About 37 million North Americans are affected by snoring.
While a seemingly harmless sleeping habit, snoring can greatly disrupt you and your loved one’s rest, as well as cause health related problems in the most serious of cases.
Here is everything you need to know on what causes snoring, how it affects you and — most importantly — how to not snore.
- 1 So, What Exactly Is Snoring?
- 2 What Are the Symptoms of Snoring?
- 3 What Are the Causes of Snoring?
- 4 How to Not Snore
- 5 Conclusion
So, What Exactly Is Snoring?
Snoring is when your throat muscles relax while you sleep, resulting in vibrations as you breathe in and out.
These vibrations produce sounds that can either quietly go unnoticed, or be loud and unpleasant, in which case it can wake both you and your partner up.
What Are the Symptoms of Snoring?
The most obvious symptom of snoring is, of course, the sound, but if you haven’t had anyone point out that you sound like a freight train at night, there are still ways to find out. Your body and mind will manifest some easily ignored or highly troublesome signs, such as:
- Recent weight gain
- Morning headaches
- Sore throat
- High blood pressure
- Trouble breathing
- Sleepiness during the daytime
- Frequent need to urinate in the middle of the night.
- Difficulty concentrating
- Restless sleep
- Anxiety and depression
- Short temper
- Confusion upon waking up at night.
What Are the Causes of Snoring?
Snoring is most common amongst the elderly, since their throat muscles are looser, resulting in a higher chance of snoring.
Drinking and Drugs
Substances such as alcohol and drugs relax the tongue and throat muscles.
Drinking and snoring are a match made in heaven, unfortunately.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a sleeping disorder that affects approximately 10 to 12 million North Americans. This condition, which is usually inherited, is associated with difficulty breathing at night.
In severe cases, people stop breathing entirely while asleep. Many people who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea have the symptoms of snoring, along with a low sexual libido.
It has been proven that sleep apnea is related to hyperactivity and disorderly conduct in children and teenagers.
Allergies and Colds
Allergies or colds that prevent you from breathing properly through your nose can also be a cause for snoring.
Obesity and Pregnancy
When weight is gained, it adds muscle tissue in your throat. More muscle tissue increases the likelihood of the air hitting your throat and producing the vibrations that cause sound.
People who are born or develop abnormalities in their throats such as narrow airways, enlarged tonsils, or infections can also suffer from snoring.
People who sleep on their backs are more likely to snore due to their tongues going limp and falling backwards in their throats, as well as gravity affecting how the air you breathe travels through your throat.
When people are too anxious, the body tends to tighten up. This includes your throat muscles.
Snoring can be caused by the narrow airways created by tense muscles as well.
How to Not Snore
Stopping snoring isn’t as simple as simply deciding to stop unfortunately. Depending on the seriousness of your snoring problem, it may be treated by quick lifestyle changes, or may require some more drastic intervention.
Here are a few treatment options for snoring:
Depending on how serious it is, you might need surgery to cure your snoring.
Change in Lifestyle
This covers some of the causes for snoring: losing weight can get rid of the extra tissue in your throat, drinking less or abstaining from alcohol altogether, especially hours before bed can tighten up your throat muscles, and seeing a therapist or practicing breathing exercises for your anxiety can get rid of the lump that narrows your throat.
Tools and Appliances
Ask your doctor or dentist what sort of tools for your mouth or chest you can use to help with the snoring.
Possibly the simplest life hack to stop snoring.
If your snoring is cause by your sleeping position, you can try to lift your head with an extra pillow to allow your tongue to fall forward.
Different Sleeping Position
Changing your sleeping position is another great way to prevent snoring. Although it might seem uncomfortable at first, try to position yourself differently when you go to bed.
People who sleep on their back are more inclined to snore than those who don’t — so why not try rolling over onto your side?
Place some pillows around you so you don’t roll over until you get the hang of it.
Frequently removing dust from the room is great way to prevent snoring if it is caused by allergies.
Make sure you get those dust bunnies from under the bed and wash the curtains on a regular basis, especially if you live in the city where there’s a lot of traffic and construction.
A dehumidifier can also help with the atmosphere in your bedroom too, which can reduce snores.
Snoring is something that can either be a small annoyance or a huge problem when it’s time to hit the hay. Either way, it is something many want gone.
If you can’t cure your snoring after trying the simpler methods mentioned above and you identify with the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea, go to your doctor to see if you have a more complicated issue that needs to be dealt with to cure your snoring through more complex treatments that will help you get the sleep you need.
Do you snore? If so, how do you manage it?