For some of us, snoring is nothing more than an occasional annoyance. However, others snore every single night — and experience the side effects for decades.
Did you know that 40% of adults in the UK snore?
Let’s take some time to examine why some individuals snore regularly while others breathe freely.
Root Causes of Snoring
Why do we snore? Snoring is caused by the narrowing of airways and tissue vibrating as you breathe. Your tongue, mouth, throat or soft palette relax when you sleep, and this creates noise.
There are many factors which can be linked to the condition. Here are some of the most common reasons why an individual could have breathing difficulties and snore:
- The excessive use of alcohol
- Sleeping position
- Obesity or being overweight
- Certain types of medications
- Sleep deprivation
In all of these instances, simple remedies may be able to produce viable results. The main takeaway point here is that you will normally be required to make a handful of lifestyle changes — and over time, these can reduce your snoring.
Is It A More Serious Underlying Condition?
Those who regularly snore could be suffering from a serious underlying health issue such as Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA)– 1 in 10 snorers suffer from OSA.
What is OSA?
OSA is a serious sleep condition when your airways become narrowed and collapse while sleeping. Causing breathing pauses (Apnoea events) and partial airway blockages (Hypopnoea events). As your body is deprived of oxygen, you will begin to snore quite loudly.
There are many times when your partner or someone close might notice constant snoring and bring it to your attention. You could also find yourself waking up in the middle of the night feeling out of breath or even choking. There are signs your partner has Sleep Apnoea.
Sleep Apnoea symptoms
We advise speaking with a sleep specialist to rule out any other conditions.
If you are diagnosed with Sleep Apnoea, there are several effective treatment options.
Symptoms Could Provide Hints
It could be possible to uncover the reasons why you snore based on the symptoms. For example, light snorers may be prone to this condition at specific times of the year if allergens are present.
The anatomy of your mouth may also play a role. Such as the shape of your sinuses, your soft palate, and the base of your tongue.
Genetics may also have an impact. If one or both of your parents are known to snore, you could inherit this very same trait. However, those who snore heavily or even wake themselves up from such a habit should make it a point to obtain a professional diagnosis. Heavy snoring is associated with other risk factors such as obesity and Obstructive Sleep Apnoea.
A Handful of Expert Tips
Here are some steps which you can take to limit how often you snore throughout the night.
Sleep position: One useful suggestion involves sleeping on your side as opposed to your back, as this will help to keep your airways open. If it is difficult to sleep on your side due to neck or spine issues, you could instead choose to prop your head up with a handful of additional pillows. You can also try a CPAP pillow to promote a proper sleeping position – supporting your neck and spine.
Alcohol: As you might have already imagined, it is best to avoid alcohol or sedatives before going to sleep. These can sometimes cause the muscles within your airways to relax, increasing the chances that you will begin to snore.
Tobacco: Smoking can likewise impact your ability to breathe freely, so try to break this habit.
Weight: If weight issues are the cause, it’s important to get more physical activity in your day. You can start an easy exercise programme (like walking) and limit carbohydrate-laden foods. Not only will this help you to trim off those excess kilograms, but daily exercise has been directly linked to obtaining quality sleep during the overnight hours.
If this condition is the result of narrow nasal or sinus passages, there are certain strips which can be obtained. These strips are placed around your nose, and they will help to widen your nasal passages, once again limiting the amount that you snore.
Addressing the Issue of Obstructive Sleep Apnea
If you have been diagnosed with OSA, the use of a CPAP machine (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) will provide solid results. This machine is attached to a tube and a CPAP mask that is placed over your nose and/or your mouth. Then pressurised air is pumped through this apparatus to help your airways to remain open when asleep.
Some units can be equipped with a “ramp” feature which gradually increases the pressure, making it easier to fall asleep.
Humidifiers can be added to your device to prevent the air pressure from causing your mouth and throat to become dry. Or you can choose a device with a built-in humidifier, such as the Fisher & Paykel SleepStyle.
Always speak with your doctor or sleep specialist so that you can encounter the most appropriate solution.
Or contact us for expert advice.
(Finally) Obtaining a Sound Night of Sleep
Those who snore are often prone to waking up during the night and daily fatigue. As a result, they are at a greater risk of developing long-term conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.
Do you suspect that you snore more than usual? Have the symptoms developed over time, or did they suddenly appear? If you are concerned about your sleeping habits, take action.
You can order an In-Home Sleep Test and learn more about your sleep troubles. It’s the first step toward getting the sleep your body needs to stay healthy — so you can enjoy a long life.
An In-Home Sleep Test is a quick and effective way to find out if you have Sleep Apnoea.
If you would like any advice on Sleep Apnoea, contact us.