Understanding Snoring -- Prevention

Medically Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, MS, DO on November 25, 2021
2 min read
  • Consider losing some weight if you're overweight. Most snorers tend to be overweight, and shedding excess fat – sometimes as little as 5 to 8 pounds -- can often help decrease, if not eliminate, snoring.
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages. Drinking alcohol within several hours of going to sleep causes muscles near the airway to slacken.
  • Avoid sleeping pills or other sedatives and sedating medications such as antihistamines. Although they put you to sleep, they relax your throat muscles, making your snoring worse.
  • Stop smoking. Smoking causes nasal congestion, a major cause of snoring.
  • Sleep on your side. While heavy snorers will snore in any position, people with moderate snoring tend to snore only when sleeping on their backs. One helpful trick is to sew a pocket onto the back of your nightclothes and insert a tennis ball. This will make it uncomfortable for you to lie on your back -- and prompt you to turn on your side during sleep.
  • Sleep with the head of your bed positioned upwards, approximately 4 inches, and use a smaller pillow that does not cause the head and neck to bend in an obstructed fashion.
  • Nasal strips: Flexible bands that you stick to the outside of your nose and keep nasal passages open.
  • Oral appliances: Wearing an oral appliance when you sleep keeps your jaw in the proper position so air can flow. Your healthcare provider might call it a mouth device or mouth guard. A mouth guard used for other purposes, like sports, won’t resolve snoring.