Why you should try to fix your snoring
Snoring isn’t just an annoying sound that your husband lets off in the evening when you are trying to get some rest. It is an indication of a variety of possible sinus, heart and even weight-related issues that, if left untreated, can get pretty serious.
Because of this, finding the cause of your snoring problem is essential so that you can treat it at the root! These could indicate serious health risks if coupled with the sleep disorder obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA)!
Causes and symptoms
Snoring occurs when you have a partially blocked airway, and with air being forced through the narrow opening in the airway, tissues vibrate, resulting in the amplified sound.
Various factors cause blocked airways, and these are:
- Nasal issues such as a deviated septum partitioning between the nostrils and chronic nasal congestion. A surgical procedure may be able to correct the deviated septum. Using nasal sprays and steaming with essential oils before going to sleep may ease nasal congestion.
- Hereditary factors with the obstructive sleep apnoea and history of snoring running in families.
- By sleeping on your back, gravity obstructs the throat. Rather try sleeping on your side.
- Obstructions in the mouth, nose and throat region can be caused by enlarged tonsils, enlarged uvula (small piece of tissue at the throat), large adenoids, and a long, thick, soft palate.
- Drinking alcohol before going to sleep diminishes your capacity to resist airway construction, as the throat muscles become too slack. Avoid alcohol because even if you don’t usually snore, consumption of alcohol will make you snore.
Watch your weight
According to Healthline, losing weight will help reduce the amount of tissue in the throat. Try to lose a few pounds by reducing your overall caloric intake and eating smaller portions and more healthy foods. Make sure you get regular exercise daily. You may also consider seeing your doctor or a nutritionist for help. Drink loads of water!
- Obesity can lead to obstructive sleep apnea and snoring. Losing weight will reduce pressure on the airways.
- Males are reportedly more likely to be affected by snoring than women.
- Allergies to food, dust mites and pollen are just some of the conditions people suffer from, and inflammation in the sensitive and moist airways passages cause obstruction, as well. Ask your doctor to recommend an allergy medication.
As we get older, the muscle tone in our throats decrease, and the nasal passages narrow. This causes you to breathe louder and even more pronounced when you’re resting. We also tend to gain weight with age. Some of it is lifestyle-related, and sometimes it’s just the natural state of ageing. Fatty tissue and poor muscle tone (also part of aging) can also contribute to snoring. Carrying excess weight just around your neck or throat can exacerbate snoring.
Time to see your doctor
You should see a doctor if you sleep, snore, stop breathing and then you jerk awake, says the Mayo Clinic. This pattern is usually repeated up to five times a night.
Other worrying symptoms are:
- waking up with headaches and sore throats,
- excessive daytime sleepiness,
- restless sleep,
- gasping or choking at night,
- night-time chest pains,
- difficulty concentrating,
- irritable and angry behaviour
- and high blood pressure.
Children also experience obstructive sleep apnoea, and indications are usually low concentration levels, behavioural issues or poor performance. Often with children, the causes are related to ear, nose, palette and throat issues that you can correct with surgery or treatment from their paediatrician and an Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist.
There are ways and means to release the pressure on those ways, starting with your sleeping environment and how you go about preparing for bed.
The first stop is your medicine cabinet. Throw out the sedatives as alcohol has the same effect on the airways – too much relaxation and no resistance to airways obstruction. Likewise, lose the cigarettes and stop that puffing habit.
Stay hydrated instead, with men requiring 16 cups of water a day and women, 11 cups, as dehydration causes mucous to become thick and sticky, resulting in the dread obstruction or the airways, says WebMD.
Changes to your sleeping environment may stop the snoring:
- Raise the top end of your bed as this could keep the airways open
- Try and get your total of seven to eight hours of sleep.
- Keep your room well dusted, vacuumed and bedding clean because dust mites lead to allergic reactions. Change your pillows.
- Take a hot shower before going to bed, as this will assist with easing away the stresses of the day.
- Time manage your day’s work and don’t overwork because it means you’ll either be too pumped to sleep or too tired, and with that comes the snoring.
Use nasal strips or an external nasal dilator.
Place stick-on nasal strips on the bridge of the nose to try and help increase the space in the nasal passages and make breathing easier and more satisfying.
You could also try a nasal dilator and a stiffened adhesive strip applied on top of the nose across the nostrils. This can decrease airflow resistance, making it easier to breathe.
If all else fails, several apparatus are available in health shops and pharmacies that may help stop snoring. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for options that will work for you.
The best advice is to go to a dental professional. Do not attempt to diagnose yourself,
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