How to Stop Snoring?
“Laugh and the world laughs with you, snore and you sleep alone.”― Anthony Burgess
Snoring seems to be a sound sleep for one and a headache for everyone else! However, this nighttime issue proves to be a spoilsport for good sleep and even ruins relationships. The good news is, it’s a common issue and you can fix it. Let’s dig deep into the problem and get easy solutions to come out of it.
What is snoring?
‘Snoring is the vibration of respiratory structures and the resulting sound due to obstructed air movement during breathing while sleeping’, says Wikipedia.
Why do we snore?
We snore when we sleep with the uvula and the soft palate (the tissues in our throat) relaxed. When these relaxed tissues partially block the airway and cause irregular airflow and vibration, the snoring sound comes up. Many a cause seems guilty of your snoring including – throat weakness that causes the choking of the throat during sleep, tensed muscles because of your mispositioned jaw, excess fat gathered in and around your throat because of your obesity, partial blockage in the nasal pathway, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, the use of the muscle relaxants like alcohol and drugs, sleeping on our back that causes tongue dropping to the back of the mouth, allergies and so on.
What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive Sleep Apnea is the most common kind of sleep apnea caused by the partial or complete blockage of airflow in our upper airway structures. It mostly happens when the muscles of the tongue and the soft palate gets relaxed.
Facts on OSA
- Snoring indicates that you may have been suffering from OSA. Good to remember here that, not all who snores have OSA but those who suffer from OSA must snore.
- 20% of adults experience mild OSA and nearly 7% of adults suffer from moderate to severe OSA.
- Studies suggest, 75% of people who suffer from severe OSA, remain undiagnosed.
- Family members who get disturbed by the noisy sleep mostly make the Sleep Apnea sufferers aware of their condition.
- For proper diagnosis and treatment, OSA patients must go through the overnight sleep studies suggested by their doctors and assisted by their sleep partners.
How to stop snoring?
Occasional snoring because of excessive exhaustion or drinking is common and can be ignored but if you snore regularly, it needs to be addressed as it hampers your sleep quality, thus affecting your overall health.
As there are a couple of reasons why we snore, there are different remedies as well. To fix your snoring, the root cause must be diagnosed and uprooted. No worries, your solutions are here –
- Cut down your excess weight - Maintain a healthy diet and reduce your excess weight. Extra weight may gift you with extra tissues in the throat that contribute to snoring.
- Change your sleeping position – Sleep on your side. Sleeping on your back may make your tongue and the soft palate collapse to the back wall of your throat resulting in snoring. Also, use a good pillow to raise your head by about 4 inches from your bed. It helps to prevent snoring.
- Clear your nasal congestion – Clear your nasal passage before sleeping. Congestion in nasal passage limits or sometimes blocks the airflow and forces you to breathe through mouth resulting in snoring. Use a saline spray or take vitamin C daily to treat nasal congestion, sinus and promote your respiratory health. You may also take a hot shower to clear the clogged nasal passages.
- Quit smoking and avoid alcohol – Quit smoking and drinking alcohol to stop snoring. At least avoid taking them four hours before bedtime. Relaxants like cigars, alcohol, and drugs cause excessive relaxation of the tissues in your throat which results in a partial blockage in the airway and causes irregular airflow and vibration.
- Drink more water & keep the bedroom air moist – Drink plenty of water. If you get dehydrated, the secretions in your nasal passage and soft palate become stickier and may make you snore. Besides, keep your bedroom air moist. Dry air dries out your nasal membranes and may make you snore in the same way.
- Maintain good hygiene in your bedroom – Clean your bedroom and use anti-dust mite mattresses to prevent yourself from getting allergies. Allergies create nasal congestions and make you snore.
Since snoring happens only when you sleep, the ones who can help you fix this issue, are your family members, especially, your sleep partner. Please maintain a sleep diary and request your partner to record the pattern of your snoring while you experiment with a different anti-snoring method daily. The analysis out of this study will certainly help you fix this issue in the long run.
Happy Sleep… For you and everyone!