If you look at articles on home remedies for snoring, one that comes up commonly is drinking more water. It’s unlikely that dehydration is really making much of a contribution to your snoring, but there is little harm in making sure you’re not dehydrated before bed.
People who support this theory say that dehydration contributes to snoring because it makes the mucus in your nose, mouth, and throat more viscous. This, they say, causes blockage in your throat, which leads to the narrowed airway that causes vibration.
Certainly, this is possible. You know how your breathing is impacted when you are phlegmy from a cold, and sometimes it can cause you to make snoring sounds. But based on how infrequently it occurs, it does seem unlikely that it’s a major cause of snoring.
Consider, too, how your breathing is affected when you’re dehydrated and awake. Again, there’s an effect, but it’s very slight.
If dehydration does contribute to your snoring, it’s most likely just one more factor out of many, and staying properly hydrated won’t lead to much of an improvement.
So why do so many people insist on the connection?
Most likely, the notion that dehydration leads to snoring comes from a number of overlapping conditions. Consider that many people who snore will breathe through their mouth. This dries out their mucus membranes so that they wake up with a dry mouth and throat. If they know they snore, they might attribute the snoring to their dry mouth and throat.
Smoking is a major contributor to snoring. It not only dries out the mucus membranes, it causes inflammation in the mouth and throat. This narrows the airway, and the combination of the two can lead to snoring.
Alcohol consumption also contributes to snoring risk. Alcohol not only leads to dehydration, it causes muscles in the head and neck to relax–including those that support the airway. This makes the airway narrow and increases the risk of snoring. Those that snore when they drink might think it’s due to the dehydration.
Little Harm in Staying Hydrated
Of course, there’s little harm in staying hydrated, if you do it properly. First, ignore any advice that tells you to specifically drink a certain amount of water. Instead, follow your body’s signals for the best guide. If your urine is dark in color, drink more water. If you feel thirsty, drink more water. And if you exert yourself more than usual or spend time in a hot or dry area, drink a little more.
It’s okay to drink a little water before going to bed, but make sure it’s not too much. You don’t want to be waking up to urinate in the middle of the night.
But, as is likely, if this doesn’t resolve your snoring, maybe it’s time to get professional snoring treatment. In Detroit, please call (248) 825-8277 today for an appointment with a sleep dentist at the Michigan Center for TMJ & Sleep Wellness.