How to stop Snoring

  • 1 Oct 2010
  • Reading time 4 mins
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The cause of many a spouse’s sleepless night, snoring is a common complaint that may have a cure in the pioneering work of a Russian doctor and his self-titled Buteyko breathing method. By Patrick McKeown.

Essentially snoring is noisy breathing during sleep caused by the exchange of a large volume of air through a narrowed space which in turn causes the tissues of the nose and throat to vibrate. Snoring is simply a sound that is created from turbulent airflow. It can affect any member of the family, regardless of size, from granny to toddler. An estimated 45% of men and 30% of women habitually snore. While most treatments are aimed at expanding the airways – nasal decongestants, nasal strips, surgery, dental appliances etc. – the goal of the Buteyko Method, developed almost half a century ago by Dr Konstantin Buteyko, is to unblock the nose and correct breathing volume to normal levels.

The question to ask is whether you would snore if your breathing is calm and quiet? Healthy non-snorers breathe quietly through their nose. Their sleep is deep, undisturbed and they wake up refreshed. Persons who breathe heavily during the night experience a wide array of symptoms such as snoring, sleep apnoea, disrupted sleep, insomnia, needing to visit the toilet during the night, waking up fatigued with a dry mouth and a possible blocked nose.

All snorers breathe heavily. The clinical term for overbreathing is chronic hyperventilation which simply means breathing a volume of air greater than bodily requirements. Breathing too much is a habit and can be recognised by mouth breathing, regular sighs or sniffing, audible breathing, upper chest breathing and visible breathing. Snorers will either snore through their mouth, their nose or both their nose and mouth. Mouth snoring is the easier of the two to address. It stops when one learns to breathe through their nose during sleep. I teach the Buteyko breathing technique all over the world and participants in our courses are encouraged to use paper tape placed across the mouth to ensure nasal breathing during sleep. While this may sound off the wall, you will be very surprised at how easy it is to do and even more surprised at the improvements it will make to your night’s sleep. You will find instruction below.

Nose snoring stops when one unblocks the nose and corrects breathing volume to normal levels. By learning how to unblock the nose, switching to nasal breathing and normalising breathing volume, breathing will be quiet, calm and still throughout the night and nasal snoring will cease. This ......

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