Mass media interest in snoring and/or sleep continued this week with the iconic Huffington Post tackling snoring—complete with a slide show of “celebrities who snore” and a top ten list of therapies.
“When you are snoring, you’re spending too much energy to breathe,” says M. Safwan Badr, MD, president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine in the article by blogger Sarah Klein. “Snoring is like fever for a general internist—it tells you something is going on, but it doesn’t tell you what.”
In the top ten therapies list, Klein advises readers to “skip” nasal strips, quoting Badr who says “these usually don’t work.” The rest of the list is as follows:
• Losing Weight: Excess weight can add tissue to the neck that presses and restricts airways, leading to the vibrations that produce snores, says Badr.
• Sleeping On Your Side: Because there’s greater pressure on the throat when you’re lying on your back, shifting to your side can really quiet that snore, says Badr.
• Sleep With A Humidifier: Consider it. If your snoring is due to nasal congestion or allergies, and your nasal congestion or allergies are worse in dry air, sleeping with a humidifier might help, says Badr.
• Saying No To A Nightcap: An occasional snorer may find the problem exacerbated by an adult beverage before bed, says Badr.
• Fancy Pillows: Skip ’em. While it’s true that different neck positions can expand or narrow the airways, chances are you’re not going to stay put throughout the night, says Badr.
• Nasal Valves: Consider it. The FDA has approved nasal valves for the treatment of sleep apnea, says Badr.
• Oral Devices: Consider one if you’ve exhausted other options, says Badr.
• Surgery: Consider it infrequently. “CPAP is the gold standard,” says Badr.