If snoring is keeping you or a loved one from have a good night’s sleep, then we have a number of resources you should check out. Snoring is attributed to a number of medical issues, mainly the decreased oxygen you are suppose to receive when you are sleeping.
According to Heathline.com, if you snore, you’re not alone: Up to half of all American adults snore. It happens when air flows through your throat when you breathe in your sleep. This causes the relaxed tissues in your throat to vibrate and cause harsh, irritating snoring sounds.
Snoring may disrupt your sleep, or that of your partner. Even if it’s not bothering you too much, it’s not a condition to ignore. In fact, snoring may be a sign of a serious health condition, including:
In other cases, snoring may be caused simply by sleeping on your back or drinking alcohol too close to bedtime.
Helpguide.org reports the Common causes of snoring include:
Age. As you reach middle age and beyond, your throat becomes narrower, and the muscle tone in your throat decreases. While you can’t do anything about growing older, lifestyle changes, new bedtime routines, and throat exercises can all help to prevent snoring.
Being overweight or out of shape. Fatty tissue and poor muscle tone contribute to snoring. Even if you’re not overweight in general, carrying excess weight just around your neck or throat can cause snoring. Exercising and losing weight can sometimes be all it takes to end your snoring.
The way you’re built. Men have narrower air passages than women and are more likely to snore. A narrow throat, a cleft palate, enlarged adenoids, and other physical attributes that contribute to snoring are often hereditary. Again, while you have no control over your build or gender, you can control your snoring with the right lifestyle changes, bedtime routines, and throat exercises.
Nasal and sinus problems. Blocked airways or a stuffy nose make inhalation difficult and create a vacuum in the throat, leading to snoring.
Alcohol, smoking, and medications. Alcohol intake, smoking, and certain medications, such as tranquilizers like lorazepam (Ativan) and diazepam (Valium), can increase muscle relaxation leading to more snoring.
Sleep posture. Sleeping flat on your back causes the flesh of your throat to relax and block the airway. Changing your sleep position can help.
If you have come to look for 7 easy ways to reduce or eliminate snoring, WebMD shares:
Lying on your back makes the base of your tongue and soft palate collapse to the back wall of your throat, causing a vibrating sound during sleep. Sleeping on your side may help prevent this.
“A body pillow (a full-length pillow that supports your entire body) provides an easy fix,” Slaughter says. “It enables you to maintain sleeping on your side and can make a dramatic difference.”
Taping tennis balls to the back of your pajamas can also stop you from sleeping on your back, Chokroverty says. “Or you can recline the bed with the head up and extended, which opens up nasal airway passages and may help prevent snoring. This may cause neck pain, however.” If snoring continues regardless of the sleep position, obstructive sleep apnea may be a cause. “See a doctor in this case,” Chokroverty says.
Weight loss helps some people but not everyone. “Thin people snore, too,” Slaughter says.
If you’ve gained weight and started snoring and did not snore before you gained weight, weight loss may help. “If you gain weight around your neck, it squeezes the internal diameter of the throat, making it more likely to collapse during sleep, triggering snoring,” Slaughter says.
Alcohol and sedatives reduce the resting tone of the muscles in the back of your throat, making it more likely you’ll snore. “Drinking alcohol four to five hours before sleeping makes snoring worse,” Chokroverty says. “People who don’t normally snore will snore after drinking alcohol.”
Poor sleep habits (also known as poor sleep “hygiene”) can have an effect similar to that of drinking alcohol, Slaughter says. Working long hours without enough sleep, for example, means when you finally hit the sack you’re overtired. “You sleep hard and deep, and the muscles become floppier, which creates snoring,” Slaughter says.
If snoring starts in your nose, keeping nasal passages open may help. It allows air to move through slower, Slaughter says. “Imagine a narrow garden hose with water running through. The narrower the hose, the faster the water rushes through.”
Your nasal passages work similarly. If your nose is clogged or narrowed due to a cold or other blockage, the fast-moving air is more likely to produce snoring.
A hot shower before you go to bed can help open nasal passages, Slaughter says. Also, keep a bottle of saltwater rinse in the shower. “Rinse your nose out with it while you’re showering to help open up passages,” Slaughter says.
A neti pot could also be used to rinse out the nasal passages with a salt-water solution.
Nasal strips may also work to lift nasal passages and open them up — if the problem exists in your nose and not within the soft palate.
Allergens in your bedroom and in your pillow may contribute to snoring. When did you last dust the overhead ceiling fan? Replace your pillows?
Dust mites accumulate in pillows and can cause allergic reactions that can lead to snoring. Allowing pets to sleep on the bed causes you to breathe in animal dander, another common irritant.
“If you feel fine during the day but obstructed at night, these things may be contributing to your snoring,” Slaughter says.
Put your pillows in the air fluff cycle once every couple weeks and replace them every six months to keep dust mites and allergens to a minimum. And keep pets out of the bedroom.
Beware before spending money on special pillows designed to prevent snoring, Chokroverty says. “They may work if it props up your head, which fixes nasal issues, but can cause neck pain.”
Drink plenty of fluids. “Secretions in your nose and soft palate become stickier when you’re dehydrated,” Slaughter says. “This can create more snoring.” According to the Institute of Medicine, healthy women should have about 11 cups of total water (from all drinks and food) a day; men require about 16 cups.
Overall, get enough sleep, sleep on your side, avoid alcohol before bedtime and take a hot shower if nasal passages are clogged, Slaughter says. “These simple practices can make a huge difference in reducing snoring.”
For more information, you can visit SleepCycle for 10 Natural Snoring Remedies.
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