Why you snore and what you can do about it.
Snoring is often the loud or harsh sound that can occur as you sleep. You snore when the flow of the air as you breathe makes the tissues in the back of your throat vibrate. The sound occurs as you breathe through the nose, mouth, or a combination of the two. It can occur at any stage of sleep.
Just about everyone snores, and it’s usually not something you should worry about. Almost half of people snore at some point in their lives. Snoring is most prevalent among men, though many women also snore. It appears to run in the family, and also gets more common as you grow older. About 40 percent of all adult men snore, and about 25 percent of adult women end up snoring at some point in their lives. However, it has been noted that men are less likely to snore after the age of 70.
Common causes of snoring
As you reach middle age and beyond, your throat becomes narrower, and the muscle tone in your throat decreases resulting in the unpleasant noise. Fatty tissue and poor muscle tone also contribute to snoring. In other words, if you’re overweight or out of shape, you’re more likely to snore. Blocked airways or a stuffy nose makes inhalation difficult and creates a vacuum in your throat, also leading to snoring. Alcohol intake, smoking, and certain medications also promote snoring. Sleeping flat on your stomach can also cause snoring. So changing your sleeping position might help.
Snoring can be a symptom of Sleep Apnea, but not everyone who snores has the sleeping disorder. Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a serious sleep disorder that causes you to temporarily stop breathing while you’re asleep. If you are regularly tired during the day even though you’ve had sufficient sleep, or if your snoring is paired with choking or gasping, you may have Sleep Apnea. Sleep Apnea needs medical attention. Several approaches might be used to manage OSA such as CPAP, Oral Appliance Therapy and surgery.
What can you do to stop snoring:
- Changing your sleep position: To start off, not sleeping on your back might help mitigate snoring. Elevating your head four inches may ease breathing and encourage your tongue and jaw to move forward. There are specifically designed pillows that help prevent snoring by making sure your neck muscles are not crimped. Our health mattresses provide adequate support to the back and help manage your sleeping position. This might help reduce snoring.
- Clear your nasal passages: If you have a stuffy nose, rinse it before bed. Using appliances like nasal strips can also help you breathe.
- Keep bedroom air moist: Dry air can irritate the back of your throat. A humidifier might help with that.
- Lose weight: Losing even a little bit of weight can help reduce fatty tissue at the back of your throat and decrease, or even stop snoring.
- Quit Smoking and Alcohol: If you smoke, your chances of snoring are high due to the effect smoking has on your throat. Alcohol relaxes the muscles in your throat and interferes with breathing.
- Anti-snoring mouth appliances: These devices, which resemble an athlete’s mouth guard, help open your airway by bringing your lower jaw and/or tongue forward during sleep. While a dentist-made appliance can be expensive, cheaper DIY kits are available.
However, if you’ve been medically diagnosed with OSA, these remedies might not work and you’ll need a doctor’s opinion.