How to stop snoring – Tips to get better
We all breathe during sleep, but not all of us snore. If you happen to be part of the slice of the population that do snore, you are in good company. According to the National Sleep Foundation, about 90 million American adults snore, 37 million of which snore on a regular basis. Even more, 25 per cent of people in the UK suffers from some form of sleep disorder including snoring. With those many people experiencing noisy breathing, let’s figure out why do people snore and what we can do about it.
Why Do People Snore
With so many snorers, one shouldn’t be surprised that there are many answers to the question, “why do people snore?” One’s weight, muscle tone, the current state of health, tongue size, and the shape of the nose and mouth can all factor into why some of us snore. Snoring occurs when the air you breathe in and out encounters some type of obstruction as it travels through your throat. As the throat muscles relax, the tongue falls backwards, and your throat narrows. The surrounding tissue loosens. Thus, the snoring sound is made by the tissues that vibrate in your throat because of the reduced air flow. Often, those who snore often have underlying issues with their throat or nasal tissues.
The exact cause behind why someone snores will determine whether the person’s treatment plan will be geared for how to stop snoring naturally, how to stop snoring immediately, or whether the person will require more invasive treatment.
Do you breathe comfortably through your nose? The nasal passages need to be open and unobstructed for the air to move in and out freely. Having a stuffy nose can cause one to snore. One’s breathing may be likened to water running through a garden hose. The narrower the passage gets, the faster and stronger will it need to flow. That is why sleep experts recommend that for a good night’s sleep, you need to be free from nasal congestion or other blockages.
The shape of your nose may have an impact on why you snore. A deviated septum can cause snoring. Also, snoring can result if one of your nostrils is bigger than the other. This can result in difficulty with inhalation and exhalation resulting in snoring.
Furthermore, the shape of your mouth may also contribute to your snoring. Having a low and thick, soft palate (the upper part of your mouth that connects to your throat) can narrow one’s passageway as you inhale and exhale. Even if you have a regularly shaped palate, if your uvula (the tissue found in the back of the soft palate) is too long, snoring may result.
Are you pregnant? Pregnant women may snore for various reasons, including if their nasal passages often swell. Moreover, weight gain during pregnancy can also cause the diaphragm to be pushed in a certain direction. Mothers-to-be should always tell their doctor about snoring as it can lead to high blood pressure in pregnant women.
Tips: How To Stop Snoring Naturally
One simple solution for how to stop snoring naturally is to try changing your position when you sleep. When you lie on your back, the tongue can fall back into the throat, which creates that snoring sound. Sleeping on one’s side may be one of the solutions. If you need another good reason to sleep sideways, why not spoon or cuddle with your partner? No partner? No problem! Get yourself a full-length body pillow to lean into or a U-shaped body pillow that will support your back as you sleep. If you find yourself returning to lying on your back as you sleep, you can try taping rolled up socks to the back of your pyjamas or make use of a tennis ball which makes sleeping on your back uncomfortable. Or, you can stack pillows behind you to keep your back elevated when you sleep.
Check for Allergens
It may be allergies that are causing you to snore. Your bed and pillows could be teeming with allergens. Dust mites that build up in pillows are one cause of snoring. Replace your pillows and mattress as needed. Clean and disinfect your room. Visit a doctor and get tested. You might have developed a previously undiagnosed allergy which is causing some nasal obstruction and snoring when you sleep.
Get Enough Rest
Some people only snore when they fall asleep bone-tired and exhausted. As simple as it sounds, being stressed, physically tired, and sleep-deprived could be why you are snoring. Sleeping when exhausted can cause throat muscles to become floppier, thus causing you to snore, even if you usually don’t.
Check Your Meds
Certain types of medication, like sedatives, muscle relaxants, and some antidepressants can relax the tongue and throat muscles while you are sleeping. This can also cause snoring. If this is the case for you, mention it to your doctor. Your doctor may or may not decide to switch up your medication.
Drinking alcohol may be another reason why people snore. That’s why it’s best to avoid alcohol, especially if you are about to sleep and never take it with any medication. Instead of drinking alcohol, make sure that you drink plenty of water. The nose and the soft palate in your mouth can become stickier when our bodies are lacking water; thus it may encourage snoring.
First, check to see if you have recently gained a few pounds. It’s not that people who are thin don’t snore — they do. However, obesity can be one of the reasons why you snore at night. Check your weight and your body mass index, and see if you have gained weight or if you are within the normal range for your height.
A Word About Snoring and Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea can do more harm than just keeping your partner awake at night. It interrupts breathing and causes the sufferer to gasp for air, sometimes waking them up in the middle of the night. Sometimes, those who suffer from sleep apnea have to struggle with their breathing about thirty times in an hour.
Some of the signs of sleep apnea include having a headache, dry mouth, or a sore throat when you wake up. A dry mouth or a sore throat is often caused by relaxed throat muscles making it more difficult for the air to pass through the throat. Daytime sleepiness (despite having enough hours of sleep) is another sign. This is because sleep apnea will give you a fitful sleep. It is also linked to hypertension (high blood pressure), stroke, heart attack, and heart disease.
There are three forms of sleep apnea. There is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), central sleep apnea, and mixed sleep apnea. Sleep apnea OSA is the most common of the three. With obstructive sleep apnea, the throat muscles relax, allowing the tongue to fall back and cause a blockage. Central sleep apnea occurs when the brain fails to send signals to the throat muscles. Mixed sleep apnea is a combination of both types. Sleep apnea is relatively common but shouldn’t be left undiagnosed or untreated. Even if your bedmate has no complaints about snoring, you should still get checked out as you may be suffering from sleep apnea. Consult your doctor, if that’s the case.
How To Stop Snoring Immediately: Device
This device is a splint that is worn in the mouth to treat various conditions. This includes obstructive sleep apnea, snoring, and TMJ disorders. It works by preventing the upper airway from collapsing by pushing the mandible forward, thus changing the position of the tongue and jaw.
How To Stop Snoring: Surgery Options
Some snorers, upon the advice of their doctors, undergo surgery to put an end to their snoring. One such procedure is a septoplasty. This is considered a minor surgery wherein the doctor will straighten the nasal septum to correct any obstruction in the airway.
A palatal implant is another minor surgery for treating snoring and sleep apnea. The procedure entails inserting small plastic rods on the upper palate of the mouth. This will cause the tissue to stiffen, making it less likely to vibrate and create those snoring sounds.
Upon a physical exam, a doctor may notice that one’s tonsils, or adenoids are enlarged. This tends to be more common in children. In the past, if tonsils were enlarged, adenoids were also automatically removed. That is not necessarily the case now. (Adenoids are glands located in the roof of the mouth where the nose and throat connect. Typically, these shrink during the teenage years and disappear altogether by adulthood.)
Diagnosis For Persistent Snoring
Snoring aids depend upon the cause of the problem. Your doctor will do a thorough exam. Physically, they will check your nose and throat and assess you for enlarged tonsils and adenoids. They will ask about your sleeping habits. There is a good chance that you will be asked to undergo a sleep study. Here, the doctor can determine if you perform nasal breathing or mouth breathing. Sleep studies are an excellent way to observe people’s breathing during sleep and learn the best way for how to stop snoring for them.
More likely than not, people who snore may not be aware they are snoring until someone tells them. Many times, it’s the people who have to endure someone else’s snoring who are invested in finding ways to stop it. Snoring can definitely prevent a good night’s sleep. Consider these simple steps to help reduce, and possibly even silence your snoring. It’s also a good idea to consult your doctor, so that you may know the cause of your snoring and undergo appropriate treatment.
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