Want to reduce snoring and improve sleep quality? Try this bedtime trick
When I was in college, my exam days used to be very stressful. Sleeping alone at night felt scary, so I would jump onto my mom’s bed to sleep with her. It was during those nights when she noticed that I would snore while sleeping. She was a little taken aback since she and I both never knew that I snore after dozing off. The next morning, she pinpointed my habit to me and told me that snoring was most likely a result of a blocked nose. I paid heed to her advice and started clearing my nose every single night before hitting the bed. The result? My snoring habit subsided with time. I guess my mom was right about the link between a blocked nose and snoring. Let’s see if an expert gives a thumbs up to my mom’s piece of advice.
Health Shots got in touch with Dr Apoorva Reddy, Senior ENT (Otolaryngologist) Surgeon, Kamineni Hospitals, LB Nagar, Hyderabad, to understand the link between a blocked nose and snoring, and how a clear nose can improve our sleep quality.
Why clearing a blocked nose can help to reduce snoring?
“Improving sleep quality and minimising snoring with a blocked nose can pose a considerable challenge. However, there exist numerous strategies and remedies that you can employ to alleviate these issues. A congested or blocked nose often results from conditions such as allergies, colds, sinus congestion, or nasal deformities,” says the expert.
Clearing your nasal passages before bedtime can indeed promote better sleep quality and potentially reduce snoring. ‘Nasal congestion can disrupt your sleep by obstructing proper breathing through your nose, necessitating mouth breathing, leading to snoring, and, in some instances, even contributing to sleep apnea,” adds the doctor.
Benefits of cleaning your nose
Inculcating good bedtime habits can improve our sleep quality by a huge margin. One such habit can be clearing a blocked nose. Here’s why it may be important.
1. Enhanced airflow
Clearing your nose before bedtime helps ensure unobstructed airflow through your nasal passages. When your nose is congested, you’re more likely to breathe through your mouth, which can lead to snoring and disrupted sleep.
2. Improved oxygenation
“Nasal breathing allows better oxygen absorption in your body in comparison to mouth breathing. This can result in more restorative sleep and improved overall health,” says the expert.
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3. Reduction in snoring
The expert says, “Nasal congestion gives can lead to snoring. By clearing your nose, you reduce the likelihood of snoring, which can lead to a quieter and more peaceful night’s sleep for both you and your partner”.
4. Reduced sleep apnea risk
Chronic nasal congestion can put you on a high risk of sleep apnea. By addressing congestion, you may lower your chances of developing this serious sleep disorder.
5. Less discomfort
As per the expert, “A congested nose can lead to discomfort and disrupted sleep. Clearing your nose can alleviate this discomfort and make it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night”.
How to reduce snoring and improve sleep quality?
Here are some remedies from the expert. He shares ways to clean our nose!
1. Saline nasal rinse
“Use a saline nasal rinse or nasal irrigation solution to clear mucus and congestion from your nasal passages. This can provide immediate relief and improve airflow,” suggests the expert.
2. Nasal strips
Over-the-counter nasal strips can help widen your nostrils, making it easier to breathe through your nose. They are a non-invasive option to reduce snoring.
Using a humidifier in your bedroom can add moisture to the air, preventing your nasal passages from drying out and becoming congested.
4. Elevate your head
The expert reckons, “Sleeping with your head slightly elevated can encourage nasal breathing and reduce the chances of snoring. You can achieve this by using a wedge pillow or by adjusting the head of your bed”.
5. Allergy management
Allergies can contribute to nasal congestion. Identify and manage allergens in your bedroom, such as dust mites or pet dander, to reduce nighttime congestion.
6. Nasal decongestants
“Use over-the-counter or prescribed nasal decongestant sprays sparingly and under the guidance of a healthcare professional. These can provide temporary relief, but overuse can lead to dependency and worsen congestion over time,” the expert reckons.
Remember that persistent nasal congestion may be a symptom of an underlying medical condition, and it is advisable to consult a doctor if the problem persists or worsens.