Solutions for snoring?
May 20, 2011 9:00 AM   Subscribe

I snore. Loudly. Living alone I don't think about it much, but while visiting home my brother is stuck using earplugs to dim the noise through walls. What can I do to limit this? Looking for updates on a similar question asked a few years back.

I have had a sleep test, no apnea. I'm overweight and I know losing some can help, I'm in the process of doing that. But what else can I do? I don't drink alcohol, and I only sleep on my stomach or side. I saw this thread but its a few years old and perhaps some new products are out that would make me less noisy. I'm reluctant to try CPAP since I don't actually have apnea, and I'm sure insurance wouldn't help pay for it.

What have you tried that worked? What have you tried that didn't? Help me be a better house-mate!
posted by gilsonal to Health & Fitness (12 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Do you have allergies or other nasal congestion? In my experience, snoring gets worse during allergy season or colds, so if that's the case with you, taking an antihistamine or using nasal irrigation before bed might help. Also, if it's environmental allergies, don't sleep with the windows open.
posted by decathecting at 9:03 AM on May 20, 2011 [2 favorites]

Have you tried the breathe-right strips?
posted by Grither at 9:03 AM on May 20, 2011 [1 favorite]

The already mentioned nose strips help me. According to my SO, they "bring the volume down from a 9 to about a 4".

I've also noticed that I sleep better with them. I fall asleep faster and feel better in the morning.
posted by utsutsu at 9:26 AM on May 20, 2011

Particularly bad snoring problems can be caused by polyps in the paranasal sinuses. Go to an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist and have him check you out. After getting a polypectomy, I found I didn't snore at all (or snort when laughing, or even intentionally make snorting noises).

Keep in mind, they come back, so annual or biennial checkups might be in order.
posted by AlHazred at 9:30 AM on May 20, 2011

I bought this mouthpiece for my husband and we can sleep in the same bed again. It's magical, honestly. Just like a sports mouthguard, you put it in boiling water and then conform it to the shape of your mouth. It pushes your lower jaw forward a smidge so that your air passages open a bit more. It would be ideal for wearing short term but I wouldn't recommend it as an every night solution. He's also said that he feels much more rested when he uses it.
posted by iconomy at 9:33 AM on May 20, 2011 [2 favorites]

I use a wedge pillow. I answered a similar question previously.
posted by dorkydancer at 9:44 AM on May 20, 2011

How do you know for sure that you don't actually have sleep apnea? My father-in-law said the same thing until he ended up in the hospital, near death, for something he thought was completely unrelated, and went home with a CPAP and has never felt better.

That being said, my mother in law snores even louder than her husband ever did, and there is nothing wrong with her other than being able to be heard in adjoining hotel rooms. :)
posted by TinWhistle at 9:46 AM on May 20, 2011

In addition to the various suggestions above, depending on how long it's been since your sleep study, you might think about having another one. My first sleep study was fine, but a few years later a second sleep study showed apnea, and I was very much helped by CPAP. Ignore if your previous sleep study was recent.
posted by not that girl at 10:26 AM on May 20, 2011 [1 favorite]

Try irrigating your nasal passages with a neti pot before bed.
posted by HotPatatta at 10:30 AM on May 20, 2011

My husband snores more when he's cold because he hunches and that makes a difference in his sleeping posture even on his side. You might keep another blanket by the bed if you get cold at night in case that helps you.

My solution for dealing with his snoring involves a white noise generator. It's not perfect, but it helps me get to sleep. Maybe you should look into a cheap one as a gift for your brother the next time you go home.
posted by immlass at 11:45 AM on May 20, 2011

I'm a thin, thirty something woman who snores like a 400lb chain-smoking old man. Breathe Right strips, nasal sprays, throat prays didn't help me much since my snoring seems to because of a combination of a deviated septum, jaw alignment and adenoid issues that I really don't understand.

The boil and bite mouth guards that manipulate your jaw alignment to help open the airways in the throat helped quit a lot. The problem is that the fit is very imprecise on these even if you're creating your own impression. Prolonged use can case jaw problems - mine are always sore for a few hours after I wake up. They also put a lot of uneven pressure on your teeth and can weaken/loosen them over time.

There are two devises - a TAP devise and another one whose name escapes me - that can be custom made made by a prosthodontist that do the same thing as the boil and bites but are carefully molded to your mouth and do not cause the same jaw/teeth problems. These run about $1700-$2000. Most insurance will not authorize these without a current sleep study, a diagnosis of sleep apnea of some type (you don't have to stop breathing during the night to have sleep apnea, just some evidence that your airways are obstructed) and proof that you've failed with a CPAP.

Even with insurance a sleep study and CPAP can cost as much as the TAP device, so it might be worth looking into if you have the means.
posted by space_cookie at 1:46 PM on May 20, 2011

My sweetie used to snore a lot. A LOT. Since January she's been eating a low carb -- essentially gluten-free -- diet and she barely snores any more. She's lost weight, which is certainly part of it, but we both think that the diet has had an impact as well. That won't help much if your snoring is caused by other things, but relatively easy to try.
posted by gingerbeer at 3:56 PM on May 20, 2011

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