How to Stop Snoring
Living with someone who snores is not only a frustrating and annoying experience but it can adversly affect your health by depriving you of sleep. You will learn how you can reduce or even eliminate snoring in this article.
What Causes Snoring?
The tissues in the back of the roof of the mouth which include the soft palate and the tongue become relaxed during sleep and often will constrict the airway and restrict air flow. This causes the soft palate and uvula to vibrate against the back of the throat and create the sounds you hear as snoring. In addition, the tonsils and adenoids can vibrate as well. Snoring becomes louder as the airway becomes narrower because more tissue is vibrating. Snoring is more common among men than women.
One’s physical attributes are often the cause of snoring, however, there are also other factors that can contribute to the problem. A congested or stuffy nose or anything such as asthma or a cold that would constrict the airway can cause snoring.
The consumption of alcohol will also cause narrowing of the air passage and will result in snoring even though the person doesn’t normally snore. Alcohol adversly affects an area of the brain that controls breathing. This causes the tongue and throat muscles to become too relaxed resulting in a partial blockage of the airway. If alcohol is the culprit, limiting or eliminating it before bedtime will help to prevent snoring. Smoking which often goes along with alcohol use will also contribute to the problem.
Obesity or even being moderately overweight causes fat buildup in the throat and will narrow the air passageway.
Relaxation of the airway muscles can be affected by certain medications for allergies, anxiety or depression.
Health Implications of Snoring.
The most obvious effect of snoring is interrupted sleep. Recent studies have shown that people who do not get a full seven to eight hours of restful sleep every night can suffer from numerous adverse physical and psychological conditions. Snoring can also lead to a condition known as sleep apnea that can be a serious sleep disorder in which you stop breathing periodically during sleep. This can cause high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythm, stroke, diabetes, and even heart attack.
Lack of energy is the most common complaint heard in doctors’ offices. While there may be other causes, lack of sufficient sleep is frequently the reason. During sleep the body restores and heals itself so a lack of proper sleep will prevent or reduce these benefits.
If your snoring gets worse you should speak to your primary care physician who may want to check if you have developed upper airway resistance or sleep apnea.
How to Prevent Snoring.
There are some steps you can try to stop snoring before resorting to more drastic measures. These include some behavioral measures as well as some devices that you can purchase.
Possible solutions you can try yourself:
Don’t drink alcohol or take medicine that can cause you to relax such as tranquilizers or sleeping pills.
Try to get to bed at the same time every night and shoot for seven or eight hours of restful sleep. Your system thrives on regularity and you will get the maximum benefit from this healing process which will help your efforts to stop snoring.
Never sleep on your back but always on your side. Sleeping on your back will increase the likelihood of snoring and if you are prone to sleep apnea sleeping on your side will lessen the risk of breathing cessation.
You can try creating a slight incline by raising the head of your bed four to six inches. This keeps the tongue from slipping into the throat and blocking the airway. Do not use pillows to raise your head and upper body as this does not work.
If you are a smoker this is just one more reason you should quit. Smoke causes inflammation and swelling of the airway which constricts the air flow.
If you need to shed a few pounds getting down to a normal weight will be helpful. People who are overweight or obese often suffer from sleep apnea as well.
If a cold or allergies are causing breathing difficulties make sure you treat this to avoid breathing problems which can promote snoring.
Breathing devices that can help:
If you have a cold or a stuffy nose you can try Breathe Right(tm) nasal strips. SomnoGuard(tm) is a mouth piece device that has been used to remedy snoring.
Snoring in the least case is annoying and disruptive and results in poor sleep quality. If snoring is not corrected it may result in a more serious condition such as sleep apnea. There are, fortunately, numerous effective ways to help you stop snoring. This article takes a look at some of the more common ways. It is up to the individual to take the necessary steps to remedy their snoring problem.
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