Snoring is embarrassing enough when you are at home with guests or if you are sleeping at someone else’s house. Imagine if you are in a long haul flight surrounded by strangers! A lot of people who snore ask how to avoid snoring on a plane. If you snore loudly, your neighboring passengers will be inconvenienced and may even complain. Let’s not even talk about what could happen if someone takes a video of you and posts it on social media!
Why Do We Snore?
We can blame our snores on obstructions in our airways that hinder the smooth and steady passage of air to and from our lungs. These blockages create vibrations as the air forces its way through them. The obstructions are due to a variety of factors like your sleeping position, anatomical abnormalities, obesity, congestion, and sleeping disorders.
Snoring on an airplane should be a cause for concern since you are usually in a sitting position. The gravity that causes your tongue, jaw, and soft palate to sag, blocking your throat, will not influence your muscles. Normally, you should not be snoring on a plane if you are sleeping in an upright position. If you have a deviated septum or polyps in your nasal passages, these can cause snoring. Obesity can also cause blockage in and around your throat and abdomen, constricting the passage of air, making breathing difficult when you are sitting in an upright position, trying to sleep. Having a cold or allergies can also cause you to snore whether you are on a bed or in an upright position on a flight. Congestion can block your nasal airways, influencing you to snore.
Aside from these, sleep apnea disorder can also be a cause for snoring loudly and erratically on a flight. This particular sleeping disorder causes your respiration to be erratic, it may even stop your breathing for a few seconds, causing you to gasp and choke in your slumber. The result is a barrage of alarming noises that can disrupt other passengers’ slumber.
How To Avoid Snoring on A Plane
The best thing that you can do is to address the source of your snoring before you even get on a plane. If you are aware that you snore or may have sleep apnea, do something about it as early as possible. This advice is sound especially if you frequently fly for business or pleasure.
Medication to address your allergies or a cold can also help to clear up congestion and get you to sleep peacefully. There are some medicines, though, that can relax you too much and cause you to snore. Please check with your sleep specialist or doctor which one suits your needs.
There are also oral appliances that can inhibit the occurrence of snoring. Mouthpieces that help to reduce your snores are small and discreet enough to bring on a flight. These can be used if you recline your seat to mimic a supine sleeping position. There are also nose appliances or devices that can help to reduce snoring if you have a deviated septum or narrow nostrils.
A CPAP machine can also be of great help for long haul flights where you need to sleep and wish to not disturb your fellow passengers with your snores. There are portable machines that can be brought on board that does not make much noise. Do clear it with your airline of choice if you can bring a device or machine on board and use it.
Try to reduce your alcohol intake a few days before you get on the plane as well as during your flight. Alcohol can have a relaxing effect that can cause your airways to narrow, your tongue to relax and block your throat as well as constrict your abdomen and neck.
For an enjoyable flight, consider the options above on how to avoid snoring on a plane. Prepare the things that you need for your snore-free adventure. You can also try them out a few days before your flight to ensure smooth sailing.