If you snore, you do not need to hang your head low: according to WeMB, you may be among the 45% of adults who have occasional snoring, and it’s nothing to worry about. However, chronic snoring is not just a nuisance to others; it can be detrimental to your overall health. Research indicates that chronic snoring could lead to daytime fatigue, irritability, and increased health problems. Additionally, loud snoring can strain your relationship with your better half.
While many think that sleeping in separate rooms is the only solution to snoring, there’re plenty of effective snoring solutions to help you have a fulfilling sleep.
What Causes Snoring?
Snoring happens when air flowing through your nose and throat is restricted and can’t move freely. The friction or rather contact between the air and surrounding tissues causes the relaxed tissues in your respiratory tract to vibrate and cause harsh, irritating snoring sounds.
The answer to finding the right solutions to a quieter and deeper sleep is first to understand what causes you to snore.
Below are the common causes of snoring:
- Age: As you age, your throat gets narrower and the muscle tone shrinks.
- Obesity: Fatty tissues and poor muscle tone generally contribute to snoring.
- Health conditions: if you’ve health issues, particularly on the respiratory tract, you can find yourself snoring.
- Alcohol, smoking, and medication: Consuming alcohol and certain medications can increase muscle relaxation leading to more snoring.
- Sleep posture: Some of the sleeping positions can restrict the movement of air.
Ruling out more serious causes
Snoring, however, may also be an indicator of a larger and serious underlying issue such as sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder where breathing is briefly interrupted many times each night. Normal sleeping does not interfere with the quality of your sleep, so if you find yourself with extreme fatigue and sleepiness during the day, it could be an indicator of sleep apnea or another sleep-related breathing problem.
- Some of the snoring red flags include;
- Snoring loudly and heavily and feeling tired during the day
- Stop of breath, gasping or choking during sleep
- Falling asleep at inappropriate and inconvenient times, such as during a meal or conversation
Below we look at some of the various steps that you can take to reduce snoring. The techniques entail a change of sleeping positions, using anti-snoring devices to seeking medical treatments.
1. Change sleeping position
Sleeping on your back sometimes makes your tongue and soft palate to collapse to the back of your throat, which partly blocks airflow causing a vibrating sound during sleep. Therefore, a side-sleep position is recommended to avoid snoring.
You can use a body pillow (a full-length pillow that supports your entire body) to provide an easy fix, as it allows you to maintain a side-sleeping position and can make a huge difference.
2. Use Anti-snoring devices
There’re plenty of gadgets and devices to stop snoring on the market today. Some of the gadgets include anti-snoring mouth appliances, which resemble an athlete’s mouth guard, and help to open your airway by bringing your tongue forward and pushing the lower jaw.
Other anti-snoring devices include nasal strips, which are placed on the bridge of the nose and help in increasing the space in the nasal passage. You can also choose a nasal dilator-a stiffened adhesive strip applied on top of the nose across the nostrils, decreases the airflow resistance, making it easier to breathe.
3. Lifestyle changes
Some of the unhealthy habits such as smoking and alcohol drinking can worsen your snoring. If you cannot quit altogether, limit your intake, and don’t smoke or drink before going to bed.
4. Lose weight
Adding a lot of weight, especially around your neck squeezes the internal diameter of the throat making it more likely to collapse during sleep triggering snoring. Although thin people snore too, if you gained weight and started snoring and did not snore before the weight gain, weight loss may help.
5. Seek medical help
If you’ve tried all the above strategies without success, then medical options could make all the difference. New advances in the medical domain have made treatment of snoring more effective and comfortable.
Some of the medical treatment for snoring include; somnoplasty, palatal implants, Laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty (LAUP), custom fitting of dental devices and lower jaw-positioners, or even surgical procedures.
A good night sleep is not impossible, but you’ve first to figure out what the problem is. If you have a partner, you can talk to them and work together to solve your sleeping disorders. You can try some of the above methods, through a process of elimination, and you may soon discover you ever-so desired eight hours of uninterrupted and fulfilling sleep now and in the future. And remember, you need first to determine what causes your snoring.