Nothing is more irritating than your sleep being disturbed by an annoying sound by your bed partner which we call snoring. It is a condition that can affect anyone but it mostly happens in men and people who are overweight. In this article, Dr Dennis Chua, a top ENT doctor in Singapore will give us food and lifestyle tips to manage snoring.
Fast facts about Snoring
What is Snoring?
Snoring is noisy breathing while sleeping due to obstructed air movement through the airways. Sometimes the noise may be soft but mostly it can be loud and unpleasant. When we age, it gets worst due to excess weight and lifestyle factors that affect the airways and the throat muscles. Although we think that snoring is normal, it can be a sign of a more serious health problem.
Causes of Snoring
- Blocked Nasal Airways – allergy or sinus infection which blocks your airways can cause snoring.
- Bulky throat tissue – this is caused by being overweight. Children who have large tonsils make snoring sounds too.
- Sleeping position – it can make you snore if you sleep on your back.
- Sleep deprivation – of course, if you lack sleep and too tired, you are likely to snore.
- Throat weakness – causes the throat to close when sleeping.
- Alcohol and drug use- drinking alcoholic drinks or taking drugs such as muscle relaxers that make your tongue and throat more relaxed can cause snoring.
Get to know a top ENT doctor in Singapore
There are many good ENT doctors in Singapore and one of them is Dr Dennis Chua. Aside from being an ENT doctor, he is also International Board Certified in Facial Plastics and Reconstructive Surgery. He has more than 15 years of medical experience in treating ENT patients mostly with sinus diseases, breathing issues like sleep apnea, snoring problems, thyroid diseases, and facial plastics and reconstructive surgery. He was given numerous awards and published several peers reviewed journals and textbooks on ENT and facial plastics conditions.
Food and lifestyle tips to manage snoring
To get a good night’s sleep, here are some food and lifestyle tips to manage snoring from a top ENT doctor in Singapore, Dr Dennis Chua.
- Lose weight: You can reduce snoring or eliminate it when you lose weight. Fatty tissues make your throat narrow which causes you to snore. Especially if you have a double chin or triple chin. Losing weight will shrink your neck size by an inch or two, that may help reduce your snoring.
- Sleep on your side, not your back: Sleeping on your back causes you to snore because the tongue drops to the back of the mouth and blocks the airways. If you are not used to sleeping n your side, try some tricks like putting a pillow on your side to make your sideways sleeping steady.
- Do not smoke: Smoking especially second-hand smoking causes congestion in the lungs and nasal passages. If you stop smoking, it is not only snoring problems you will be able to solve, other bad effects of smoking will be also terminated.
- Exercise: Do some work out to tone the tissues that are too relaxed that causes you snore.
- Use a firm pillow: A very soft pillow cannot support your head which causes your tongue to fall backwards and block your airways. Use a firm pillow that can support your head.
- Avoid sleeping pills: these drugs increase snoring because it makes the throat muscle relaxed.
- Elevate your head: It will make our breathing easier if you elevate your head when you sleep. It also positions your jaw and tongue forward to avoid airways from being blocked.
- Make a sleep schedule: To avoid sleep deprivation, make a sleep schedule and stick to it. This will also help eliminate snoring.
Tips on food and drinks
- Eat healthily. To help you lose weight, eat healthy foods rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to help your body be in better shape. Load up on whole foods, fruits and vegetables.
- Avoid heavy meals at night: The process of digestion relaxes the throat and tongue muscles which causes you to snore. Also, avoid high-fat dairy products before sleeping.
- Keep away from eating spicy foods at night: Spicy foods can lead to indigestion which causes snoring.
- No to alcohol before bedtime: The throat muscles relax when you take alcoholic drinks. It restricts airflow and causes snoring.
Bonus tips on how to manage snoring
Aside from these tips, Dr Dennis Chua has other ways of treating snoring. Here is the list of other possible options to eliminate snoring:
- Medications to treat conditions like allergic rhinitis
- Surgery in selected cases where the nasal passages are narrow
- Use of Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine
- Oral appliances or sports mouthguard
If the snoring is constant and none of these tips were able to manage it, then I believe it is time for you to consult an ENT Doctor. A top ENT doctor in Singapore like Dr Dennis Chua will be able to help you with your snoring problem.
Dr Dennis Chua – ENT Specialist Singapore
3 Mount Elizabeth, #08-02 Medical Centre,
+65 6235 3886