By treating yourself without consulting a doctor, you may be overlooking a dangerous health condition. If you have moderate to severe sleep apneain which a person's airway becomes obstructed while they sleep, causing them to snore, stop breathing, and gasp for air while sleepingyou may need a prescription medical device or surgery to fix the problem.
From nasal strips and sprays to acupressure finger rings, there are more than 300 patents for snoring aids in existence. Products that target specific causes of snoring, such as nasal congestion or sleeping on your back, may help if you can target the reason for your own case, says David Rapoport, MD, medical director of the Sleep Disorders Center at New York University.
"About a quarter of our sleep apnea patients have either less or no snoring when they're on their sides," says Jed Black, MD, director of the Stanford Sleep Disorders Clinic. To keep from rolling back over, some snorers wear soft backpacks to bed or stuff a tennis ball into a sock and sew it to the back of their sleep shirt.
Avoid alcohol, antihistamines, and tranquilizing drugswhich depress your central nervous system and loosen your throat musclesfor at least three hours before bedtime. Run a humidifier to keep your throat moist. And if you're overweight, losing a few pounds might help open your airways. These and other lifestyle changes are often more effective than anything you'll find in the drugstore, says Dr. Rapoport.