5 ways to stop snoring

There's no miracle cure for snoring, but lifestyle changes, over-the-counter remedies and medical treatments may help.

As snoring is often related to lifestyle, there are some simple changes you can make to minimise it.

Snoring self-help tips:

  • Maintain a healthy weight and diet. Being overweight by just a few kilograms can lead to snoring. Fatty tissue around your neck squeezes the airway and prevents air from flowing in and out freely.
  • Try to sleep on your side rather than your back. While sleeping on your back, your tongue, chin and any excess fatty tissue under your chin can relax and squash your airway. Sleeping on your side prevents this.
  • Avoid alcohol before going to bed. Alcohol causes the muscles to relax more than usual during a normal night's sleep. This added relaxation of the muscles makes the back of the throat collapse more readily, which then causes snoring.
  • Quit or cut down on smoking. Cigarette smoke irritates the lining of the nasal cavity and throat, causing swelling and catarrh. If the nasal passages become congested, it's difficult to breathe through your nose because the airflow is decreased.
  • Keep your nasal passages clear, so that you breathe in through your nose rather than your mouth. If an allergy is blocking your nose, try antihistamine tablets or a nasal spray. Ask your pharmacist for advice, or see your GP, if you're affected by an allergy or any other condition that affects your nose or breathing, such as sinusitis.

Commercial stop-snoring devices

There are a range of stop-snoring treatments and devices on sale. These include nasal strips, which open the nostrils wider, throat sprays and devices known as mandibular advancement devices (MAD), which reposition the jaw to ease airflow.

Your pharmacist can tell you what's available.

Medical help for snoring

For some cases of snoring, surgery to fix structural problems in the airways, such as enlarged adenoids, can help.

If your snoring is caused by looseness in your soft palate (the soft upper part at the back of the mouth), a technique called radiofrequency ablation, which uses heat energy to tighten the palate, may help.

Read more about radiofrequency ablation of the soft palate.

Page last reviewed: 07/07/2014

Next review due: 31/08/2016

Ratings

How helpful is this page?

Average rating

Based on 167 ratings

All ratings

Add your rating

Useful links

NHS Choices links

Services near you

Find addresses, phone numbers and websites for services near you

Drinking and alcohol

Practical tips to help you cut down, plus information on low-risk drinking, how alcohol affects your health, and understanding units

Stop smoking

Help with quitting, including what your GP can do, local services and nicotine replacement therapies

Lose weight

Weight loss resources to help you lose weight healthily, including the NHS 12-week diet and exercise plan

Snoring

A quarter of Britons snore, causing misery for partners and potentially putting their own health at risk