Snoring is a serious problem in our society. It is disruptive to sleepers and their partners. It can cause problems in a relationship and depending on the cause, reap havoc on a victim even during the day. For example: According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drowsy driving is responsible for at least 100,000 automobile crashes as well as 1,550 fatalities per year. So, it’s no wonder why a popular question today is: what can you do about snoring?
Facts about snoring
Let’s look at some statistics:
- Up to 30% people aged thirty and above have issues with snoring; even as high as 40% in the middle-aged category.
- Two thirds of adults in partnered relationships say that their partner is a snorer. When partners were asked individually if they snored, the response was yes 6 out of 10 times or 60%.
- Here’s a shocker: 5.6% of children are habitual snorers!
- The approximate ratio is 2:1 for suffers of snoring amongst men to women. But the gap closes when women reach menopause.
For adults that have reached their sixties the numbers rise significantly to sixty percent of men and forty percent of women. Reasons for the differences between men and women are quite simple.
More men tend to be overweight or at least have larger necks. A neck size of at least 17 inches almost guarantees a snorer. Most men, (85%) who snored do not consider it a problem and instead complain that their wives are light sleepers.
On the other hand, women snorers are usually shorter and heavier that their feminine non-snoring counterparts. When women snore it is more commonly through their noses than their mouths whereas for men it is tends to be both.
Women are more apt to try to find snoring treatment than men. The reasons women snore less on average are that they tend to have smaller necks, larger air passages and a smaller uvula (an extension at the back of the soft palate which hangs above the throat). All of which make it less likely for her to snore.
So, before we go further, what is snoring?
What is snoring
Snoring is a hoarse and harsh sound from nose or mouth that occurs when breathing is partially obstructed while sleeping. It is the result of a partially blocked airway. See the diagram below:
Notice the difference in the two airwaves
What causes snoring
Snoring can be a symptom of a disease such as obesity and sleep apnea. For more information on sleep apnea, logon to my article: https://universal-health-products.com/sleep-apnea-the-facts/ But, snoring can also have causes that aren’t due to an underlying disease. Examples include nasal congestion, deviated septum, or alcohol consumption (more on that below). In chronic cases of snoring, it’s important to seek a doctor’s care in order to get the medical treatment you need to address the underlying condition.
How can you stop snoring
Cases of snoring caused by benign factors such as sleeping position — can often be treated with simple home remedies. The key is to increase air flow through your throat. Some suggestions are below:
If you are overweight, lose weight – This will help reduce the amount of tissue in your throat that might be causing your snoring. You can lose weight by reducing your overall caloric intake by eating smaller portions, healthier foods and exercising. Make sure you exercise daily. You may additionally take into account seeing your doctor or a specialist (nutritionist) for assistance.
Sleep on your side – Sleeping on your back can cause the tongue to move to the back of the throat, which partly blocks airflow through your throat. Simply sleeping on your side may be all you need to do to allow air to flow easily and reduce or stop your snoring.
Raise up the top of your bed – Elevating the top of your bed by four inches could facilitate cutting back your snoring by keeping your airways open.
Use nasal strips or an external nasal dilator – Adhesive nasal strips will be placed on the bridge of the nose to assist increase the area within the nasal passage. This can build your respiration more effectively and scale back or eliminate your snoring.
You could additionally attempt using a nasal dilator, which is a stiffened adhesive strip that’s applied on top of the nose across the nostrils. This can decrease flow of air resistance, making it easier to breath.
Use an oral appliance – You may want to try an easy to use, one size fits all mouthpiece designed to stop snoring. It opens up your airways to allow you to breathe better while you sleep, stopping you from snoring. For more information, click this link.
If you have chronic allergies treat them – Allergies can reduce airflow through your nose, which forces you to breathe through your mouth. This increases the likelihood that you’ll snore. Consult with your doctor about what kind of over-the-counter or prescription allergy medications may improve your condition.
Correct structural issues in your nose – Some individuals are born with or encounter an injury that offers them a condition known as a deviated septum. I mentioned this earlier which is the misalignment of the wall that separates both sides of the nose, which restricts airflow. It can cause you to breathe through your mouth during sleep, causing snoring. It may be necessary to seek surgery to correct this condition. Talk to your doctor, preferably an otolaryngologist.
Limit or avoid alcohol before bed – Make an effort to not consume alcohol for a minimum of two (2) hours leading up to your retirement. The depressant, sedative effect of alcohol relaxes your jaw and throat muscles. As a result, these muscles collapse onto your airway, restricting airflow causing snoring.
Avoid taking sedatives before bed – If you take sedatives and snore, talk to your doctor to discuss what your options are. Stopping sedative use before bed could ease your snoring.
Stop smoking – And we have yet another reason to stop smoking. Smoking is an unhealthy habit that can increase your snoring problem. Talk to your doctor regarding therapies — like gum or patches that may assist you to quit.
Snoring will disrupt your sleep as well as your partner’s. Trying one or more of the above treatment options is a good place to start to help you get your sleep under control. But if that doesn’t work, besides being annoying, it may indicate a serious health condition. In that case, seeing your doctor is advisable.
Feel free to leave a question, concern or comment below.
4 thoughts on “What Can You Do About Snoring”
Snoring shouldn’t be ignored and should be treated as soon as one is aware of who is affected by the condition.
What scares me is if it’s caused by sleep apnea, but if it’s due to a condition wherein one can control like being overweight then that you should prompt snorers to take action immediately.
A change in lifestyle (better eating habits, exercise, etc.) will not only prevent snoring, but it will help in improving overall health as well.
The tips that are mentioned here are very helpful although some people still snore even though they sleep on their side and that’s probably because they are affected by a different condition.
I agree Ron. Thanks for stopping by!
Wow, this is really true. Especially about snoring destroying relationships. Manybpeople are really prone to getting disgusted by the sound of the snore. My mum hates it and the sound drives her crazy. I didn’t know that there were health issues relating to snoring problems. This is a very good post and I like that you have death with all the underlying ways to deal with snoring. I notice that I snore in my sleep when I’ve had a hectic day. Does that count too?
Hi Henderson – Yes it seems that snoring was just accepted as part of a person’s sleep as annoying as it can sometimes be. No one really thought of it as a health issue. But we’re getting wiser! As for your occasional snoring, it doesn’t seem chronic but you should pay attention to it and perhaps pay attention to the section of the post on how you can stop snoring. It may just be the position you sleep in when you’ve had a hectic day.