Search IconSearch
August 15, 2022/Living Healthy/Sleep

How To Stop Snoring

Try these home remedies, like nasal sprays and propping your head, for a peaceful slumber

couple in bed woman snoring

Snort. Wheeze. Roar. If someone in your bedroom snores, there’s no ignoring it.


Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy

Snoring can be irritating to loved ones trying to catch some ZZZs. But it can also be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea, a potentially serious condition that causes repeated pauses in breathing during the night.

“Snoring and apnea often go hand in hand,” says ear, nose and throat physician Tony Reisman, MD.

Dr. Reisman explains why it’s important to root out the cause of your snoring — and how to squash the problem so everyone can get some rest.

What causes snoring?

Anyone — men, women, even children — can snore.

“Snoring is actually quite common in kids,” Dr. Reisman says.

But it tends to be more common in men and people assigned male at birth (AMAB) and who have overweight or obesity. And it often gets worse as you get older.

Snoring happens when breathing is blocked during sleep. As air tries to push through the soft tissues, they vibrate — causing the telltale honks and snorts that make your significant other threaten to banish you from the bedroom.

Some people are just natural-born snorers. But often, snoring is caused by an underlying condition like:

  • Obesity.
  • Structural problems in your nose, like a deviated septum.
  • Enlarged tonsils or adenoids.
  • Chronic congestion and stuffiness.

Snoring and sleep apnea

Snoring by itself isn’t harmful. But it can be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea. This sleep disorder causes you to stop breathing for a few seconds at a time, over and over, night after night.

If you have sleep apnea, you likely wake up after a night’s sleep still feeling tired. You might be drowsy during the day and have trouble concentrating at work or school. Some people nod off during the day, increasing the risk of car crashes or work-related accidents.

For people with sleep apnea, treating snoring is a matter of health. If left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to serious health problems, including:

  • High blood pressure.
  • Stroke.
  • Diabetes.
  • Heart problems, including heart failure and heart attacks.


Home remedies for snoring

There are several ways to address snoring, depending on what’s causing it. Here are some at-home remedies to help you stop snoring naturally.

Work toward a healthy weight

“Extra weight is one of the primary causes of snoring in both children and adults,” Dr. Reisman says. During sleep, fatty tissue in your neck can press on your throat, blocking the airways when your throat muscles relax. Losing weight can literally take the pressure off.

Relieve stuffiness

In people with chronic nasal congestion, medications like antihistamines or steroid nasal sprays can help you breathe easy — and turn down the dial on the nighttime noise.

Change your position

Try propping up the head of your bed. And snoozing on your side instead of your back may also cause less snoring. (Weird but true: Some people swear by sewing a tennis ball to the back of their shirt to keep them from rolling onto their back at night.)

Open your nose

Opening your nasal passages at night can help cut down on snoring. Adhesive nasal strips placed on the bridge of your nose lift your nostrils open to improve airflow. Another option is nasal dilators, which you insert into your nostrils to expand the nasal opening. Both strips and dilators are inexpensive and easy to find at the drugstore.

Stop smoking

Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your health. In addition to a decrease in your blood pressure and an increase in your energy levels, it can help reduce your snoring. Why? It improves your nasal congestion, which has a ripple effect on your snoring.

Reduce or eliminate alcohol

In general, banishing the brews before bed is a good idea for sleep quality. For snoring, it’s especially helpful. Alcohol may cause relaxation of the airway muscles while you sleep, so avoid it for several hours before bedtime.

Doctor-approved ways to stop snoring

If tennis balls and nasal strips don’t do the trick — or if you have symptoms of sleep apnea — talk to a doctor about these proven remedies that address both snoring and apnea:


Embrace the CPAP

Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is considered the gold standard treatment for sleep apnea and snoring. You wear a mask over your nose or mouth that blows air into your airways while you sleep. The pressurized air keeps your airways open while you doze.

In the past, the devices were bulky and uncomfortable and had a less-than-stellar reputation. But they’ve come a long way, Dr. Reisman says.

“Today’s machines are streamlined, small and quiet, with different attachments to make them comfortable,” he adds. “It can take a little time to get used to it, but it solves the snoring and sleep apnea problem immediately.”

Get fitted for an oral appliance

If a CPAP doesn’t agree with you, an oral appliance can bring you snoring relief. These mouthguard-style devices hold the lower jaw forward while you sleep — a posture that helps the airway stay open.

Though some over-the-counter varieties are available, Dr. Reisman recommends going to a dentist or oral surgeon for an appliance customized for your mouth.

“A badly fitting appliance can strain the jaw and trade one problem for another,” he notes.

Consider surgery

Depending on the cause of your snoring, surgery can help. Procedures include:

  • Deviated septum repair. The septum is the bone and cartilage between your nostrils. Sometimes, it’s crooked. “When this happens, it can block airflow on one side of the nose,” Dr. Reisman says. “Correcting the deviated septum with surgery can improve snoring.”
  • Turbinate reduction. “Inside your nose are structures called turbinates, which warm, clean and humidify the air you breathe,” Dr. Reisman explains. They can also become enlarged. Surgery to reduce turbinates can improve airflow and cut down on snores.
  • Tonsil and adenoid removal. Tonsils and adenoids are bulky tissue in the back of your throat and nose, which can cause airway obstruction and lead to snoring — especially in children. Removing them can help.
  • Uvula/palate surgery. A large uvula — the soft tissue that dangles from the edge of your soft palate — can lead to snoring. “Surgery to remove the uvula and/or a portion of the soft palate can improve snoring and apnea,” Dr. Reisman explains.
  • Implantable nerve stimulator. This treatment involves surgery to place an implant alongside nerves in your throat. Surgeons implant a pacemaker-like device into your chest. The device monitors your breathing and stimulates your throat muscles to open the airways, preventing apnea.


When it’s time for snoring treatment

It’s easy to ignore snoring — after all, it happens when you’re asleep. But if your significant other has banished you to the guest room, it’s probably time to weigh your options.

To get to the bottom of your nighttime noisemaking, talk to a doctor. They can look for underlying causes like chronic congestion or nasal obstruction. Your doctor may recommend a sleep study. You spend the night in a sleep lab so doctors can monitor you while you slumber.

“It’s important to get a comprehensive workup to find out what’s causing your snoring,” Dr. Reisman says. “If you have apnea, make sure to get the treatment you need to take care of your long-term health.”


Learn more about our editorial process.

Related Articles

Person sleeping as alarm clock goes off
July 8, 2024/Sleep
Sleep Inertia: What It Is and How To Get Rid of It

A morning routine called RISE-UP may cut down the time you spend groggy and disoriented after waking up

Happy couple sleeping in bed together, holding hands
June 3, 2024/Sleep
The Scandinavian Sleep Method: A Surprisingly Simple Fix for Couples Struggling With Blanket-Hogging

Sleeping with separate blankets can help you get the ZZZs you need — without fighting for covers all night

Person sitting on bed in pjs with head in hand, eyes closed
May 29, 2024/Sleep
Here’s What Happens When You Don’t Get Enough Sleep

Stress, weight gain and forgetfulness are just a few effects of losing sleep

Person in bed experiencing nightmares
May 22, 2024/Sleep
7 Reasons You’re Having Nightmares

Stress, alcohol, sleep apnea and (you guessed it!) scary movies are a few common causes of bad dreams

Person sitting in chair writing in tablet
May 21, 2024/Sleep
Should You Be Keeping a Dream Journal?

Recording your dreams may help you become more mindful, understand your thought patterns, process your emotions and even reduce your stress

Person sitting in bed in the evening, reading a book, with cup of tea on bedside table
May 15, 2024/Sleep
Restless? Try These Bedtime Teas for Better Sleep

Chamomile, lavender and valerian root teas may offer a faster route to dreamland

Person asleep in bed, talking in their sleep
May 3, 2024/Sleep
Why Do People Talk in Their Sleep?

Many factors can contribute to sleep talking, like stress or anxiety, lack of or low-quality sleep, or even more serious sleep-related conditions

Young child in bed reading at night
May 2, 2024/Children's Health
Nighty-Night: Tips To Get Your Kid To Stay In Bed

A consistent, structured routine, which may include incentives, can help children learn to stay in bed and get the ZZZs they need

Trending Topics

Female and friend jogging outside
How To Increase Your Metabolism for Weight Loss

Focus on your body’s metabolic set point by eating healthy foods, making exercise a part of your routine and reducing stress

stovetop with stainless steel cookware and glassware
5 Ways Forever Chemicals (PFAS) May Affect Your Health

PFAS chemicals may make life easier — but they aren’t always so easy on the human body

jar of rice water and brush, with rice scattered around table
Could Rice Water Be the Secret To Healthier Hair?

While there’s little risk in trying this hair care treatment, there isn’t much science to back up the claims