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What the Yuck: How do I stop snoring?
March 18th, 2011
11:49 AM ET

What the Yuck: How do I stop snoring?

Too embarrassed to ask your doctor about sex, body quirks, or the latest celeb health fad? In a regular feature and a new book, "What the Yuck?!," Health magazine medical editor Dr. Roshini Raj tackles your most personal and provocative questions. Send 'em to Dr. Raj at whattheyuck@health.com.

Q: I'm afraid I'm a loud snorer. Is there anything I can do to prevent this from happening when I spend the night with my new man?

You mean aside from lying awake all night? First, don't drink alcohol. It can make snoring worse by relaxing your throat's muscles. When you breathe in and out, those relaxed muscles vibrate, and you snore.

Also, congested nasal passages contribute to snoring, so you might want to bring along a box of nasal strips and pop one on before climbing in bed (just say you have allergies). They may not be pretty, but they open up your nasal passages from the outside in, letting air flow more easily.

If these moves don't help you get your snoring under control, you may have obstructive sleep apnea - a serious respiratory condition - and should make an appointment to discuss this problem with your doctor.

But, to be honest, you shouldn't be embarrassed about this or any other bodily function. If this is going to be a long-term relationship, sooner or later he's going to hear you snore. And if he dumps you because of that, what a jerk!

Copyright Health Magazine 2011


soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. Tina Wilson

    None of the above tips work sufficiently enough for a heavy snorer, and for women this is a very embarrassing problem, indeed. The only thing that really works is a mouthguard, fitted by your dentist. It's fairly expensive ($500-1,000) but worth every penny. It's a miracle!

    March 18, 2011 at 17:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jeff

      Personally, I found a mouth guard to be only temporarily effective. After a few months, my snoring has increased to near pre mouth guard levels.

      March 18, 2011 at 20:00 | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      No, doesn't work. I have one and still snore.

      March 18, 2011 at 21:40 | Report abuse |
    • Daina

      Don't have to train myself...23 year light of my life hubby just says 'roll over, dear, you're snoring' and why are women more 'embarrassed'? Were you the same inane girls who pinched your nose when you sneezed? Essentailly physiology is the same for both genders in these areas (sweat, too dearie) No wonder you all have trouble in the 'happy marraige' dep't. If I were a man I'd never consider such clueless, helpless, insecure wife material. Love is love and acceptance...afraid no man will love u if u snore, well...enjoy single seeking percfection!

      March 19, 2011 at 01:21 | Report abuse |
    • Daina

      Addendum; I am rake thin, had my uvula trimmed as snoring was SSSOO bad and still snore...my overbite will keep me snoring for life as I draw the line at 2 years of braces and a gazillion bucks to 'maybe' not snore by age 44.

      March 19, 2011 at 01:28 | Report abuse |
    • LEB

      @Daina - Hey, if you're comfortable allowing bodily functions in front of your husband, then great. Some wives are, and some husbands don't care. But for those of us who prefer to keep such things private, you should not criticize. I've been with my husband for almost 9 years, and I don't pass gas in front of him, or pee with the door open, or tweeze my nose hairs/eyebrows/upper lip, or shave ANYTHING, and I rarely belch in his presence... though sometimes that can't be helped. I certainly don't leave used tampons lying around, used undies go straight in the hamper, and if needed I flush twice and/or scrub. I'm just polite and don't want to expose anyone else to the unpleasantness of the human condition, including the hubby... though he's still learning how to be as considerate. And if I had a snoring problem, which thankfully I don't, I would fix it as best I could. By now I doubt he'd see it as a turn-off, but I'd feel pretty bad about disrupting his sleep.

      March 19, 2011 at 10:20 | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      I snored so loud for years my wife finally gave me the ultimatum. I had seen the snore guard appliance my Dentist had recommended but no way was I going to put that thing in my mouth. It had an upper plastic form and lower plastic form and 2 metal adjustable hinges with rubber bands connecting the bottom to the upper. There was a tiny revolving screw on each side that would allow you to adjust the lower plate outward moving the lower jaw outward allowing more air. Well it worked. Cost $1,000 but saved my marriage and after 6 years cured (and the Dentists have no idea why) my TMJ. My jaw clicked every time i opened my mouth, but not anymore. Device may not work for everybody but worked for me .

      March 19, 2011 at 11:23 | Report abuse |
    • Ginsana

      You dont need to buy the expensive mouth guards, My husband snores alot and loudly, A friend bought a 500 dollar mouthpeice from the dentist and broke it. In desperations he went to Walmart and bought a sports mouthguard that u dip in warm water, and made a custom ifit for his wife,) They suggested we do it too. We tried it ourselves and it was the best 1.97 I ever spent...IT WORKS!!!!

      March 20, 2011 at 04:18 | Report abuse |
    • BW

      There are a bunch of snoring remedies and cures at http://www.putanendtosnoring.com
      Personally, I have purchased a chin strap from this link and had a lot of success, and more sleep at night. My wife is happier and I feel more rested in the morning. highly recommended

      September 28, 2011 at 19:05 | Report abuse |
  2. Holly

    "What a jerk?" Are you kidding? As a light sleeper, I'd have no choice but to long gone if a new man of mine snored loudly. I'd never get sleep! Certainly doesn't make me a jerk.

    March 18, 2011 at 17:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jen

      I agree. I'm a light sleeper as well and I usually end up on the couch of my own house while he is snoring away soundly in my comfortable bed. It makes it very hard to stay with someone when you can't get any sleep due to their snoring. Then your just evil the rest of the time due to lack of sleep.

      March 18, 2011 at 18:07 | Report abuse |
    • Daina

      yeah, you are a jerk...if that's all it takes the guy who snored got lucky you dumped him.

      March 19, 2011 at 01:31 | Report abuse |
  3. Amy

    My hubby used to sleep and would wake up because he could not breathe. He just lost 70 lbs and he sleeps silently. I find myself waking up in the middle of the night checking on him because I cannot hear him. This was his stop snoring cure

    March 18, 2011 at 18:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. alex

    snoring is one of the most annoying things...ever

    March 18, 2011 at 19:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Brian

    Whoever wrote this article is the jerk here, and an idiot. Nasal strips are a gimmick – stickers to put on your nose. The nasal passages (which swell, leading to "congestion") are above and behind the nose; there's no way nasal strips (or anything else superficial to the sinus passages) can dilate swollen sinuses. Just a way for quack companies to make more money.

    March 18, 2011 at 19:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • rosegarden

      I side sleep and won't help & i"m not fat at all. Maybe surgery is the only solution to me!

      March 19, 2011 at 13:51 | Report abuse |
  6. Craig

    The solution is very easy. Simply start sleeping on your side instead of your back. That certainly takes some discipline and clever pillow usage to master, but really stops snoring in its tracks. I went from a heavy snoring back sleeper to a quiet-as-a-mouse side sleeper.

    March 18, 2011 at 19:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Daina

      Exactly what i do when I get a 'dear, you're snoring' nudge from hubby

      March 19, 2011 at 01:34 | Report abuse |
  7. Bill

    I use earplugs Problem solved.

    March 18, 2011 at 19:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Bob

    Take the reference about Sleep Apnea seriously, I snored for years and finally went to my doctor. He sent me for a sleep study and was diagnosed with Sleep Apnea. I was given 3 choices, dental appliance, surgery or CPAP machine. The CPAP machine was my solution, covered under insurance.

    March 18, 2011 at 22:18 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bri

      I am 26 and also diagnosed with sleep apnea. I started using a Cpap machine and my wife loves it. She says she sleeps better now that I do not sound like I am choking while I am sleeping. I wake up with more energy and my wife next to me, which did not happen for years. If this woman's man cannot accept the fact that a woman has a medical condition, then he does not deserve her. OSA is a severe medical condition that can be solved with noninvasive treatment likie Cpap

      March 19, 2011 at 02:44 | Report abuse |
  9. Heather

    There are different solutions for different people. For my husband (who is a healthy weight), a nose strip didn't work. Then one night as I gave him a nudge to quiet the snores that were so hard they made the bed vibrate, I noticed that the snoring stopped when his chest shifted position. The next night according to my suggestion, he raised his upper body with a second pillow only slightly and we've both been sleeping soundly since. It could be that an observant bedmate could help fix the problem.

    March 18, 2011 at 23:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. beefcake

    yeah right, we all know she isn't gonna get in that bed in the first place without the alcohol.

    March 19, 2011 at 01:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Lois

    Serious snoring can lead to a heart attack, possibly, because you stop breathing, start again, it affects your oxygen levals, and therefore your heart. Very important. A cpap, continuous positive air pressure, can save your life. I would suggest, don't sleep with the guy, go home to your own bed to sleep, after making 'whoopie.' A husband, someone who loves you, will want you to use a cpap. They're so common nowadays, he may use one, too. His and hers, how cute.

    March 19, 2011 at 04:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. alarmbottle

    I snore because I have nasal congestion. What helped me quite a bit in terms of sleeping and breathing is acupuncture. It's not easy to find a good acupuncturist but they really help clear my nasal congestion that I suffer for most of my life. The acupuncture sessions only help nasal passage for about half a year to a year though. It ultimately only treats the symptom of a problem, but is very fast and effective.

    March 19, 2011 at 11:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Emleny

    I snore and it affects my sleep and my partner's sleep. I tried the strips and sleeping on my stomach/ side, which did not work (the strips not at all and although I started on my stomach I didn't stay there while sleeping). I bought a plastic mouth guard (snore ex) from amazon- about 20 $- that positions the jaw forward a bit. Works perfectly. No more snoring and I feel a million times better. I would try this first before the more expensive options.

    March 19, 2011 at 13:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Tyler

    I'm surprised this article doesn't mention the one proven method to prevent snoring... any speech pathologist worth their salt should be able to tell you that by resting your tongue on the roof of your mouth, just behind the ridge where it changes from rough to smooth, it will be physiologically impossible to snore. This entire article is just a sellout to commercialism.

    March 19, 2011 at 13:57 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MXD

      And how do you remember to do that when you're asleep??

      March 21, 2011 at 23:30 | Report abuse |
  15. laurie

    we have a solution, seperate bedrooms, its very effective

    March 19, 2011 at 21:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. pann

    I want to stop snoring but nothing work. It got so bad that my neighbor knocked door asking everything okay. My girlfriend uses ear plugs but completely stop snoring will help a lot. Doctors and dentist are too expensive. 🙁

    March 20, 2011 at 06:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Donna Pelletier

    After suffering with a snorer for almost 30 years, so much so it has affected my health and my quality of life, I would certainly not call a guy a jerk because he broke up with her over her snoring. He would be smart to cut his loses early in the relationship.

    March 20, 2011 at 09:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. MXD

    This article avoids the most common snorning sufferer – those of us who don't have full-blown sleep apnea (and I've been tested) and yet snore, and snore so loudly so as to disturb the sleep of anyone in the bed or even ourselves. And this condition doesn't just start up after you've been married for 10 years – many of us are single and are worried that our loud snoring might have detrimental effects on a new relationship. So I'm going to start trying different methods – a mouthgard, for starters. CPAP machines sound effective, but are expensive (unless you're diagnosed with Sleep Apnea and then insurance may cover it), and are certainly NOT conducive to romance.

    March 21, 2011 at 23:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. daniel

    I was wondering how I can stop snoring and I came across a stop snoring mouthpiece from VitalSleep. It is FDA cleared and it helped my snoring and is available at http://www.vitalsleep.com

    May 30, 2011 at 14:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. John

    Snoring research has shown that a jaw supporter, keeping the lower jaw in an upward position increases the three dimensional space in the airway, reduces air velocity and soft tissue vibration. This action can eliminate or substantially reduce snoring.
    Anti-Snoring.us

    October 28, 2011 at 12:42 | Report abuse | Reply
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  27. Rowarth Michael

    I think for moderate snorer natural remedies can be very effective but take a long time to treat the problem. If you avoid some of the things like excess alcohol, smoking, overweight, irregular nights of sleep then snoring can be treated to some extent. But if you are a regular snorer at night then you must go for other solutions like using stop snoring devices. Although there are many options available in the market you should compare and choose the best device for you. I personally use an anti-snoring device that is very effective in treating the snoring problem. Here is the link if you want to know about that device https://goo.gl/Y3JCNo

    March 19, 2018 at 02:31 | Report abuse | Reply
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