We all have one person in mind when we hear about snoring. Over the years, people have made fun of people who snore. Probably because people who snore make funny noises when they do, and it only occurs when they are completely knocked out.
But did you know that snoring is not something that you can just ignore? There is more to snoring that just those weird noises. Snoring actually indicates an existing problem that may be harmful to a person’s overall health.
If you are told that you have been snoring in your sleep or if you know someone who does, it is a fine time for you to learn more about it. Whether you are aware of it or not, snoring can have negative implications in your life. So the question is, how do you stop it? Let’s discover why it happens and what you can do to put an end to it.
Why Do People Snore?
When a person snores, a seemingly vibrating sound is produced. This happens when a person’s airway is narrowed and air flow is restricted. As the air needs to pass through several layers of soft tissues such as the throat’s walls, uvula, soft palate and lung tissues before it reaches your mouth and nose, different noises are made when a person sleeps.
Those passageways relax during sleep, hence, relaxed muscles and tissues make the airways narrower. Pressure is increased as the air makes it way to the mouth and nose; this is responsible for making the vibration. There are several circumstances that cause snoring but the main reason why this happens is because air continues to encounter problems with flowing freely.
Who is at Risk for Snoring?
A lot of people are curious as to who are at risk for snoring. There are different causes of snoring and it can be unique for every individual. However, through study and research, they have come up with a list of factors that can put you at risk for snoring. Let us take a look at them one by one.
- Male are More Prone to Snoring
While it is true that many women snore in their sleep, we can deduce that there are more men who do. This is because men are more prone to having sleep apnea than women. People who have sleep apnea are more likely to snore and gasp during sleep as the body attempts to take in enough air during sleep.
- Individuals who are Overweight and Obese
People who are fit have lower chances of snoring at night. In contrast to this, people who are obese and are overweight are more likely to snore during sleep. This is because of the excess fat found in their neck and throat area. The fats get in the way of the air slowing throughout their system while they are asleep. This happens because muscles and all other parts of the body tend to relax and sag during sleep.
- People with Vices are Prone to Snoring
Those who take in alcohol, cigarettes and other types of substances such as sleeping pills and sedatives are very prone to snoring. This is because all those have contents that induce relaxation. When the body is in a state of extreme relaxation, there is a tendency for soft tissues to get in the way of breathing.
What Chronic Snoring Does to You?
Those who snore occasionally barely notice anything when they wake up. Meanwhile, those who experience chronic snoring often wake up to certain conditions that affect their life on a daily basis. If you are someone who snores but do not know how huge the impact is to your life, here are a few things to look out for.
- Feeling drowsy and tired throughout the entire day
People who snore the entire night end up feeling tired and sleepy the next day. This may happen even after waking up from a night’s sleep. This happens because snoring interrupts sleep leading to a poor quality of rest.
- Your throat may feel sore the next day
When you snore, your airways and mouth may get too dry. The constant vibration along with the pressure created by snoring will leave you with an extremely dry and sore throat.
- Interrupted Sleep
This is an outcome of snoring because the person may experience several pauses while sleeping. Some people even choke or gasp at night. It is difficult to reach deep sleep as the interruptions leave the person in light sleep the entire time.
- Decreased productivity
Sleep deprivation due to snoring can put a toll in your life. When you lack sleep you may end up being too tired the entire day. You may have difficulty concentrating and focusing throughout the day. This can give you headaches in the morning, chest pains during the night and increased blood pressure the next day.
How to Prevent Snoring?
There are different ways to prevent snoring. For those who snore occasionally, it is a wise thing to perform these measures to make sure you get quality sleep at night and your snoring does not get worse.
- Keep Your Airways Clear
If you noticed, snoring occurs when you have colds and flu. This is because your air passages are filled with secretions that obstruct airflow. Make it a practice to keep your nasal and oral passages moist and obstruction-free. Blow your nose and try to expel all the secretions from time to time.
- Invest on a Humidifier
When the air gets dry, you are most likely to snore. This is because dry air can make your nasal and oral passages dry while sleeping too. To prevent the occurrence of this, you can always invest in a good humidifier for your place. This lessens the likelihood of mucus production and airway drying.
- Fix Your Pillows
Some people snore because of their position while sleeping. The key is positioning your pillows properly to position to make sure your head is supported and a bit propped higher. This prevents your tongue and tissues from sliding toward the back of your throat and being an obstruction. When you are positioned properly, your airway is open and maximized for airflow. You can also stop snoring with the help of snoring mattress.
- Refrain from Having Heavy Meals and Alcohol before Bedtime
When you eat a big meal before sleeping, there is a tendency for indigestion and acid reflux. Heartburn and swelling can happen too, in this case, your breathing will once again be compromised. It is recommended to have lighter meals before bedtime. Alcohol should also be avoided a few hours before sleeping as this can affect your breathing too. Hence, snoring can come as a consequence from the intake of both.
How to Treat Snoring Naturally?
As discussed earlier, there are a lot of things that you can do to prevent snoring. However, those who are already suffering from excessive snoring can try doing these natural ways to stop it completely.
- Assume a Good Sleeping Position
A person’s sleeping position plays a part. Those who sleep on their backs are more prone to snoring heavily as the tongue and tissues sometimes slide towards the throat in this position. You can try sleeping on your side and placing a pillow in between your legs and at the back of your head for proper support. If you really want to sleep on your back, make sure to put pillows to support and raise your head and back.
- Practice Better Habits
People who are fond of smoking, drinking alcohol, popping sleeping pills or using different forms of sedatives are more prone to snoring. This is because these substances induce relaxation of the tissues. Too relaxed tissues during sleep may create a narrower air passage and may worsen your snoring.
- Maintain Your Ideal Body Weight
Snoring is common in people who are overweight and obese. This is because of all the fat that alters their normal anatomical features. There is a possibility that excess fat around the neck and throat can interfere with natural airflow. Apart from that, people who are overweight may have bad eating habits that may aggravate snoring.
- Consult with a Dentist
If your snoring has gone way out of hand, you can consult with a dentist for help. Usually, dentists recommend the use of mouth guards during sleep. This is done to improve and open the airways. Mouth guards can help keep those tissues in their proper position and prevent them from sagging during sleep while in their relaxed position.
How to Treat Snoring with Medical Procedures?
When you have exhausted all the methods mentioned above, do not lose hope. People who are not able to stop snoring through natural ways and homemade remedies can always opt to go for medical treatments. While these are more invasive, it has been proven to work for some snoring sufferers.
- CPAP or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure
This keeps your airways open and wider during the night through a machine that blows pressurized air into your system. This involves the use of a mask that is to be worn over your face or nose.
- LAUP or Laser-assisted Uvulopalatoplasty
This is a procedure that involves the use of a laser to create small cuts in the uvula. This shortens this soft tissue and palate to prevent it from sagging. When the tissues heal and become stiffer, the vibrations created by air flowing through the passages are decreased.
- Pillar Procedure or Palatal Implants
This involves the insertion of small plastic implants into the soft palate. This is done to prevent the soft palate from collapsing and getting in the way of the airway.
This utilizes the use of radio frequency heat set at low levels. You will be placed under local anesthesia for about thirty minutes. After which, the procedure will be done to eliminate tissues from the soft palate and uvula. This lessens the vibration made by air passing through the air passages during sleep.
- Lower Jaw-Positioners or Custom-made Dental Appliances
These are personalized dental devices created to aid in opening the airways during sleep. These are meant to position your tongue or lower jaw forward while sleeping. Be careful with the use of these devices as the need can vary from one person to another. It is still recommended to consult with a dentist before using one.
- Surgical Procedures
UPPP or Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, TAP or Thermal Ablation Palatoplasty, adenoidectomy and tonsillectomy are a few of the surgical procedures that can be done to eliminate snoring. These procedures are done to improve and widen the size of your airways through tissue removal or corrections.
With all these procedures available and accessible to everyone, snoring becomes easier to resolve. However, it is important to consult with health professionals before undergoing these procedures. Make sure to get sound and safe advice before engaging in any procedure.
We may look at snoring as a common and normal phenomenon for people all over the world. While it is true that snoring has become a typical thing for a lot of people, we must not forget the reason why it happens and what it means. Snoring is an indication of a problem on a person’s air passages during sleep.
Ignoring this problem can lead to complications that may interfere with your quality of living in the long run. The symptoms and complications start out small and are unnoticeable at first. But as it worsens, you will feel your whole body responding to it.
And as sad as it may sound, by the time you experience all the negative implications of snoring, it may be a time where reversing or eliminating the condition is harder. If you are told to be snoring or if you know someone who snores heavily when they sleep, now is the best time to act.
Incorporate the changes and tips mentioned above to remedy this problem. If it does not work, consult with professionals for help. Why settle for a compromised lifestyle when you can maximize it by eliminating this small problem through effective ways? Eliminate your snoring today.