5 ways to stop snoring

There's no miracle cure for snoring, but lifestyle changes may help. 

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

Snoring self-help tips:

  • Maintain a healthy diet and weight. 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 will probably 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. Try rubbing a few drops of eucalyptus or olbas oil onto your pillowcase. If an allergy is blocking your nose, try antihistamine tablets or a nasal spray. Ask your pharmacist for advice, and see your GP if you're affected by an allergy or condition that affects your nose or breathing.

Commercial stop-snoring devices

There are a range of stop-snoring treatments and devices on sale. These include nasal strips, which encourage you to breathe through your nose, throat sprays to ease air flow, and devices that reposition the jaw. Your pharmacist can tell you what's available, or visit the British Snoring and Sleep Apnoea Association's website for a list of available products.

Snoring surgery

For serious cases of snoring, surgery to correct snoring can include fixing structural problems in the nose and removing excess tissue in the mouth and throat.

Page last reviewed: 31/03/2012

Next review due: 31/03/2014


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The 3 comments posted are personal views. Any information they give has not been checked and may not be accurate.

paddleyourowncanoe said on 23 March 2014

I have tried the hard pillow method made from 'severe foam' and my partner has now moved back to sleeping in the same bed with me! She says that I no longer snore so it does seems to work well. That said it takes a little time to get used to and may not suit everyone. If you suffer from neck problems take care.

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Tombola73 said on 16 February 2014

This NHS website says "There's no miracle cure for snoring". Well, in my case, that's not true. I stumbled across a cure by accident while holidaying in Malaysia and later in Greece. I feel so lucky - and so does my wife - that I want to broadcast the news to as many other sufferers as possible in the hope that what works for me MAY also work for them.

My snoring used to be terrible. On one occasion I woke up in a hotel in Nottingham to find my wife wasn't in the room. I found her curled up in the bath. She complained she just couldn't sleep with the noise I was making.

I searched the internet for a possible cure and, as on this NHS website, read all the usual suggestions about cutting back on alcohol [no, thank you!], losing weight [I love my food too much!], dental remedies [yuk!], surgery [my cousin tried it to no avail] etc. etc.

My breakthrough came when we holidayed on the beautiful island of Langkawi in Malaysia. We spent a week there and after the first night, my wife woke up and said, "Something very strange has happened: you didn't snore." For the rest of the week, she had peaceful nights.

The one thing different in that bedroom to what I was normally used to at home was the pillow: it was rock hard and had angled sides, ie. it was a piece of very firm foam cut into the size of a pillow.

Soon after that, we found ourselves in Athens for a couple of nights and, again, the same thing happened: my wife slept well. And, sure enough, it was another very firm pillow that appeared to be the saviour.

When we got back to the UK, I ordered a piece of foam with 'severe' firmness from an online foam company that cut foam to any size. I had it cut to 4 inches depth which is the approximate distance between my neck and shoulder.

In my case, it's been a miracle cure. And a very cheap one!

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costa said on 08 June 2008

for me best tips for stoping to snore are

1 lose weight if you are over weight
2 stop drinking alchol
3 dont sleep on your back

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