Sleep Problems: Page 5
Not all snoring is sleep apnea, though heavy snoring is a sign that you should have a sleep test for obstructive sleep apnea. It can also be, well, just snoring. But snoring itself can interrupt sleep enough to prevent you from getting enough restorative rest.
What to do: The medical procedures used to treat snoring are fairly invasive, so try lifestyle changes first. Changes you can make to prevent snoring include:
- Lose weight. Even taking off ten pounds can eradicate snoring, experts say.
- Change your sleep position. Use pillows to prop yourself on your side, or attach a tennis ball with a rubber band to the back of a T-shirt to keep from turning over on your back.
- Avoid alcohol. The deeper initial sleep and dehydration activate snoring.
- Don't use sleeping pills or sedatives. They relax the muscles of the throat, increasing snoring.
If these aren't enough, the doctor may recommend a dental appliance (one brand is Silent Nite Snore Guard); radiofrequency ablation of the soft palate, which clears tissue out of the way; or laser-assisted uvuloplasty, a surgical procedure that removes the uvula and surrounding tissue behind the palate, opening the airways.