Snoring is many things. Well, actually it is one thing. But it comes in many varieties. And, while snoring is somewhat annoying, it is not uncommon. About half of all adults snore, with men having a slightly higher instance of snoring than women. In most instances, snoring is caused by relatively benign factors such as poor sleeping posture, physiologically narrow throat airways, alcohol or smoking intake, and advanced age. Nonetheless, even if the underlying cause of snoring is benign, snoring is a serious problem and should not be taken lightly.
Symptoms of Snoring
The vast majority of snorers do not know they snore unless someone tells them. However, there are several symptoms that may indicate you snore, and that snoring is a serious problem for your daily functioning.
- Frequent fatigue and drowsiness during the day.
- Sore throat in the morning.
- High blood pressure.
- Waking up with shortness or breath or elevated heart rate during the night.
- Partner complains of snoring noises.
Types of Snoring:
There are several different types of snoring. Identifying what type of snoring you or someone you know has can reveal why the snoring is occurring, and provide the first steps to sound-free sleep.
- Closed-mouth Snoring: May indicate that the tongue is causing snoring problems.
- Open-mouthed Snoring: May indicate that tissues in the throat are the cause.
- Snoring while on back: Generally points towards only a mild snoring problem; simple solutions such as sleeping on ones side might be enough to fix this snoring.
- Snoring in all sleep positions: Snoring is probably a more severe problem, and might require more complex treatment strategies.
Causes of Snoring:
Snoring has many causes, but here are the most common factors that increase the likelihood of snoring.
- Alcohol Consumption and Sedative Use: Sedatives such as alcohol tend to relax the muscles in the throat and impede breathing. If you suspect any prescription medications you are taking are causing snoring, consult the health professional who prescribed them.
- Sleep Apnea: A common disorder that is characterized by the frequent disruption of breathing for short periods during sleep. Nearly 75% of people who snore have obstructive sleep apnea. Sleep Apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder that is linked to increased chances of heart disease and other health complications. If you or your partner suspects you have sleep apnea, take appropriate measures to stay healthy, including the consultation of professional health services.
- Mouth Anatomy: Some people have narrower wind passages than others. In this case, certain snoring products and changes in bed posture can greatly reduce the chances of snoring, though the effectiveness of such changes depends on the severity of the structural features of the throat and mouth.
- Nasal and Sinus Problems: Allergies and general sicknesses such as the Cold or Flu can lead to temporary bouts of snoring. Sometimes cleaning or buying a new pillow can reduce this type of snoring, as allergens, dust mites, and dander tend to get stuck inside pillows and irritate the nasal passageway
- Obesity: A is a leading cause of snoring. The thicker and fatter one is, the more pressure builds around the airway in our neck, which causes snoring. Though thin people snore too, the more fit you are, the better chance it is that your muscles will stay tight and prevent snoring.
- Smoking: Smoke irritates the membranes around the throat and nose. For this reason, smokers are very likely to be or become snorers.
- Poor Sleeping Posture: Sleeping on your back greatly increases chances of snoring, as gravity makes it more probable that your throat tissues and tongue will fall and block the airway passage. Try to sleep on your side. In addition, ditch the soft pillow—try to keep pillow firmness between medium and firm, as this has proven many times to be a simple and effective remedy for snoring.
How to Remedy Snoring
The industry of snoring solutions is a big business, and it can be hard to navigate which solution for snoring is right for you. Here is a quick overview of the most commonly effective remedies for snoring.
- Change Your Sleeping Posture: As mentioned above, sleep on your side and make sure your pillow properly supports your neck to prevent snoring.
- Avoid Alcohol and Smoking: Both of these substances greatly increase chances of snoring, as well as pose other serious health risks.
- Lose Weight: If your suspect your weight or fitness level is contributing to increased snoring, build an exercise regimen to keep your body healthy and snore-free.
- Saltwater Rinse: Especially during allergen season, a saline rinse of the nasal cavity before bed can clean out the airway and prevent gunk from building up and causing snoring.
- Stay Well Hydrated: Drinking fluids can keep nasal secretions from hardening and blocking your airway. Healthy men should try to have around 16 cups of water a say; healthy women should have around 11 cups.
- Breathing Strips: Nasal strips (the variety of adhesive strops that are placed over the nose) can increase up the airflow to and from the nose, which prevents the air vacuum in the throat that causes snoring.
- Chin Strap: Chin straps are fabric adjustable straps designed to go over the top of the head and hold up the chin during sleep. While they make look funny, they are fairly effective and comfortable. These straps tend to only work for mouth snorers, and those who are not overly restless sleepers.
- Oral Appliances: These dental jaw-positioners tend to resemble mouth guards, and are commonly used for snorers with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea. Generally, one only needs to try to oral appliances if the above solutions have proven ineffective.
- CPAP: Continuous Positive Airway Pressure devices are for those with severe sleep apnea. These machine force air through a pressurized mask that you wear over the face and mouth.
- Surgery: In some instances, the surgical removal of tissues and other abnormalities is the best option for curing serious snoring. In some instances, small plastic implants are inserted into the palate to stop vibrations and hold up muscles.
Have a Nice (and Quiet) Sleep!
While for a long time snoring has been regarded as little more than a nuisance to those sleeping around you, we now know that snoring can have a severe impact on quality of life and overall sleep quality. Here at SleepBetterShop we strive to get you the best sleep possible. Try the above snoring solutions, and have a great night’s sleep!