Even though almost everyone snores from time to time, if it becomes a frequent issue it negatively affects the quantity as well as the quality of the sleep. Moreover, it has a negative influence on the sleep of the roommates or the family members. Snoring leads to irritability, poor sleep, constant fatigue and increased health conditions. Luckily, there are many effective solutions out there and this article presents only a few of them.
What Leads to Snoring
As not all snoring is the same and not everyone snores for the same reason, it is of vast importance to identify the cause for snoring in your case. By doing so, you can find the cure and enjoy in a deeper and more quality sleep.
The major cause for snoring is too much throat and nasal tissue, also known as “floppy tissue”. The position of your tongue can be another thing that gets in the way of smooth breathing. What can help you in learning if the cause is within your control or not is the evaluation of how and when you snore. Fortunately, whatever the cause is, there are solutions that can help you.
The Most Common Causes for Snoring
- Sleep Posture
Sleeping on your back blocks the airway by causing the flesh of the throat to relax.
- The Way You Are Built
Men are more likely to snore as a result to their narrower air passages. Apart from narrow passages other things that increase the risk of snoring are the enlarged adenoids and other physical attributes.
The throat becomes narrower as you reach the middle age and the muscle tone in the throat decreases.
Poor muscle and fatty tissue are common causes of snoring.
- Nasal and Sinus Problems
The block in airways leads to snoring by making the inhalation difficult.
- Alcohol and Smoking
These vices lead to more snoring by increasing the muscle relaxation.
Snoring or Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a health condition which is life-threatening and it demands a medical attention. It is a breaking obstruction that forces the sleeper to wake up in order to breathe again. Snoring can often indicate sleep apnea. Normal snoring doesn’t interfere with the quality of your sleep to those lengths. So, your problem can be more than just snoring if you are suffering from extreme sleepiness and fatigue throughout the day.
Snoring Cures, Solutions and Remedies
The market offers lots of bizarre anti-snoring devices. Unfortunately, finding the right solution is a hard task because most of the devices are a complete waste of time and money. On the other hand, there are various proven methods that can really help you get rid of the annoying snoring. As not every remedy is right for every person, it is important to be patient, make some necessary changes and be willing to experiment. As mentioned in the very beginning, it is of vast importance to identify the cause of your snoring first. By observing the patterns in your snoring, you can identify what makes it worse, what is the reason for it, and how to eventually stop it.
The sleep positions reveal a lot as well as figuring out how you snore. Learning how and why you snore leads to finding the right cure.
- Open-mouth snoring is associate with the tissues in your throat.
- Closed-mouth snoring can be related to a problem with your tongue.
- Snoring when sleeping on your back is a mild snoring which can be solved by improved sleep habits and some lifestyle changes.
- Snoring in all positions can indicate more serious issues and it demands special attention.
- Self-Cures for Snoring
- Lifestyle Changes
- Quit Smoking
The chances of snoring are high if you are a smoker. Smoking actually blocks the airways by irritating the membranes in the throat and the nose.
- Lose Weight
Losing weight can decrease or stop snoring because it reduces the fatty tissue in the back of the throat.
- Avoid Alcohol, Sleeping Pills, and Sedatives
It is really important to avoid these vices because they interfere with breathing by relaxing the muscles in the throat.
Toning your legs and abs leads to toning the muscles in the throat too. This in turn leads to less snoring.
- Establish Regular Sleep Patterns
You need to create a bedtime ritual and stick to it. This will help you minimize snoring and sleep much better.
- Bedtime Remedies
- Sleep on Your Side
It is recommended to avoid sleeping on your back because gravity enables your tongue and soft tissues to drop, leading to obstruction in your airway.
- Keep Bedroom Air Moist
It is proven that dry air irritates membranes in the nose as well as in the throat.
- Clear Nasal Passages
You can use a Neti pot, try nasal decongestants or nasal strips in order to clear the nasal passages. Having a stuffy nose makes inhalation difficult, creates a vacuum in the throat and leads to snoring.
- Avoid Caffeine and Heavy Meals
It is highly recommended to avoid heavy meals, caffeine, soy milk and dairy products before bedtime. They increase the chances of snoring.
Elevating your head four inches may ease breathing. You can also find specially designed pillows that help prevent snoring.
- The Tennis Ball Trick
If sleeping on your back is the cause for your snoring, this trick is ideal for you. Just place a tennis ball to the back of a pajama of T-shirt. You will find this quite uncomfortable and you will respond by turning on your side. Eventually, you will develop a side-sleeping habit and hopefully get rid of the snoring.
- Throat Exercises
These throat exercises can help you reduce or completely stop snoring. All you need to do is to practice for 30 minutes a day. The exercises include pronouncing certain vowels and curling the tongue in specific ways. This strengthens the muscles in upper respiratory tract and reduces snoring.
- Close your mouth and purse your lips. Hold for 30 seconds.
- Repeat a-e-i-o-u for three minutes several times a day.
- Contract the muscle at the back of your throat repeatedly for 30 seconds.
- Move jaw to the right and hold for 30 seconds. Repeat on the left side too.
- Place the tip of your tongue behind your top front teeth. Then slide your tongue backwards for 3 minutes. Do this activity for 3 minutes a day.
- Alternative Remedies
- Playing the Didgeridoo
Even though you may find this strange, learning to play didgeridoo can strengthen the soft palate and the throat, which in turn reduces snoring.
The snoring that is caused by lax muscles can be reduced by singing because this activity increases muscle control in the throat and the soft palate.
Medical Cures for Snoring
If the self-help solutions didn’t provide any significant results, don’t give up. You can find treatments and medical cures that could make the difference. Various devices are being made that are becoming more and more effective as well as more comfortable.
In case your own efforts don’t help, visit an otolaryngologist (an ear, nose, and throat doctor). If you decide to use some dental appliance, consult a dentist who is specialized in these devices.
- Traditional Surgery
Some of the most common surgeries are the Thermal Ablation Palatoplasty, Uvulapalatopharyngoplasty, Adenoidectomy, and Tonsillectomy. They increase the size of your airway by surgically removing tissues or correcting abnormalities.
- Continuous Positive Airway Pressure
This procedure includes putting a machine at your bedside which blows pressurized air into a mask that you wear over your nose or face. This method keeps your airway open during sleep.
- Dental Appliances, Oral Devices, and Lower Jaw-Positioners
These devices resemble an athlete`s mouth guard. What they actually do is opening your airway by bringing your lower jaw on your tongue forward during sleep.
When to See a Doctor about Snoring
The snoring can often be an indicator of a more serious issue. That is why the doctor should find the underlying medical conditions, such as sleeping disorders or sleep-related breathing flags. If you notice some of the following signs, consult your doctor immediately.
- You fall asleep at inappropriate times, such as during a meal or a conversation.
- You snore loudly and heavily and are tired during the day.
- You stop breathing, gasp, or choke during sleep.
You may be referred to a sleep specialist for a home-based sleep test using a portable monitor. If the results show that snoring is not related to any breathing or sleeping disorders, you can try different treatment options mentioned above.
Don’t Let Snoring Damage Your Relationship
Snoring can seriously damage your relationship, even though you love each other and care for each other a lot. The thing is, the snorer may feel guilty, helpless, and irritated. On the other hand, the one lying awake as your partner snores way, it is easy to start feeling resentful.
The snoring can lead to relationship tension which then grown in the following ways:
- Irritability due to sleep loss
Disrupted sleep is a problem for both the snorer and the non-snorer. The snorer`s sleep quality suffers and this results in problems in communication.
- Partner resentment
Working as a team to find a snoring solution can prevent future fights. When the non-snorer feels as he has done everything to sleep through the night while the snorer doesn’t nothing to stop the snoring, it can lead to resentment.
- Sleeping in separate beds
In cases when you or your partner snores, the most common and simplest solution is to sleep in separate beds, meaning in different rooms. Even though this can work well for some couples, it negatively affects the both physical and emotional intimacy. The snorer may feel isolated, lonely and even punished for something that is beyond his control.
You need to work together in order to find a cure for snoring. This can be regarded as an opportunity to become more connected and to improve the quality of your relationship. If you care enough for your partner, make it a priority to work as a team.
Communicating with a Partner who Snores
It is of vast importance to handle the problem sensitively. When sleep loss is an issue, it is very normal to feel frustrated. However, you need to understand that you shouldn’t attack your partner. He feels embarrassed, vulnerable, lonely and even guilty for something that is far beyond his control.
- Use humor and playfulness
Use humor when you bring up this subject. You need to pay attention and avoid hurting your partner`s feeling. Laughing about the issue can ease the tension.
- Keep in mind it`s not intentional
You need to understand that your partner isn`t keeping you awake on purpose. Even though you may feel as a victim, he is suffering as well.
- Beware of bitterness
Don’t use the snoring issue as an outlet for other hidden resentments.
- Time to talk carefully
You need to find the right time for bringing up the subject about snoring. Early morning and middle of the night discussions should be avoided because you are feeling exhausted.
- Avoid lashing out
Even though sleep deprivation can be damaging to your health, try approaching it in a non-confrontational way.
Dealing with Complaints about Your Snoring
It is normal to feel vulnerable and little hurt when your partner complains about your snoring. After all, you are not even aware of doing it. Even though it seems that snoring cannot affect your relationship, it is common and a very big problem.
If you don’t pay attention to your partner`s complaints and concerns, if you don’t take them into consideration and if you do absolutely nothing to solve the issue, your partner will realize that your don’t care about his or her needs.
You need to keep the following things in mind and work with your partner in a team in order to find a solution to your snoring and improve your relationship.
- Make it clear that you prioritize the relationship
It is of vast importance to prioritize the relationship. By doing so, you will show understanding and you will work better towards finding a cure for the snoring.
- Snoring is a physical issue
Although it may be annoying and embarrassing, you need to understand that there is nothing to be embarrassed about. Snoring is a physical issue, just as a common cold or a pulled muscle. The solution for improving your condition is in your hands.
- Take your partner seriously
Take the complaints seriously and avoid minimizing them. Your partner may feel miserable all day as a result of the lack of sleep.
- Address inappropriate behavior
Sleep deprivation leads to moodiness and irritability and this is acceptable. However, you need to tell your partner that it is not okay if he snaps you or throws an elbow jab when you are snoring.
- Avoid taking it personally
Don’t take your partner`s complaints personally. His frustration shouldn’t be taken as a personal attack or a critique. He loves you but doesn’t love the snoring.