Ways to reduce snoring:
Snoring is the vibration of respiratory structures and the resulting sound, due to obstructed air movement during breathing while sleeping. In some cases the sound may be soft, but in other cases, it can be loud and unpleasant. Snoring during sleep may be a sign, or first alarm, of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)
In order to tackle this sleep troubling phenomena, and allow your partner to sleep peacefully, we give you a few tips to help reduce and eliminate snoring…
The causes of snoring:
Identify the cause to find the cure
Not all snoring is the same. In fact, everyone snores for different reasons. When you get to the bottom of why you snore, then you can find the right solutions to a quieter, deeper sleep.
People who snore often have too much throat and nasal tissue, or “floppy” tissue that is more prone to vibrate. The position of your tongue can also get in the way of smooth breathing. Evaluating how and when you snore will help you pinpoint whether the cause of your snoring is within your control or not. The good news is that no matter how and when you snore, there are solutions to making your snoring better.
Where does the snoring sound come from?
Snoring happens when you can’t move air freely through your nose and mouth during sleep. Often caused by the narrowing of your airway, either from poor sleep posture or abnormalities of the soft tissues in your throat. A narrow airway gets in the way of smooth breathing and creates the sound of snoring.
Common causes of snoring
As you reach middle age and beyond, your throat becomes narrower, and the muscle tone in your throat decreases.
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.
Nasal and sinus problems.
Blocked airways make inhalation difficult and create a vacuum in the throat, leading to snoring.
Being overweight or out of shape.
Fatty tissue and poor muscle tone contribute to snoring.
Alcohol, smoking, and medications.
Alcohol intake, smoking, and certain medications can increase muscle relaxation leading to more snoring.
Sleeping flat on your back causes the flesh of your throat to relax and block the airway.
How you snore reveals why you snore
It’s crucial to note the different ways you sleep and snore. Sleep positions reveal a lot, and figuring out how you snore can reveal why you snore. When you know why you snore, you can get closer to a cure.
Closed-mouth snoring may indicate a problem with your tongue.
Open-mouth snoring may be related to the tissues in your throat.
Snoring when sleeping on your back is probably mild snoring – improved sleep habits and lifestyle changes may be effective cures.
Snoring in all sleep positions can mean your snoring is more severe and may require a more comprehensive treatment.
What is the clinical importance of snoring?
It is important to recognize determine if snoring is related to an underlying medical condition or is an isolated (primary) problem (not associated with any underlying disease).
More specifically, primary snoring is not associated with obstructive sleep apnea, upper airway resistance, insomnia, or other sleep disorders. This distinction is important because of the associated link between the underlying conditions and other adverse health effects.
For example, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is associated with higher risks of cardiovascular disease such as heart attacks and strokes. This association is thought to exist because of higher prevalence of high blood pressure (hypertension) in individuals with obstructive sleep apnea. On the other hand, studies have shown that people with primary snoring did not have higher rates of elevated blood pressure compared to the general public.
Lifestyle changes to stop snoring
1. Sleep sideways
People who sleep on their back are more likely to snore because this position allows your throat to relax and block the airway. Hence sleep sideways to avoid snoring.
2. Lose weight
Obesity not only causes diabetes and other health problems, but it also causes snoring. Excessive weight around your neck narrows the airway which further causes the tissue to rub together, triggering the loud noise while you breathe.
3. Avoid alcohol , sleeping pills and other sedatives
People who normally don’t snore are more likely to snore after consuming alcohol. You are more likely to snore after consuming alcohol during bedtime, because it relaxes your airway during sleep, which further contributes to snoring.
4. Add more pillows
Prop your head up with an extra pillow under your head. Keeping an extra pillow under your head will make your head higher than your chest, which will help you lower your snoring by keeping your airway more open and relaxed.
5. Quit smoking
Smoking is dangerous for your health because it causes heart disease and cancer while also ageing your body drastically. Besides this, smoking also causes snoring because it reduces your body’s ability to utilize oxygen, therefore clogging your airways. Hence, quit smoking if you want to reduce snoring.
6. Time your sleep
Sleep is very important for your health. Get a maximum of 8 hours of sleep each day. Follow a regular sleeping pattern. Sleep and wake up at the same times each day, this will create harmonization in your body.
Exercise to strengthen your muscles and improve heart rate and blood circulation. Daily exercise can also help regulate sleeping patterns. Therefore, aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise, daily, to reduce snoring.
8. Stay hydrated
Keep yourself very well hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids. This will prevent snoring due to lesser congestion caused by secretions of sticky, soft mucus in your nose.
9. Get Your Allergies Treated
Chronic respiratory allergies may cause snoring by forcing sufferers to breathe through their mouths while they sleep If your nose is stuffed up, try using an over-the-counter saline spray or a humidifier.
10. Clear your nasal passage
You are more likely to snore if you have a blocked or congested nose, because this will make you breathe through your mouth instead of your nose. Hence, clear your nasal passage by taking a steam inhalation or rub an inhaler before you go to bed, to avoid snoring.
11. Time your dinner
Make sure you dine at least 2 hours before going to bed. This will ensure smooth digestion while you are awake, resulting in a sound and restful good night sleep for you.
Many a times, snoring isn’t caused due to just one reason. If the above tips fail to lower snoring, then see your doctor for more ideas.
12. Clear nasal passages.
Having a stuffy nose makes inhalation difficult and creates a vacuum in your throat, which in turn leads to snoring. You can do it naturally with a Neti pot or try nasal decongestants or nasal strips to help you breathe more easily while sleeping
13. Keep bedroom air moist with a humidifier.
Dry air can irritate membranes in the nose and throat.
14. See a Doctor if You Are Pregnant and Snoring
Sometimes, women who are pregnant will begin to snore. The snoring may begin because of the increased body weight and because the hormonal changes of pregnancy cause muscles to relax. Whatever the cause, snoring during pregnancy may rob your baby of oxygen. Talk with your doctor about it.
Don’t let snoring damage your relationship
Is snoring causing a rift in your relationship? No matter how much you love each other, the loss of sleep from frequent snoring can strain a relationship as well as put your partner’s health at risk.
When snoring is a problem, relationship tension can grow in the following ways:
Sleeping alone. If you or your partner snores, one of the easiest solutions is for you to sleep apart in different rooms. This often results in a lack of needed physical intimacy, straining the relationship. And if you’re the one snoring, you might feel lonely, isolated, and frustrated about something you feel you have no control over.
Snoring spats. It’s common to be irritable when sleep loss is an issue, but try reining in your frustration. Remember, you want to attack the snoring problem—not your sleep partner.
Partner resentment. When a non-snorer feels he or she has done everything possible to sleep through the night (ear-plugs, noise-machines, etc.) but his or her partner does nothing to combat his or her own snoring, it can lead to resentment. Working as a team to find a snoring cure can prevent future fights.
If you value your relationship, make it your priority to find a snoring cure so you can both sleep soundly. Working together to stop snoring can even be an opportunity to improve the quality of your bond and become more deeply connected.
Communicating with a partner who snores
So you love everything your partner…about except his or her snoring. It’s normal. Even the most patient amongst us will draw the line at sleep deprivation. But no matter how much sleep you lose due to someone snoring, it’s important to handle the problem sensitively. Remember that your partner likely feels vulnerable and even a little embarrassed about his or her snoring.
Time your talk carefully. Avoid middle of the night or early morning discussions when you’re feeling exhausted.
Keep in mind it’s not intentional. Although it’s easy to feel like a victim when you lose sleep, remember that your partner isn’t keeping you awake on purpose.
Avoid lashing out. Sure, sleep deprivation is aggravating and can be damaging to your health, but try your best to approach the problem in a non-confrontational way.
Beware of bitterness. Make sure that latching onto snoring is not an outlet for other hidden resentments you’re harboring.
Use humor and playfulness to bring up the subject of snoring without hurting your partner’s feelings. Laughing about it can ease tension. Just make sure it doesn’t turn into too much teasing.
Throat exercises to stop snoring
Practiced for 30 minutes a day, throat exercises can be an effective way to reduce or stop snoring. Repeatedly pronouncing certain vowel sounds and curling the tongue in specific ways can strengthen muscles in the upper respiratory tract and thereby reduce snoring.
Try the following exercises to stop snoring. Start slow and gradually increase the number of sets you do. In some cases, you may be able to combine the exercises with other activities, such as commuting to work, walking your dog, working out, or taking a shower.
Repeat each vowel (a-e-i-o-u) out loud for three minutes a few times a day.
Place the tip of your tongue behind your top front teeth. Slide your tongue backwards for 3 minutes a day.
Close your mouth and purse your lips. Hold for 30 seconds.
With mouth open, move jaw to the right and hold for 30 seconds. Repeat on left side.
With mouth open, contract the muscle at the back of your throat repeatedly for 30 seconds. Tip: Look in the mirror to see the uvula (“the hanging ball”) move up and down.
Singing can increase muscle control in the throat and soft palate, reducing snoring caused by lax muscles.
Playing the didgeridoo may sound strange, but studies show that learning to play a didgeridoo (native Australian wind instrument) can strengthen the soft palate and throat, reducing snoring.
Alternative remedies for snoring
When to see a doctor about snoring
Snoring can sometimes be a warning sign of a more serious problem. A doctor should evaluate a snorer for any underlying medical conditions, other sleeping disorders such as sleep apnea, or any sleep-related breathing problems. Call your doctor if you or your sleep partner have noticed any of the following red flags:
You snore loudly and heavily and are tired during the day.
You stop breathing, gasp, or choke during sleep.
You fall asleep at inappropriate times, such as during a conversation or a meal.
To rule out a more serious problem, a physician may refer you to a sleep specialist for a home-based sleep test using a portable monitor or request you stay overnight at a sleep clinic. If these sleep studies conclude that the snoring is not related to any sleeping or breathing disorders, you can discuss different treatment options to stop the snoring.