Snoring can wreak havoc on your sleep, your partner’s sleep, and can, in some cases, be a health risk. All of us snore at some point or another during sleep, which is perfectly normal. What causes snoring and what are some solutions, exercises, and remedies that may help alleviate the frequency? Is there any way to stop snoring?
Simply put, you snore when there’s an obstruction in the flow of air through the mouth and nose. When that happens, the walls of the throat vibrate, causing the unmistakable sound. Obese or overweight people often snore because of extra throat tissue that tends to relax when lying prone. Other causes are poor muscle tone in the throat and tongue. As we age, this happens naturally. But alcohol, sleeping pills and muscle relaxants can also cause those muscles to relax or fall back into the airways.
Allergy suffers may snore more frequently during allergy season. Sinus infections, nasal polyps, and a deviated septum can all be culprits of snoring, as can a long uvula (that soft piece of tissue you can see dangling down online casino spielautomaten in the back of your throat).
According to an article in SleepEducation.com, 10-12% of children snore; 24% of adult women; and 40% of adult men are habitual snorers.
When snoring affects the quality of your life (or your partner’s) through side effects such as fatigue or sleepiness during the day, it’s time to explore specific treatments. Snoring could be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which the Mayo Clinic describes as “a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts.” This more serious form of snoring requires medical attention, and in rare cases, surgery. Your physician can determine whether your snoring is normal or OSA.
For those who suffer from snoring not related to more serious health risks, throat exercises and lifestyle and behavioral changes can have a big impact on reducing snoring.
Throat Exercises to Reduce Snoring
- Hold a pencil between your teeth for five minutes (firm, not painful grip)
- Push your tongue against your lower teeth for five minutes
- Press your finger gently against your chin for three minutes
These exercises should be performed before bedtime. The idea is to tone and retrain the throat muscles that may be relaxing during sleep.
Lifestyle Changes to Reduce Snoring
- Avoid alcohol, muscle relaxers, and sleeping pills
- Sleep on your side, not on your back
- Lose weight
- Start and stick to regular sleeping patterns—go to bed at the same time each night, get up at the same time each morning
- Buy a new pillow that gives your head slight elevation or if your bed allows, tilt the head 3-4 inches
If none of the above stops your snoring, make an appointment with an otolaryngologist (eye, ear and throat specialist). He or she can make suggestions that may prove to be the snoring cure right for you. There are hundreds of devices that can be worn comfortably during sleep that will stop or reduce snoring, as well as non-invasive procedures that can give you and your loved ones some relief from those noises in the night that disrupt what is imperative to our health—precious sleep!