Tag Archives: Snoring & Sleep Disorders

Why Do People Snore? Common Snoring Causes and Remedies

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.
  • Irritability.
  • 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.

  1. Closed-mouth Snoring: May indicate that the tongue is causing snoring problems.
  2. Open-mouthed Snoring: May indicate that tissues in the throat are the cause.
  3. 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.
  4. Snoring in all sleep positions: Snoring is probably a more severe problem, and might require more complex treatment strategies.

What causes snoring

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.

Peaceful Sleep

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!

Understanding Common Types of Sleep Disorders

“The amount of sleep required by the average person is five minutes more.”
-Wilson Mizener

“Laugh and the world laughs with you; snore, and you sleep alone!”
-Anthony Burgess

Nothing feels quite like waking up refreshed and ready to tackle the day ahead of you. However, while we all know how important sleep is, many of us still struggle to fall asleep at night. Moreover, I am willing to wager that many of us also always seem to wake up fatigued, no matter how long we have slept. If you have trouble sleeping it is possible that you may have one of several common sleeping disorders. The following guide is here to help you identify why you are struggling to get the satisfactory sleep you need (and deserve).

Monkey Brain Syndrome

Monkey Brain Syndrome
A common disorder that owes its namesake to restless Buddhist monks. The Monkey Brain is that part of your consciousness that just won’t stay still while you are trying to fall asleep. Monkey Brain acts much like a monkey, jumping around from topic to topic while you are trying to fall asleep with an unsettled/restless energy that flashes unsettled, whimsical, fanciful, confused, indecisive and uncontrollable thoughts. Causes include:

  • Excessive stimulation (coffee, tea, sugar)
  • Anxiety
  • Not having proper pre-sleep preparation or relaxation routine

What causes snoringSnoring 
Snoring may not always seem serious, but it can be a big strain on both a good nights sleep and your (or your potential) relationships. Snoring is also hard to pin down because it can have many causes.

First though, what is snoring? Snoring is the vibration of the tissues of the airways of the nose and throat, caused by turbulent airflows flowing through their narrowed passages. Snoring is actually fairly common, with some studies estimating that between 30-40% of all men and women snore on a regular basis. Common causes of snoring include:

  • Incorrect sleeping position (Incorrect pillow firmness/softness; laying on ones back as opposed to ones side)
  • Alcohol, smoking, and certain medications that can cause excessive relaxation of through muscles
  • A variety of underlying health issues such as insomnia, sleep apnea, obesity, and structural issues with the airway or throat

If your snoring seems to be serious, or you suspect it may be linked to an underlying factor, it is important to check out these concerns as snoring tends to interrupt the sleep cycle of both you and those around you. However, there are also several “over-the-counter” and home remedies for snoring that are worth looking into.

Insomnia Owl

Insomnia is a sleeping disorder that is characterized by a general difficulty falling and/or staying asleep. It can range in its effects and severity, though people with insomnia have one or more of the following symptoms:

  • A difficulty falling asleep.
  • Waking up frequently during the night, and struggling to go back to sleep.
  • Waking up early in the morning for no apparent reason.
  • Feeling fatigued upon waking.
  • Irritability.
  • Noticeable drop in concentration or memory.

Insomnia can range from being transient or acute (short-term) to chronic condition (long-term).

If you suspect you may have Chronic Insomnia, then that is best handled by a health professional as chronic insomnia can be either a symptom of, or an eventual contributor to, severe health problems such as depression, chronic stress, and serious physical health problems. Acute Insomnia is generally related to stress factors, both emotional and physical. Generally short-term insomnia can be handled through simple lifestyle adjustments and successfully recognizing what stress factors are causing poor sleep quality. Such stress factors might include:

  • Significant life stress (a change in environment brought on by moving, the death of a loved one, moving, divorce)
  • Physical and emotional factors
  • Environmental discomfort brought on by extreme heat, cold, light or noise.
  • Certain medications (always check warning labels)
  • Changes in ones normal sleep schedule (jet lag or job shift changes)

Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea
A potentially serious sleep disorder characterized by abnormal pauses in breathing or periodic swallow breathing during sleep. Generally recognized by excessive snoring, daytime drowsiness, generally restless sleep, and in more serious cases a tendency to stop breathing during sleep. Generally, sleep apnea is a chronic condition and if you suspect to have it you should consult a health professional. There are several kinds of sleep apnea:

Obstructive Sleep Apnea– the most common form of sleep apnea, this occurs when there is an obstruction of your air intake tube due to a relaxation of the through muscles that normally do not obstruct the windpipe. Obstructive Sleep Apnea can have several causes that include:

  • Excessive alcohol intake
  • Muscles in the back of your throat relaxing to cause obstruction of air intake, generally due to structural features of the throat or obesity

Central Sleep Apnea– a more serious (and rare) condition that occurs when the brain fails to transmit signals that tell your breathing muscles to intake air. Central sleep apnea will generally result in the sleeper waking up with a shortness of breath and high heart rate, unlike obstructive sleep apnea, which is often not remembered by the sleeper.

Unfortunately, a good night’s sleep eludes many of us in this era of almost constant stimulation. Hopefully this guide has put you on the path to identifying what is keeping you from getting some quality zzz’s. However, if your sleep cycle seems beyond lifestyle changes, you might need to consult outside help and services. It takes patience and a bit of work, but you can solve your sleep problems so long as you’re willing to take the time.