An elevated bed, better pillows and less alcohol are just some of the ways to help you stop snoring, according to a sleep expert.  

April 24th marks the beginning of ‘Stop Snoring Week’ – with people encouraged to learn the health risks associated with excessive snoring and the ways to prevent it. 

Health scientist and sleep coach Tom Coleman told The Pat Kenny Show that snoring occurs when airwaves are blocked, which causes a vibration of tissues when a person is lying down.  

He said snoring is more common among men overall, but women begin to “catch up” during the menopause as they begin storing more fat in their neck, which causes airwave blockages.

Snoring prevention  

Mr Coleman said sleep position determines snoring patterns.  

“If we look at the sleep position, that's crucial”, he said. “If we're in the supine position - i.e. lying on our backs - there's more likelihood that our jaw will influence snoring.”

He recommended better habits such as sleeping on your side and said the makeup of the bed is also important.

“If the pillow is too tall for you, it will close the airways” he said. “Find what supports you, what works for you, and try different pillows.” 

“You can also elevate the bed by a few degrees and that that could help. 

Lifestyle choices 

Mr Coleman said cutting out smoking is “one of the first things” he recommends to snorers.  

“If we have alcohol that will really cause a lot more snoring,” he also said. 

Mr Coleman said breathing through your nose and losing weight can prevent airwaves blocking and reduce snoring. .  

He said you should also consider your partner’s wellbeing when trying to reduce snoring.  

“Invest in really good earplugs for your partner,” he said. “Talk to your partner about it.” 

“If it comes down to it, get a bedroom divorce before you get a real divorce.” 

Sleep Apnoea and the brain 

Mr Coleman said tackling your snoring problem has benefits for your health as well as your partner.

“Obstructive Sleep Apnoea is where there's so much blockage, we actually stop breathing,” he said.  

“Sleep apnoea alone contributes to cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes - so it is a serious issue, and it can have serious consequences.” 

Mr Coleman also said that snoring prevention is important for brain functions. 

“Your brain's matter is determined to some degree by the quality of your sleep,” he said. The psychological repair, the cleaning of the brain that lymphatic drainage, the clearing of plaque is all happening in the latter phases of sleep.”  

“If our sleep is constantly being disrupted, we're not getting all of that benefit.” 

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