How to Prevent Snoring From Harming Your Health
Snoring is a very common problem. Most people don’t even consider it as something serious. According to the National Sleep Foundation, 1 in 3 men and 1 in 4 women snore.
If you think there is no cure for snoring, we urge you to think again. We will help you find a fix that will save your relationship and let you have a good sleep every night. We’ll tell you all about snoring— from the causes and warning signs to cures. Take a deep breath before we begin.
What Is Snoring?
Snoring refers to the loud sound of your breathing while you sleep. Some people make a dainty sound while others can make a noise that can shatter windows. Regardless of the volume, snoring is irritating. The rattling sound of you breathing in is the reason behind your partner kicking you out of the bed at night.
You snore when there is a hindrance in the air flowing through your airways. Since the air can’t flow freely, it causes your tissues to vibrate and produce a sound. The narrower the airways, the louder the sound will be.
How Serious Can It Get?
If you feel exhausted at all times and you feel you have a chronic problem, you might have a sleep disorder called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). About 1 billion people in the world suffer from sleep apnea. The condition is no joke. A very small proportion of this population actually knows that they suffer from sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is often confused with depression or other mental illnesses. Tossing, turning and most importantly snoring are symptoms that are often misdiagnosed. Having a bad night’s sleep on a regular basis is harmful.
Most snorers confuse sleep apnea with general snoring and fail to acknowledge the fact that it can be life-threatening. Living alone further delays the diagnosis. Heavy and loud snoring is a classic sign of OSA. Snoring is often combined with shallow and disturbed breathing. Do you wake up to catch your breath 20 to 30 times an hour? If yes, you need help. When you shoot out of your sleep and forcefully take a breath, a serious strain is placed on your cardiovascular system, leading to high risks of high blood pressure, heart attacks, and strokes.
Of course, not all snorers suffer from obstructive sleep apnea or any other sleep disorder. But very few sufferers know how to prevent snoring. Keep reading to find out about other possible causes and some effective cures.
What Causes Snoring?
Since now we know what snoring is and how serious it can get, let’s take a look at some of the most common causes of snoring.
As you age, your throat muscles get more and more relaxed resulting in your bedfellow getting annoyed by your snoring.
Nasal problems such as a deviated septum, nasal polyps, enlarged tonsils, adenoids or chronic congestion are other common causes of snoring. These conditions narrow your throat and cause snoring. Depending on the seriousness of the condition, the sound of the snoring is determined.
Allergies and Illnesses
If you have an inflamed nose or throat, this also may result in snoring. But this is usually short term and affects you only during allergy season. However, this doesn’t mean that this doesn’t need to be cured.
Have you ever been told to not drink before going to sleep? It is because alcohol is a muscle relaxant hence causes snoring.
Narrow airways are often caused by fatty tissues around your throat. Obese people suffer from heavier vibrations and louder snoring.
This is not so common but some people snore while sleeping on their back. And it’s the worst! Laying on your back may cause an obstruction in your airway.
Large tongue, adenoids, or any other enlarged mouth structures block the airway and cause snoring.
As per research and statistics, snoring is more common among men than women.
Your Body’s Structure
Men usually have narrower airways than women which is why men are more likely to snore. However, some women have narrow air passages so it all depends on the structure of your body.
The conditions and abnormalities we talked about are sometimes related to your genes. If one or both of your parents suffer from such conditions or any other family member for that matter, this may be the reason behind your snoring.
Physical or mental stress can cause sleep deprivation. Not getting enough sleep sometimes causes your throat muscles to relax leading to higher chances of snoring.
How to Prevent Snoring
Hopefully, you have now figured out the cause of your bad night’s sleep and a damaged relationship with your bedfellow. Let’s dig deeper and find out how to prevent snoring.
Some of the causes can be taken care of by making some simple change to your lifestyle like getting good 8-hour sleep, cutting down on drinking, not drinking before going to sleep, getting your allergies treated, changing your sleep position, losing weight, and more. Exercise regularly, seek psychological help if you feel stressed out all the time, and talk to your loved ones to relax your mind. You may not realize as of now but these are some of the simplest and proven cures to your snoring.
Get rid of the irritants that you may think can cause your snoring. Dry air can irritate your nose and throat and may even cause swollen nasal tissues. Make sure the air you breathe in is moist by keeping a humidifier in your room. Keep your pillows and furniture dust-free at all times. Dust mites, animal dander, and other allergens are a great source of irritation in your nasal passages.
Keep an eye on your water intake. Dehydration causes your palette getting drier and stickier. Drinking ample amount of water keeps your throat lubricated and lessens snoring.
If you have already tried all of the above and still wondering how to prevent snoring, don’t worry we have got your back. There are other cures available in the market. Snoring aids and anti-snoring devices are very effective and easily available. They ensure a peaceful night’s sleep.
However, before taking the big guns out, consult a doctor. They will be better able to tell you which product to spend money on depending on your diagnosis.
However, here are some of the most common anti-snoring products that you should know about.
Mouthguards are not only for the protection of your teeth while playing sports, but they are a good cure for snoring as well. If you keep your jaw in place, your air passages are less likely to get obstructed and reduce your snoring. Mouthguards do the job.
There are two types of mouthguards available in the market:
· Mandibular advancement devices which work on your lower jaw i.e. the more mobile part of your mouth’s structure. They keep it a little forward to reduce the obstruction caused by your jaw sitting further back.
· Tongue retaining devices work on your tongue, of course. If your tongue is causing your snoring, give it a try. It keeps your tongue in place preventing it from falling to the back of your throat.
A chinstrap is another handy tool to stop snoring. What is a chinstrap? It cups your chin and goes all the way behind your head. This helps you to breathe through your nose by keeping your mouth closed.
If you are a nose snorer, chin straps will not work for you. However, other mouth snorers who have used this technique have reported a reduction in headaches, drowsiness, and better sleep.
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Device
CPAP devices are great for people suffering from sleep apnea. This gadget has a pump and a mask that covers your mouth and nose. Wearing it while you sleep, the mask pumps pressurized air in your air passages to keep them open and prevent snoring.
You may find it uncomfortable since the mask produces some level of noise and discomfort. But it is one of the most effective and reliable methods to treat snoring.
There are also anti-snoring pillows available in the market. Since snoring is caused by an obstruction in your air passages, anti-snoring pillows combat this by keeping your neck aligned. It helps you keep your face straight from your chin to your neck while you sleep, keeping the flow of oxygen intact.
Anti-snoring pillows are very different from regular pillows. They contain sensors that allow you to correct your neck alignment throughout your sleep.
Tried anti-snoring pillows to no avail? Still wondering how to prevent snoring? Here is another fix which not only helps with snoring but is generally good for your health. Try sleeping on adjustable beds. This helps prevent physical issues like arthritis, back pain, swollen legs, and much more.
As we mentioned before, your sleep position has a lot to do with your snoring. Adjustable beds allow you to maintain your sleep position. Raising your bed 4 to 5 inches help stop snoring. Adjustable beds allow you to change the position of your bed without disturbing your partner’s sleep.
Apart from updating your bed, your mattress also has a great role to play in your peaceful night’s sleep. Feather mattresses and air beds are not recommended since they are not of high quality and lack firmness.
Nasal Strips or Dilators
Another very popular anti-snoring device is a nose strip or dilator. If the reason behind your snoring is a nasal problem, your nostrils need a cure. Nose strips are adhesive strips that are applied to the bridge of your nose. The stiffness of these strips reduces airflow resistance and improves breathing.
Nose dilators are not so effective for people who have OSA. However, they are worth a try if you are a general snorer.
Anti Snore Sprays
These sprays lubricate your throat tissue and minimize the vibrations. Anti-snore sprays are great for controlling the sound of your snoring. They contain natural ingredients such as menthol, alcohol, glycerin, and peppermint; hence, they give you a similar sensation to a throat sweet or cough drop.
Just like nasal dilators, anti-snore sprays don’t work for everyone, especially not the ones suffering from sleep apnea.
The last resort is surgery. If none of the above anti-snoring ads work for you, a surgical procedure may be performed to increase the size of your air passages by removing some tissues. Your doctor may recommend you surgeries for other abnormalities that may be causing your snoring.
However, before you settle for surgical treatment, make sure to exhaust the entire list that we laid out. Don’t go under the knife unless it is absolutely required.
The Bottom Line
Please bear in mind, getting rid of your snoring doesn’t happen overnight. It requires patience. By better understanding why and how you snore, you will find an anti-snoring product that is right for you.
For more guidance on how to prevent snoring and more, you may read our other articles like this one on 11 signs you need to go mattress shopping.
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