Did you know that about 50% of the adult population of the United States snore? Snoring, if it occurs only occasionally, is usually not a thing that you should worry so much about. However, if it happens all the time, and it reduces the quality of your and your partner’s sleep, and leads to irritability and fatigue the next day, it should be paid attention to and treated right away.
What are the things that make people snore when they sleep?
There are different things that can cause snoring. If, during your sleep, your air cannot move freely through your throat and your nose, you snore. You also snore if the position of your tongue, while you sleep, gets in the way of the air passage or sort of blocks your breathing flow.
Below are the different factors that contribute to snoring:
Being overweight or obese
Excess fats, an unhealthy lifestyle, and being out of shape can increase your risk of snoring. If you have extra flabs around your neck or throat, for instance, your breathing is not as smooth as if you are fit and in shape. With exercise and weight loss, you can get rid of these unwanted fatty tissues and tone your throat muscles, and enjoy better quality sleep at night.
As people age, particularly starting around middle age, their throats become narrower and the muscles surrounding their throats become less toned. When this happens, breathing becomes less smooth than before, and they are more likely to snore. To remedy this, they should adapt a healthier lifestyle, with a regular throat exercise routine, to not allow snoring to take over their bedtime hours.
Smoking and drinking
There are compounds found in cigarettes, tobacco, and alcoholic drinks that have the ability to relax the muscles. So, if you smoke or drink frequently, you can expose your throat muscles to these substances and make them more relaxed than they should be. As a result, you snore.
Having sinus or nasal problems
If you have a cold, your nose and airways are stuffed, making inhaling and exhaling very difficult. And, when you are asleep, there is a vacuum created in the throat that triggers the snoring.
Your natural build
Men’s air passages are naturally narrower than women’s, so they are more prone to snoring. Also, if you have a narrow throat, enlarged adenoids, a cleft palate, or other similar physical features with hereditary links, you are likely to snore. Because these things are not really something you can change, you can manage your snoring by practicing good and healthy habits.
Your sleeping position
If you sleep flat on your back, the flesh of your throat positions itself in a way that blocks your air passage. Because of that, you snore. You should change your sleep posture, like lie on your left side or right side, to prevent snoring.
What can you do to cure your snoring?
Fortunately, there are many different natural ways to stop your snoring to help you and your partner get better quality slumber at night.
If you are overweight or obese, lose weight.
Overweight or obese people have excess tissues in their throat that can contribute to snoring. Thus, to stop the problem, they should start losing weight. They can count their caloric consumption to better manage how much they eat each day, and replace junk foods and other unhealthy foods with healthy options, like fruits and vegetables, in their diet.
Stay away from alcohol before bedtime.
At least two hours before you go to sleep, you should not touch any alcoholic beverages. This is important because alcohol contains ingredients that can relax your throat muscles and cause snoring. Rather, what you should do is enjoy a cup of milk, tea, or even just water to calm your nerves and help you slip into a good and long slumber.
Watch what you eat at night.
Certain foods can make your snoring worse. According to some studies, soymilk or dairy can trigger nasal congestion and mucus formation, increasing your risk of snoring while sleeping. Also, eating too much for dinner, especially if done only a couple of hours before you go to bed, can result to some snoring, as well. So, for your and your partner’s sake, be careful with what you eat at night to avoid such sleeping disruptions.
Deal with your chronic allergies.
Having allergies can be a major pain. They keep you sneezing, your eyes watery, and your nose stuffed and running. Oftentimes, because of how problematic your nose has become due to them, you are forced to breathe through your mouth instead. When this happens, your odds of snoring become greater. You should consult your doctor immediately to know what the best treatment medication for your allergies is to allow you to function normally again.
Consider using oral appliances.
Oral appliances are a kind of dental mouthpieces that can aid in keeping your airways open and unobstructed. So, if you use one, you can ensure that you are breathing smoothly, even while asleep. You have to visit your dentist to help you secure one of these devices for your own use to stop your snoring.
Get yourself a CPAP machine.
A CPAP machine, or a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine, is a medical apparatus often used for the treatment of sleep apnea. It is a small box that has a motorized fan built inside and an air mask that you wear over your nose. The fan makes use of the air in the room, pressurizes it, and delivers it to you through the mask. The warm, pressurized air helps soothe your airway passages, and eliminates any swelling, discomfort, and snoring.
When should you go to a doctor about your snoring?
You should see a doctor about your snoring as soon as possible. They are the only ones who can determine whether your problem is something that can be fixed by simply making healthy lifestyle changes, or something that requires more serious medical attention.