5 ways to kick the snoring habit

In the last Daily Dose, I warned you about a possible connection between nighttime snoring and oxygen deprivation, which some new research has linked to the onset of Alzheimer's disease

But there's good news, too. In a lot of cases, there are ways snorers can curb - or even eliminate - a lot of their nighttime "wood-sawing." Among these:

LOSE WEIGHT - The trimmer and healthier you are, the less your lungs and windpipe become obstructed or bent all out of whack by your slumbering body. This means more oxygen in, and less problems later.

CONTROL ALLERGIES - Anything you can do to minimize the effects to your respiratory system from allergens in your home's atmosphere is a good idea. Buy top-quality hypo-allergenic air filters for your home's heating/AC system, avoid spending too much time outdoors during allergy season, and take vitamins and supplements to help your system fight back against allergies.

HUMIDIFY YOUR AIR - The vast majority of homes heated with forced air are vastly too dry. This can wreak havoc with your respiratory system. Install a whole-house humidifier into your furnace ducts. It's worth the $500 or so for peaceful, restful nights.

SLEEP ON YOUR SIDE - Many snorers stop the racket simply by learning to sleep on their sides instead of their backs. Sometimes a different pillow (I use one made of buckwheat husks that's great) or mattress can help this to feel more comfortable. Some folks have great luck by sewing a tennis ball into a pocket on the back of their sleep-shirt at about shoulder-blade level! HAVE YOUR UVULA SNIPPED - I'm normally not one to recommend surgery, but having your uvula (that little piece of skin that dangles from your soft palate) removed is a simple in- and-out procedure at the doc's office, and it really can help curb snoring. Look into it. (Yes, that's a last-ditch measure - before your spouse throws you out on the street.)

Bottom line: If you want to give yourself the best chance at dodging a lot of health issues (or just give your wife some peace at night), try any or all of these things to beat snoring. Even if it isn't conclusively linked to Alzheimer's, your reward will be better, more restful sleep. Oh, and gentlemen: It looks like there's at least one other VERY worthwhile reward to getting a great night's sleep