Stop Snoring with these Remedies to Help Nose Breathing
Nasal blockage and mouth-breathing are very common causes of snoring.
If you have a blocked nose or persistently breathe through your mouth when you sleep, you might find you are snoring more as a result.
There are two types of mouth-breathing snorers:
- Snorers with a blocked nose
- Snorers with a clear nose who cannot sleep with their mouth closed
Thankfully, whether you have a blocked nose or simply keep opening your mouth in your sleep, there are multiple remedies that can help you.
Solutions for snorers with a blocked nose
There are lots of causes of a blocked nose. Allergies, colds, pollution, hormones and even the weather can give you a stuffy nose and make you snore as a result.
Thankfully, there are several ways to treat your blocked nose.
Medicated nasal sprays work by reducing inflammation or constricting the blood vessels in your nose to create more space. There are several different types, some recommend for regular use, whereas others should only be used occasionally. In all cases remember to read the instructions.
Saline nasal sprays are non-medicated. Instead, they are a mixture of water and salt which moisturise your nasal passages to soothe inflammation and break down excess mucus.
To learn more about the different types of nasal spray and what is best for you, check out SnoreLab’s guide to nasal sprays for snoring.
Nasal dilators mechanically open your nasal passages. Internal dilators prop open your nostrils whereas external strips use a springboard action to pull open your nasal valves.
These have the advantage of being non-medicated and demonstrating benefits instantly. Each type has its relative merits so for more information about whether they are suitable for you, read our summary of nasal strips and dilators for snoring.
Neti pots are devices used to flush out your nasal passages. Often resembling a small teapot, you use these to pour salt water through your nasal cavity.
This undervalued snoring remedy reduces nasal congestion by:
- Soothing inflamed tissue. Reducing inflammation widens the nasal passages.
- Flushing out allergens and other potential irritants.
- Breaking down and clears excess mucus.
Neti pots are made of different materials and need to be used and cleaned properly. Be sure to read our guide to buying and using neti pots.
Air purifiers can help snoring triggered by allergies and pollution.
These use internal fans to pull in the air and the harmful particles it contains. Once drawn inside the device, the particles are either trapped in a filter or are treated to stick to surfaces as opposed to floating around in the air.
There are many shapes, sizes and features, so check out our full article on air purifiers for snoring to get the best one for you.
Solutions for mouth-breathing snorers
If you can breathe clearly through your nose, but frequently wake up with a dry mouth and a sore throat (and usually, some drool on the pillow!), it is likely that you sleep with an open mouth.
There are a number of different remedies to help you make the healthier, quieter switch to nasal breathing.
Mouth taping holds your mouth closed to promote nasal breathing.
We recommend using specialist, medical-grade mouth tapes specifically designed for use on skin. This means they are safe to use and easy to remove.
A market leader in mouth taping is SomniFix mouth strips, as seen on ABC’s Shark Tank! SomniFix strips are hypoallergenic, can be painlessly removed without leaving a sticky residue, and have a small mesh vent to allow limited mouth breathing if necessary.
Shields fit behind your lips but in front of your teeth to prevent mouth breathing. Products such as the SnoreLab recommended Somnipax Shield can also be custom moulded and have small holes to allow a little mouth breathing if necessary.
Chin straps are another effective, if a little cumbersome, way to keep your mouth closed at night. You usually wear these under your chin and around the top of your head.
Mouthpieces can be particularly effective if your snoring is has multiple causes. If mouth breathing plays a role but isn’t the sole cause, mouthpieces not only promote healthier nasal breathing but also bring jaw forward to tighten the slack airway tissue responsible for snoring.
There are many anti-snoring mouthpieces available. To understand how they work, the different types and what might be most suitable for you read SnoreLab’s overview of anti-snoring mouthpieces.
Similar to other anti-snoring mouthpieces, tongue retainers effectively block the mouth breathing route. In addition to this, they also work by holding your tongue forward to prevent it blocking your airway. We recommend the Good Morning Snore Solution for open mouth snorers whose tongues block their airway.
The science bit – mouth breathing vs. nasal breathing
Mouth breathing can cause snoring
You may notice that when you have a cold, you snore more. This is because with a nose full of nasties, you need to switch to mouth breathing.
Sleeping with an open mouth makes snoring more likely. This is due to several reasons:
Your airway is narrowed. An open mouth causes your throat to compress as your tongue falls further back into your airway and the open space behind your tongue and soft palate is reduced.
Inhaled air is turbulent. Directly inhaled air vibrates the soft tissues at the back of your mouth
Your airway dries out. This is because mouth breathing doesn’t humidify incoming air like nasal breathing does.
You are more susceptible to breathing in harmful things. Unlike nasal breathing, mouth breathing doesn’t trap allergens and bugs which can in turn worsen your snoring.
Why should you breathe through your nose?
Nasal breathing not only lowers your snoring risk but has other health benefits too:
Snoring reduction. Nasal breathing warms and humidifies incoming air, helping to prevent your airways drying out. It also channels air over your snoring noise-makers in a less turbulent way than mouth breathing does.
More comfortable sleep. By treating the air, your nose prevents the frequent awakenings you may experience from having a dry mouth.
Better filtration. The mucus and many folds within your nasal cavities do a great job of trapping potentially harmful invaders such as allergens and viruses/bacteria. These, in addition to making you feel terrible, can worsen your snoring.
Proper ventilation. Nasal breathing reduces the chance of hyperventilation – over-breathing with frequent, shallow breaths. Proper ventilation leads to optimum oxygen/carbon dioxide balance, allowing for improved blood oxygen saturation .
Enhanced nitric oxide inhalation. Nitric oxide (NO) has often been termed “the mighty molecule” . Produced in the nose and sinuses, nasal breathing helps push this molecule into the lungs where it can exert its benefits. Here, it expands your blood vessels to reduce blood pressure and the associated risks .