Snoringis not an uncommon phenomenon – it happened to all of us, at least once. But if it happens on a daily basis, then it’s a problem. You feel tired and nervous, and your partner as well if you keep them awake all night, thus causing relationship problems in addition to health problems. You find it hard to concentrate on your daily tasks, and more seriously, you are in greater risk of high blood pressure and heart conditions. Lucky for you (and your partner) there are effective solutions that can put a stop on this annoying nightly habit.
What happens in our bodies when we snore?
According to National Sleep Foundation 1, approximately 90 million Americans snore, while 37 million snores regularly. People who are overweight, people who have enlarged tonsils or tongue are more likely to snore. In addition to that, the older you get, the more likely you are to snore, as your throat becomes narrower. Also, if you have sinus problems, smoke, consume alcohol, or sleep on your back regularly, you are more prone to snoring.
Normally, when we sleep, the air we inhale goes through the mouth or nose all the way to the lungs. If this passage of air is partially blocked it causes the surrounding tissue of the soft palate and uvula to vibrate thus creating that familiar annoying snoring sound. When you are awake, the muscles in your throat hold the tissue and stop it from vibrating. However, when you sleep, those muscles relax, making it possible for you to snore.
What are the possible causes of snoring?
Your weight might be the reason you are snoring
People who are overweight have thicker throat tissue, because as when they gain weight, they also gain weight in the neck, thus blocking the air flow and consequently causing snoring. So, even if you never snored before, if you gained some weight, don’t be surprised if you start snoring.
You might be genetically predisposed to snoring
If you are born with extra throat tissue, enlarged tonsils, tongue, soft palate, or large uvula, that creates perfect conditions for snoring.
People who consume alcohol or smoke are more prone to snoring
As mentioned before, when your throat muscles are relaxed, you may snore – and consuming alcohol before going to sleep will definitely relax those muscles.
Another risk factor for snoring is smoking. According to a study published in American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 2, habitual snoring was more prevalent among smokers, and also in never-smokers exposed to passive smoking on a daily basis.
Your sleep position and allergies are also the cause of snoring
If your nose becomes stuffed due to an allergy, you will be forced to breathe through your mouth and most likely snore. Also, sleeping on your back will cause the throat muscles to relax and cause snoring.
What You Can Do To Stop Snoring?
The most important issue when finding a remedy for snoring is to identify what’s causing it and then look for the cure accordingly. If the problem doesn’t stop and it starts affecting your daily life, you should better seek for medical advice.
1. Keeping an eye on your weight
If you noticed that you started snoring after you gained weight, then the solution for your problem would be to reduce your weight and thus reduce the fatty tissue in your throat that is blocking the air passage.
2. Bedtime drinking is a no-no and quit smoking
Since alcohol relaxes throat muscles and consequently obstruct breathing, avoid consuming it before bedtime. Also, if you are a smoker and a regular snorer, you might consider kicking this habit if it interferes with good night sleep.
3. Bedroom Hygiene: change your sleeping position and change your pillow regularly
As sleeping on your back causes you to snore, try using a pillow or some other obstacle to prevent you from turning on your back.
If you are allergic, you should clean pillows regularly and change them every six month to keep allergens away and thus avoid having a stuffy nose.
4. Keep Yourself Hydrated Can Help Too!
If you don’t take enough fluid and are dehydrated, it can lead to more intense secretion in your nose and soft palate, and intensify the snoring. So make sure you take enough water during the day, and you may avoid sleepless nights.
5. Clear your nasal passage so you can breathe properly
If you have a stuffy nose due to a cold, or you have congestion due to other reasons, there are some things you can do to clear the passage. You can take a hot shower or use some essential oils, such as eucalyptus oil in a steam inhaler to open the nasal passage.
6. Use oral appliances to help you breathe
You can consult your dentist for wearing a small plastic device that lifts your soft palate and keep the tongue from falling back and causing the blockage of the air passage.
You might consider making lifestyle changes to stop snoring
If you want to eliminate snoring, you might need to consider making some changes and eliminating certain habits that are unhealthy and only worsening your problem.
Poor sleeping habits, such as not getting enough sleep regularly lead to snoring. You need to establish approximate time when you are going to bed so that you could have enough sleep.
Also, you need to consider incorporating physical activities into your everyday schedule, even if you didn’t gain weight, as it helps toning muscles in your body, including throat muscles.
You need to take care what you eat before you go to bed, as some foods might worsen your snoring, such as dairy products or soymilk, so don’t consume them before going to bed.