Stop Snoring!

Photo by mybulldog via Flickr

Photo by mybulldog via Flickr

After a long, stressful day at work, Debbie was exhausted. She rested her head on the pillow, snuggled in close and closed her eyes, looking forward to a good night’s rest. Tomorrow looked to be more of the same, so she would need the sleep.  Just as she was about to drop off to sleep, a loud noise startled her.  Not again, she thought.  Did Tom have to snore tonight of all nights?  Frustrated, she tried to fall asleep, but the loud snores bored into her head.

Sound familiar?  Snoring is a common problem that afflicts over half of adults at one point in their lives.  Not only can it disrupt or annoy a sleeping partner, it can also impact the health of the snorer.

What causes snoring?
Snoring occurs when air is unable to pass normally through the respiratory passages due to narrowing or blockage.  The air passing through a smaller opening causes the relaxed tissues around the back of the throat to vibrate during breathing, creating harsh, rattling sounds called snores.  The narrowing can be in the nose, mouth or throat.  There are many root causes of snoring.

Why do people snore?
Here are a seven common reasons why people snore:

  1. Allergies: Seasonal allergies can lead to a stuffy nose, which can cause snoring.
  2. Cold or sinus infection: Nasal congestion or obstruction can cause snoring.
  3. Being overweight: Being overweight is a common contributor to snoring.  Carrying extra weight can lead to extra bulk in the throat, which can cause narrowing of the air passages and snoring.
  4. Deviated septum: The septum is the tissue and cartilage that separates your nostrils.  If that nasal partition is crooked, it may cause snoring.  If that is the cause, there are surgeries available to correct it.  That will not only take care of the snoring problem, but will also improve breathing.
  5. Too much alcohol before bed: Drinking too much alcohol overly relaxes the tongue and throat muscles, which can obstruct air movement and cause snoring.
  6. Enlarged tonsils or adenoids: If these are enlarged, it can narrow the airways contributing to snoring.
  7. Sleep apnea: Snorers who are chronically sleepy may have obstructive sleep apnea.  With sleep apnea, sleepers stop breathing temporarily.  When they struggle for air, they snort loudly to force the airways open.  This is a dangerous condition if untreated.  If you suspect you have sleep apnea, see a specialist or visit a sleep disorder clinic immediately.

What can I do to stop the snoring?
If your partner’s snoring is keeping you up at night, here are six suggestions to try to stop it.

  1. Have them sleep on their side: Lying on the back can partially obstruct airflow by allowing the tongue to fall back into the throat.  To prevent your partner from lying on their back, sew a rolled up sock or tennis ball to the top of their sleepwear. (Don’t do this without their permission or you might not have to worry about hearing them snore ever again.)
  2. Avoid or limit alcohol: Avoid alcohol at least 4 hours prior to sleep.
  3. Try nasal strips: Adhesive strips that are placed over your nose may improve breathing by opening the airways in the nasal passage.
  4. Lose weight: Sometimes changing your diet and losing weight is enough to reduce or even stop snoring.
  5. Take away allergy triggers: Sometimes removing allergy triggers (pets, stuffed animals, down comforters/pillows) from the bedroom can solve the snoring issue.
  6. See a specialist: If snoring continues or becomes louder, see a specialist to determine if you have a nasal obstruction, deviated septum, enlarged tonsils or adenoids or sleep apnea. Your doctor will help you find ways to stop the snoring by either suggesting lifestyle changes, medication or surgery, if necessary.

The bottom line:
Why should you suffer another sleepless night?  Simple lifestyle changes, such as sleeping on the side, taking away allergy triggers, avoiding alcohol before bedtime and losing weight may stop snoring.  And if you suspect something more serious, don’t hesitate to see a specialist because sometimes snoring can be more than a harmless, sleep disrupting noise.  But whether it’s merely annoying or more serious, don’t lose another night to disrupted sleep.  Sleep is important, so address the problem right away.

Comments (3)

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  1. Maria Isabel says:

    My husband snores and I have learned to try to move him on his side to stop it. It works.

  2. LnddMiles says:

    The best information i have found exactly here. Keep going Thank you

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