Your doctor will ask about any allergies you may have, as well as about your eating patterns, what medicines you take, and whether you drink alcohol or smoke. Your doctor will also examine your throat and nasal passages for any signs of nasal, mouth, dental, jaw, or throat deformities that may contribute to snoring.
If your doctor suspects that you have obstructive sleep apnea, your partner may be asked to keep a diary noting your sleeping and snoring patterns. You can also take a sleep-monitoring study, which will analyze if, when, and how often you stop breathing during sleep.
Stacey Sanner, 51, a PR consultant in Seattle and avid runner, is partial to sleeping on her right side. In her 20s, following a knee injury, she switched her primary sleep position from her stomach to her side and added a pillow between her legs.
"I have never been able to sleep on my back," she says. "When I started having lower back trouble, my doctor told me, ''One of the best things to do is sleep on your side with a pillow between your knees.'"
Can sleep posture affect the quality of your...
Use a humidifier if the air in your home is too dry.
A variety of products designed to help you sleep on your side -- a position that can decrease snoring -- may help some people.
A variety of products designed to dilate the nasal passages, such as nasal strips or nasal support devices, may work in some people with congestion or nasal abnormalities.
Other products include pills, sprays, and herbal products that claim to decrease nasal congestion and devices to correct mouth breathing. These haven't been aggressively studied, so caution is advised.
Over-the-counter products that work by keeping you in a more wakeful sleep, which does not allow you to obtain a restful, deep sleep. This can contribute to dangerous and excessive sleepiness.
If you have a jaw or mouth abnormality that is causing nasal obstruction, your dentist may be able to fit you with a dental appliance to correct the problem and lessen snoring.