Best ways to stop snoring – including breathing exercises
Are you struggling to sleep? With an estimated 41% of the UK population being snorers, it’s no wonder millions of us are having disrupted sleeps.
Luckily, Tempur sleep expert and chartered psychologist Suzy Reading has shared her guide detailing how to stop snoring – and what to do if you are sleeping with a snorer for National Stop Snoring Week.
Suzy said: “Snoring can be caused by a number of factors and cause your tongue, mouth, throat, or the airways in your nose to vibrate as you breathe. When these parts of your body relax and narrow whilst asleep – snoring occurs.
“For anyone who sleeps with a snorer, the noise can be frustrating to say the least, causing regular sleep disturbances leading to tiredness, irritability and low mood come morning. Hardly the right way to start the day!”
How to stop snoring
1. Take a look at your lifestyle
Many things can increase the tendency to snore – including being overweight, smoking, dehydration and drinking alcohol.
Suzy said: “Integrating healthy movement habits, hydration and nutrition will reduce the likelihood of snoring whilst increasing overall quality of sleep and wellbeing.”
2. Check your sleep environment
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Dust and pollen can both increase the likelihood of snoring, especially if you suffer from allergies.
Suzy said: “So, make sure to wash your bedding and vacuum regularly, as well as shower and change into clean bedclothes before going to sleep.”
3. Consider sleeping on your side
Sleeping on your side can reduce the likelihood of snoring.
Suzy said: “Sleeping on your side reduces compression of your airways meaning you’re less likely to snore than when sleeping on your back.”
Firstly, make sure the pillow is the right height to keep your head in a neutral alignment with your spine to make sure your airways are clear.
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Suzy said: “Take care when choosing a pillow – the wrong type could cause discomfort whilst sleeping or even neck pain come morning. Try a pillow that is created specifically with side sleepers in mind, like the ergonomically designed Tempur Original Pillow, which provides pressure relieving neck and head support. Wedging additional pillows behind you can keep you from rolling on your back if this is your preferred sleeping position.”
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4. What to do if you sleep with a snorer
It’s important to remember that although snoring can be annoying, your partner isn’t doing it on purpose.
Suzy said: “If you’ve tried and failed with earplugs or white noise, try sleeping in separate rooms.
“If your sleep is suffering, it’s fine to move to a separate bedroom for a couple of nights if it means you’ll be feeling more rested, more positive, and more able to tackle the day.”
Another tip if you’re still struggling is to re-focus on something calming.
Suzy explained: “Try a coherent breathing exercise consisting of a 5 second inhalation followed by a 5 second exhalation. Coherent breathing exercises are extremely soothing for the nervous system and keeping count can be a useful distraction from your partners snoring.”
Above all, give yourself permission to find it challenging – but try not to blame and shame.
Keep an open dialogue about how it impacts you and what they can do to contribute to a healthier dynamic.
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5. Specific exercises
Jaw release, mouth, tongue and throat exercises recommended by the Sleep Foundation can be effective tools to lessen the likelihood of snoring.
Suzy added: “Alternatively, there are a number of anti-snoring devices such as Somnowell which can help keep airways open and reduce snoring.”
“If snoring has become a real issue for you or your partner, it’s best to speak to your doctor who will be able to check for any underlying health conditions and work with you to find a solution.”
For more information on Tempur, visit www.tempur.co.uk
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