How to Prevent Snoring on an Airplane
Snoring on an airplane is an especially frustrating problem. If you have ever ridden in an airplane and sat in the same cabin as a snorer, then you likely realize just how ‘off-putting’ it is for the other passengers.
But as bad as that experience is, being the one who snores on the plane is even worse. Face it. There is nothing quite like feeling the disdainful looks of every single person in that cabin when you finally wake up. Plus, if you are snoring, there is also a chance that your nap isn’t even leaving you as well-rested as you could be—and that is also a problem. Plus, researchers have reported that flying can put even more strain on the hearts of those who suffer from sleep apnea.
So what can you do about it? How can you avoid snoring on the plane when the time comes to catch a nap during the flight?
Snoring on an Airplane: Understanding the Problem
Believe it or not, snoring and sleep apnea can actually be worse during a flight. This mostly has to do with the atmospheric conditions that exist within airplane cabins. When you fly, the oxygen and pressure levels of your environment can change. Add to this the fact that your heart has to work harder to keep your body oxygenated while flying, and it is not difficult to see why these problems (problems with snoring) can be worse while in the air.
There are some experts who actually recommend avoiding napping on a plane if you are prone to suffering from sleep apnea, which isn’t necessarily a surprise. They also recommend paying attention to your heart rate. If it starts to increase, you might want to take a few deep belly-breaths, and try to relax—which can help your heart to ‘catch up’ on the extra work that it has to do to keep your body oxygenated.
This is even more true of people who are obese. Obesity compounds most snoring problems, and flying compounds them even further—so it is not surprising that those who are overweight are at an increased risk for complications.
But what if you can’t avoid sleeping? How can you avoid snoring in these cases?
Get a C-Pillow
You can buy these types of pillows online or from many large retail chain stores. They are helpful because they can help to support your head and neck while you nap, which can be super helpful in a cramped airplane cabin.
But really, any pillow that can help to support your head and neck could help. The point is to avoid having your neck turned or stressed in such a way that snoring happens because of airway restriction.
Avoid Drinking Alcohol on the Plane
Alcohol consumption increases the odds of snoring and/or sleep apnea, because it further relaxes the muscles of the body and makes it even more difficult for the soft tissues of the upper airway to remain tight and ‘out of the way’ during sleep.
For this reason, avoiding alcoholic beverages will help you to decrease your odds of snoring while in flight.
Treat Your Allergies
Using a saline nasal spray, rinsing your nasal passages out with a neti pot, or taking medication for your allergies before you fly can really help you to decrease the odds of snoring due to inflamed nasal passages.
If allergies are not the problem, this might not help as much, but it is something to keep in mind.
Try a Stop-Snoring Device
Products like nasal dilators, nasal strips, or even mandibular advancement devices (the types of devices you might wear at home) are all possible solutions to mid-flight snoring problems. You can even pick up some nasal strips just for the occasion, and keep them in your carry-on in case you end up deciding to take a nap.