Waking up from a good night of sleep is one of the best feelings, but on the flip side, one of the worst feelings is waking up after snoring all night and interrupting you and your partner’s precious beauty rest!
Snoring is a problem that affects millions of Americans. In fact, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), “about half of people snore at some point in their lives, . . . It appears to run in families and becomes more common as you get older.”
There are a lot of reasons why you might be snoring, but one reason you may not even be thinking about is your pillow! We asked Nitun Verma, MD, a sleep physician and AASM spokesperson, and Ravi Gupta MD, PhD, MAMS, a certified sleep physician of the World Sleep Federation, about what causes snoring, how pillows affect it, and everything you need to know to make your Zzz’s as quiet as possible.
Reasons For Snoring
Both Verma and Gupta agree that snoring is a condition that happens because of vibrations when you’re breathing at night. The tissues around the throat are the main culprit for the noise, but Gupta also attributed some of the noise from a “partial blockage in the nose [which] increases the chances of vibration of soft tissues and produces a snoring sound.”
According to Verma, “Anything that prevents you from breathing through your nose can cause you to snore.” He specifically noted that obesity, allergies, congestion, alcohol consumption, and smoking are all possible snoring triggers.
Pillows That Help With Snoring
If you’re looking for the best pillow to help with snoring, a small study from 2015 shows the benefits of buying an “anti-snore pillow,” or a pillow designed specifically to help you sleep on your side. Yet another small study from 2017 suggests the same thing; a pillow that encourages a “lateral” head position can help with snoring.
While occasional snoring from colds or allergies is common, Verma warns that “If you experience loud and frequent snoring, along with silent pauses in breathing that are followed by gasping or choking sounds, you should seek consultation with a board-certified sleep medicine physician.” You could be dealing with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which is a sleep disorder that requires an evaluation from a medical professional.
If you know your snoring is from a cold or allergies, in addition to finding the right pillow, Breathe Right nasal strips are an effective and drug-free way to open your nose and relieve nighttime congestion.
Keep your snoring under wraps with these simple, effective methods, so you and your partner can find some sweet relief — and even sweeter sleep!