Is it just snoring or sleep apnea?
Snoring could indicate sleep apnea, a potentially life-threatening condition that requires medical attention. Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder where your breathing is briefly interrupted up to hundreds of times per night. Normal snoring doesn’t interfere with the quality of your sleep as much as sleep apnea, so if you’re suffering from extreme fatigue and sleepiness during the day, your problem may be more than just snoring.
Common causes of snoring
Age. As you reach middle age and beyond, your throat becomes narrower, and the muscle tone in your throat decreases. While you can’t do anything about growing older, lifestyle changes, new bedtime routines, and throat exercises can all help to prevent snoring.
Being overweight or out of shape. Fatty tissue and poor muscle tone contribute to snoring. Even if you’re not overweight in general, carrying excess weight just around your neck or throat can cause snoring. Exercising and losing weight can sometimes be all it takes to end your snoring.
The way you’re built. Men have narrower air passages than women and are more likely to snore. A narrow throat, a cleft palate, enlarged adenoids, and other physical attributes that contribute to snoring are often hereditary. Again, while you have no control over your build or gender, you can control your snoring with the right lifestyle changes, bedtime routines, and throat exercises.
Nasal and sinus problems. Blocked airways or a stuffy nose make inhalation difficult and create a vacuum in the throat, leading to snoring.
Alcohol, smoking, and medications. Alcohol intake, smoking, and certain medications, such as tranquilizers like lorazepam (Ativan) and diazepam (Valium), can increase muscle relaxation leading to more snoring.
Sleep posture. Sleeping flat on your back causes the flesh of your throat to relax and block the airway. Changing your sleep position can help.
Identifying the cause can help you find a cure
Monitoring your snoring for patterns can often help you pinpoint the reasons why you snore, what makes it worse, and how to go about stopping. To identify important patterns, it helps to keep a sleep diary. If you have a sleep partner, he or she can help you fill it in. If you sleep alone, set up a camera to record yourself at night.
|HOW you snore reveals WHY you snore|
|Type of snoring||What it may indicate|
|Closed-mouth snoring||May indicate a problem with your tongue|
|Open-mouth snoring||May be related to the tissues in your throat|
|Snoring when sleeping on your back||Probably mild snoring—improved sleep habits and lifestyle changes may be effective cures|
|Snoring in all sleep positions||Can mean your snoring is more severe and may require a more comprehensive treatment|
Bedtime remedies to help you stop snoring
Change your sleeping position. Elevating your head four inches may ease breathing and encourage your tongue and jaw to move forward. There are specifically designed pillows available to help prevent snoring by making sure your neck muscles are not crimped.
Sleep on your side instead of your back. Try attaching a tennis ball to the back of a pajama top or T-shirt (you can sew a sock to the back of your top then put a tennis ball inside). If you roll over onto your back, the discomfort of the tennis ball will cause you to turn back onto your side. Alternatively, wedge a pillow stuffed with tennis balls behind your back. After a while, sleeping on your side will become a habit and you can dispense with the tennis balls.
Clear nasal passages. If you have a stuffy nose, rinse sinuses with saline before bed. Using a Neti pot, nasal decongestant, or nasal strips can also help you breathe more easily while sleeping. If you have allergies, reduce dust mites and pet dander in your bedroom or use an allergy medication.
Keep bedroom air moist. Dry air can irritate membranes in the nose and throat, so if swollen nasal tissues are the problem, a humidifier may help.
These Lifestyle Changes Could Help
Lose weight. Losing even a little bit of weight can reduce fatty tissue in the back of the throat and decrease, or even stop, snoring.
Quit smoking. If you smoke, your chances of snoring are high. Smoking irritates the membranes in the nose and throat which can block the airways and cause snoring. While quitting is easier said than done, it can bring quick snoring relief.
Avoid alcohol, sleeping pills, and sedatives because they relax the muscles in the throat and interfere with breathing. Also talk to your doctor about any prescription medications you’re taking, as some encourage a deeper level of sleep which can make snoring worse.
Be careful what you eat before bed. Research shows that eating large meals or consuming certain foods such as dairy or soymilk right before bedtime can make snoring worse. Placing a household ban on the following snore-hazards right before bedtime can make for quieter nights.
Exercise in general can reduce snoring, even if it doesn’t lead to weight loss. That’s because when you tone various muscles in your body, such as your arms, legs, and abs, this leads to toning the muscles in your throat, which in turn can lead to less snoring. There are also specific exercises you can do to strengthen the muscles in your throat.
When these steps are followed consistently, there is a very high likelihood for notable changes.
You are tired and irritated? TRY THEM..