Snoring is actually a very broad category that includes any form of noisy breathing during sleep. Snoring affects millions of Americans on a regular basis and can affect the quality of your sleep and those around you.
But, what causes snoring?
When you sleep, your body enters a state of deep relaxation, even the tissues of your throat relax. When relaxed, minor obstructions can occur which cause these tissues to vibrate as air passes by them while you breathe. These vibrations create the sounds that we would call a snore.
The deep state of relaxation that the muscles of your body enter when you sleep.
Why do people snore?
It turns out the question, “Why do people snore?”, really depends on which person you are talking about. There are a number of factors that impact how likely it is that someone will snore:
- Breathing through the mouth, as opposed to breathing through the nose, increases the likelihood of snoring.
- Certain sleeping positions can also cause snoring, especially sleeping on your back, because they can lead to potential obstructions.
- Alcohol consumption increases the likelihood of snoring, because it acts as a powerful muscle relaxant.
- Any anatomical abnormalities in the nose and throat or inflammation due to illness can potentially cause snoring.
- Snoring is more prevalent in older people, as our throat muscles typically relax more with age.
- Obesity also increases the likelihood of snoring, due to the increased presence of tissue around the throat.
Should I be Worried?
While many causes of snoring that do not indicate any serious health issues, you should be aware that loud snoring could be a sign of sleep apnea. Sleep apnea results when airflow is completely cut off and breathing ceases for 10 – 20 seconds. Sleep apnea is typically marked by daytime sleepiness, headaches, waking up repeatedly gasping or experiencing shortness of breath, and other symptoms. Sleep apnea is a serious condition and you should consult with your physician if you have any questions or concerns.
If snoring is a problem for you or your loved ones, try one of these anti-snoring devices. These products address many different causes of snoring, so it is important to identify which one might work best for you. Snoring can make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep, so consider trying one of these snoring solutions!
Living in a city means dealing with harsh noises at all hours of the day. There are many effects of noise pollution, but one of the most obnoxious is the loss of precious sleep that results from the many nighttime sounds of a booming metropolis.
The constant noise of city life might be sapping your sleep.
Loud City, So What?
You may think that everyone deals with disruptions during sleep, but those of us living in cities may be suffering more than most. Scientific research shows that people living in areas with high traffic noise get lower quality sleep. One of the causes of sleeplessness, traffic noise causes people to wake up more frequently throughout the night. Even if you aren’t waking up frequently in the night, the city sounds can still disrupt your sleep and your body. Such studies also find that people move more and experience heart rate elevations in the middle of the night when sleeping in high traffic noise areas. Some research has even suggested that chronic traffic noise during the night can increase the risk for health problems like cardiovascular disease.
The effects of noise pollution might be more severe for children.
Scientific studies suggest some people, including children, may be especially vulnerable to sleep disturbances due to noise pollution. Research into noise pollution effects shows that, in addition to getting lower quality sleep, children in areas with high traffic noise are more likely to experience sleepiness during the day.
How to Combat the Effects of Noise Pollution on Your Sleep
For most people, moving to a quieter part of town is not an option for combatting the effects of noise pollution. How, then, can you get better sleep without giving up your city life? The key comes from understanding why we actually wake up when a door slams in the house. Studies have shown that it isn’t the volume of a noise that rouses people; it is actually the volume of that noise relative to the background noise level.
White noise machines generate a constant source of noise that many people find soothing. These machines raise the baseline background volume, so that the sound of a door slamming isn’t quite so disruptive. Research has shown that a white noise machine can help reduce the disruptiveness of noises during sleep and can potentially minimize noise pollution effects.
Tired of waking up in the middle of the night or lying in bed trying to fall asleep? Annoyed by late-night sirens or car horns? Feeling like loud noises are one of the causes of sleeplessness? Try using a white noise machine and see if you can get a better night’s sleep.
How Does Sunlight Impact Your Sleep Schedule?
Many people experience difficulty waking up in the morning or persistent grogginess after getting out of bed. Part of the problem has to do with sunlight, which signals important changes in our bodies. As sunlight wanes in the afternoon, your body releases a hormone called melatonin, which gets you ready for sleep and is important for regulating your sleep-wake cycle. In the morning, increasing levels of sunlight cause your body to reduce the levels of melatonin and prepare for the day. While a prehistoric human may have slept according to the presence of the sun, these days most people have a much more complicated sleep schedule. Recent scientific research has shown that there may be a better way to get out of bed rather than relying on your blaring, predawn alarm clock, which may or may not be getting the job done.
Old school alarm clocks make waking up a pain.
Using a Wake-Up Light
A wake-up light uses light to simulate the experience of waking up with the sun, which our bodies are programmed to do well. While morning grogginess often comes after a short or bad night’s sleep, such grogginess can also result from waking up abruptly, especially if one was in a deep phase of sleep. Unlike a regular alarm clock, a light alarm clock will gradually increase its brightness over a period of 30 minutes, so that your body is ready to wake up when it is time for you to get out of bed.
Why You Should Throw Out Your Old Alarm Clock
Scientific research has shown that using a wake-up light reduces feelings of sleep inertia (the sense of grogginess immediately after waking up). Recent research has even shown that using a natural light alarm clock can significantly improve mood and well-being. Waking up right is an integral part of getting a good night’s sleep. A regular alarm clock doesn’t harness the natural waking power of light and wakes you up too abruptly. A wake-up light is different. While most of us don’t want to wake up with the actual sun, a light alarm clock can simulate this experience and help you wake up feeling ready and refreshed.
Do you have trouble getting out of the bed in the morning? Do you regularly set multiple alarms just to be sure you really wake up? How many times have you googled ‘how to get out of bed faster’? Maybe it’s time for you to try waking up with a light alarm clock!