

The first step in the management of snoring is changing the position of the snorer. Sleeping on the back is worse than sleeping on the side. If the snorer is overweight, loss of weight is often very beneficial. Sedatives, alcohol and smoking will all aggravate snoring. Nose clips sometimes prove successful.

After these steps have been tried, it is probably wise to seek the help of a doctor, as there are a few rare diseases that may cause snoring, and these must be excluded. If no underlying cause can be found, certain drugs have been successful in some cases. These vary from antidepressants that vary the depth of sleep, to respiratory stimulants, anti-inflammatory drugs, and rarely steroids. Your doctor can discuss the pros and cons of these with you.

Which anti-snoring treatment is used depends on what's causing the snore, how much the snorer wants to stop a snoring problem, and how dangerous the snoring is.

For a simple snoring problem, doctors often first recommend simple, noninvasive solutions like small changes in lifestyle. If these don't work, the snorer can opt for an anti-snoring device or a surgical procedure.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • dinkan53 profile image


      7 years ago from India

      I heard about pillows which are specifically designed to stop snoring. Any way consult with an expert as they know more.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)