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Women's Health

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Does Snoring Have You Up All Night?

The snoring treatments you’ve been waiting for

Is there a cure for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea? continued...

Snoring Cure No. 1: Make lifestyle changes

Snoring has been linked to being both overweight and out of shape, so working on those two issues can have the payoff of improving your sleep. Losing weight and exercising more improve muscle tone, even in your palate, says Scianna. Avoiding alcohol before bedtime may help too.

For some people, the problem is purely positional, meaning they only snore when lying on their backs. If this is the case for you, you might find that arranging your pillows creatively keeps you on your side. (Some people even resort to wearing a special shirt with a pocket in the back to hold a tennis ball that pokes them when they try to roll over onto their backs.)

Snoring Cure No. 2: Try over-the-counter remedies

If allergies or nasal congestion seem to be the cause of snoring, an antihistamine or decongestant might be all you need to breathe freely and sleep comfortably. Antisnoring strips and sprays exist, but Pascualy says they haven’t been found to be particularly effective.

Snoring Cure No. 3: Use oral devices

Dental appliances that hold the tongue and jaw in such a way that the airway remains open have been found to be quite effective for benign snorers, with success rates ranging from 50%–80%. They can also be effective for OSA, although at lower rates of success (40%–50%). What’s key, say experts, is to have one custom-made by a dentist, rather than buying an over-the-counter version or one from the Internet.

Snoring Cure No. 4: Try continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP

Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is the leading therapy for sleep apnea. The CPAP device consists of a mask worn over the nose and face during sleep, which is connected to a pump that pushes air into the nasal passages, keeping the airway open. Compliance is a problem, though. The treatment only works if you use the mask regularly, and some people find it uncomfortable, or are self-conscious about wearing it in front of their partner.

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