Everyone snores at some point or another, but those who snore on a regular basis, end up affecting people sleeping next to them, and wonder how to stop snoring, and sleep peacefully. However, that’s not the only fallout of snoring, which is often considered to be an innocuous issue. People who snore frequently tend to suffer from disturbed sleep or lack of sleep, which can affect their normal functioning on a day to day basis. They tend to feel tired, less energetic and mentally agile at work, needless to say, it affects their relationships with their partners as well.
Studies have also shown that snoring could be a sign of a more significant condition or disorder that can affect your overall wellbeing. That’s why, you need to start looking into your snoring problem closely, and identify methods how to stop snoring. Today, there are many natural and medical remedies for snoring problems, but before you get to that, you need to understand what snoring is and what causes it.
What is snoring?
Snoring can be caused by a variety of reasons that lead to blocked air passage between your nose and mouth while you sleep. It could be because of bad sleeping posture or accumulation of soft tissues in the nasal passage. When the airway gets narrower, it affects normal and smooth breathing, which can cause the sound we refer to as snoring.
Not everyone snores because of the same reason; for some, it could be a result of floppy tissue in their throat or nasal passage, which tends to vibrate. While for others, it could be how their tongue is positioned when they sleep that can lead to a disturbed breathing pattern. Understanding the reason behind your snoring can help you identify the remedies for your snoring problem.
What are the causes of snoring?
As mentioned earlier, snoring can be caused because of blocked nasal airways, cause due to different reasons. There are several factors that can lead to it, including your age, because as you get beyond a certain age, your throat tends to get narrower and the muscle tone becomes weaker. Studies have shown that in some instances snoring can be a hereditary problem because of physical attributes like cleft palate, narrow throat and enlarged adenoids. In general, men are known to have smaller air passages, which is why they tend to snore a lot more than women.
People who have sinus and nasal problems can be prone to snoring because they suffer from blocked airways, which makes normal breathing difficult. It’s also been seen that people who are overweight snore more, because the fatty tissue and weak muscle tone gets in the way of normal breathing. You could also be snoring more frequently if you smoke or consume alcohol, as it can lead to relaxation of muscles, which is a cause of snoring. Certain medication you might be taking could also lead to relaxing of muscles, which can cause snoring.
Sleeping posture is another cause for snoring problems, and those who tend to sleep on their backs often snore because it relaxes their throat muscle and blocks their airway. These might seem like rather straightforward causes that could be overcome with due attention. However, it’s not always that simple. Moreover, you need to remember that snoring could be a sign of sleep apnea, which can have serious, long term repercussions on your health. That’s why, you cannot ignore your snoring problem and have to take it seriously.
What is Sleep Apnea and how is it different from regular snoring problems?
Sleep Apnea is a condition where your breathing is interrupted when you sleep. You can have breathing lapses for about 15 seconds, hundreds of times within a night. It means people who suffer from Sleep Apnea spend most of their sleeping time in light sleep, which is hardly rejuvenating. In most cases, Sleep Apnea is not diagnosed at early stages, which leads to people suffering from acute sense of fatigue, tiredness, lack of concentration and irritation during the day. And, that’s the major difference between people who snore on a regular basis and those who have Sleep Apnea.
It’s important to note that not everyone who snores might have Sleep Apnea. Unfortunately, it’s also true that everyone who has Sleep Apnea doesn’t necessarily snore. This is one factor that makes it more difficult to identify Sleep Apnea as a condition in most instances. When not treated Sleep Apnea can seriously harm per your health and overall wellbeing. The ill effects on your health include high blood pressure, heart conditions, diabetes, weight gain and stroke. However, you can get help for Sleep Apnea and the condition can be treated; the key lies in identifying the problem at an early stage. If you or your loved one is showing symptoms of Sleep Apnea including fatigue, slow reflexes and irritability during the day due to lack of sleep, you need to seek medical help at the earliest.
Snoring can affect relationships and your social life
Lack of sleep due to snoring at night can leave you feeling irritated during the day. You are likely to snap at the smallest of provocations, and it affects your relationships with people in your daily life. However, your partner faces the maximum brunt of your snoring problem, because it affects his or her sleep too. Many relationships have been affected because of one partner’s snoring issues because not only does it affect the other’s quality of sleep but overall health as well.
Moreover, it can have an impact on the nature of your relationship. People who snore don’t often realize the extent of the toll it can take on their partners. It can lead to conflicts, and the partner sleeping separately. Thus, the physical intimacy in a relationship is compromised, and a feeling of isolation creeps. People who snore tend to think that they are being punished for something that they have no control over. The only way of overcoming the problem is by communicating with your partner.
Helping your loved ones to stop snoring
Sleep deprivation can test the patience of even a saint, so it’s understandable that you are irritated by your partner’s snoring. But, you cannot lose sight of the fact that your partner is affected by the snoring probably as much as you are, if not more. It’s also true that your loved one is likely to be embarrassed about his or her snoring issues. Hence, you need to handle the matter sensitively, being sensitive to your partner’s feelings.
As aggravating and stressful sleep deprivation might be for you, it’s important that you avoid a nasty confrontation because your partner doesn’t have control over the snoring problem. He or she might be vulnerable and probably a bit defensive if the matter is brought up during arguments; hence, it’s best to address the issue at the right time and not in the middle of the night or early morning either. You can try to handle the subject with a bit of humor, which will put your partner at ease.
Unfortunately in many instances the snoring problem becomes the trigger to vent out other relationship issues. It should be avoided at any cost, because it will only lead to acrimony and bitterness. You can be more sympathetic towards your partner’s feelings and needs by discussing the issue sensitively and without causing any hurt. You must make your point clear, and let your partner know how much his or her snoring is affecting your sleep and health. In all likelihood, it will motivate your partner to seek timely help and look for remedies that can solve the problem.
How to stop snoring and get help for it?
If you have been looking for help for your snoring problems you will probably be inundated with advice from friends, colleagues and family members, and each one seems to have a different solution for the problem. There are many devices available in the market that claim to offer you a permanent solution to snoring, but most of them don’t live up to the claims they make. What’s worse is that some of these solutions might simply leave you sleepless. With all these options around you, arriving at the right solution for your snoring problem might seem like a task.
The first thing to bear in mind is that not every remedy is suitable for everyone and what might work for your friend, might not necessarily work for you. But, you can find the right cure for your sleeping problem, by trying to figure out what causes you to snore; this can be identified by observing your snoring pattern. Many individuals have benefited from keeping snoring diaries with the help of their partners, as they tell you the reasons behind your snoring and what makes it worse. It’s the best way of going about finding cures for your snoring problem.
There are many different ways people sleep and snore. Your sleeping position can give you an indication to the reason you snore. Once you have established the reason behind your snoring, you can go about finding a remedy for it. It’s been seen that closed mouth snoring could be because of a problem with your tongue, on the other hand, open mouth snoring is often an indication of accumulated tissues in the mouth and throat. People who tend to snore when they are sleeping on their backs often suffer from mild snoring problems, which can be corrected with certain lifestyle changes. However, if you snore in every sleeping position then your problem could be more acute, and you might need more elaborate treatment.
Home treatments for snoring can make a difference
If you want to take serious measures about eliminating your snoring problem, you can try out a few home remedies and self-treatment methods, which have been hugely beneficial to many others who have struggled with their snoring issues.
Make small alterations in your lifestyle
It is now established that snoring can be caused due to fatty tissue, which gets accumulated in the back of your throat. Hence, trying to lose weight can help you get over the problem, and reduce your snoring or eliminate it completely. Exercise will not only help you lose weight, but will also build the muscle tone in your body. And, it will directly affect the muscle tone in your throat as well, which can offer you relief from your snoring problem.
Smoking and drinking are common causes of snoring and need to be avoided. Smoking can cause aggravation of membranes in your throat, which can lead to the nasal airway being blocked. On the other hand, alcohol tends to relax the muscles in your throat, which can lead to snoring as well. The same effect can be caused by certain medication, sedatives or sleeping pills that might be prescribed to you. You can speak to your physician about it and get the medication changed to something that won’t encourage that deep level of sleep.
Work out a regular sleeping pattern and follow bedtime exercises
Create a routine for going to bed with your partner at a regular time, as it will help you sleep better. Make sure you sleep in your bed, and not on the sofa in front of the television. Create a calm and relaxing environment in your bedroom, dim the lights and make sure it’s comfortably cool so that you can sleep better. If you have been suffering from nose congestion, chances are you snore on account of it. Hence, you need to address that issue by using decongestants or using nasal strips. It will help you breathe without any difficulty, and will thereby reduce your snoring.
Many have also realized the benefits of keeping their bedroom air moist with the help of humidifiers. Dry air can lead to irritation of membranes in your nose, which can then lead to blocked airways that cause snoring. Those who snore because of the position of their tongue can benefit from sleeping with their head elevated by a few inches. It will move their jaw and tongue forward while making breathing a lot easier as well. Watching what you eat before you go to bed is also crucial; caffeine should be strictly avoided before bedtime and so should soy milk and dairy products. You will be better off not having heavy meals before bedtime as well.
It’s also been noticed that sleeping on your side can help you minimize your snoring. That’s because when you sleep on your back your tongue and soft tissue tend to drop due to gravity. It leads to blocked airways, which cause difficulty in inhalation and thereby make you snore. With these simple exercises and remedies, you can ensure that you do your best to reduce snoring to a great extent.
Medical treatments for snoring
Advances in the field of medicine and science have introduced several effective treatment methods to reduce snoring. If the self treatment methods fail, then you always have the option of consulting your physician for proper medical treatment. Your ENT specialist could also help you with treatment methods, and there are dental devices, which you can get in consultation with your dentist that offer you relief from snoring. Some of you might have used these devices in the past without great effect. However, it doesn’t mean they won’t work for you today given the new developments. Moreover, these devices and treatments have been made more comfortable for people who suffer from snoring problems.
Some of the common and effective medical treatments for snoring are:
• Continuous Positive Airway Pressure or CPAP as it is commonly called helps you keep the airway open while you are sleeping to facilitate normal breathing. You will need to wear a mask on your face and nose, and pressurized air will be blown into it with the help of a machine that’s often kept by your bedside.
• Today, you also get many oral and dental devices, and appliances to reposition the lower jaw, which will bring your tongue and jaw forward thereby opening up the airway for normal breathing.
• If these treatments don’t work or in case you need to use some corrective measures, then surgery offers you the right solution. Various surgical methods like tonsillectomy, Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty and adenoidectomy, can be used to broaden the airway or remove tissues that are blocking the normal passage of air while breathing. Pillar procedure where plastic implants are inserted in the soft palate is also known to be beneficial to those who suffer from snoring problems. In this case, the soft palate gets stiffened because of the scar tissue that is developed around the implant. It thus reduces vibrations that lead to snoring.
• Today, there are many new methods like Laser-assisted Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty where lasers are used to get rid of parts of the soft palate that can cause vibrations and thereby snoring. Somnoplasty is another procedure that can be used to offer you relief from your snoring woes.
Of course, these treatment methods need to be carried out only after consulting your doctor, who will evaluate your snoring problem and try to get at the base of the underlying condition that is causing it. In some cases, you might be referred to a sleep specialist, and have to go through a sleep test to get to the root of the problem to find the right treatment method for your individual case.
Natural treatments for snoring
Today, a lot of emphasis is laid on natural treatment methods for any physical condition you might have, because these methods don’t have any side effects on you. And, besides the self help methods mentioned earlier that can be tried out at home, you can also try a few other natural treatment methods that can help you overcome your snoring problem.
• Benefits of yoga and meditation are now well known, and they can not only affect your overall health, but can help you relax and stay calm. It will help you de-stress and sleep peacefully at night. Moreover, when coupled with other breathing exercises, it can help you breathe better not only during the day but when you are sleeping as well.
• Snoring, as we have now established is caused by blockages in the nasal airway. That’s why the importance of nasal irrigation cannot be overemphasized. If you have realized that snoring is affecting your sleep every night, you might want to consider this method by simply inhaling steam before going to bed. It will open airways and ensure you breathe normally when sleeping, thus reducing your snoring.
• Use of essential oils is also beneficial when it comes to opening of nasal airways. Menthol, which is available in the form of essential oil, can be used every night before bed to open up the airways in your throat and nose.
• Therapeutic benefits of massages are well known as well and a good massage can help you relax and loosen your tense muscles. It will thus help you sleep better at nights.
These are some of the natural remedies that can help you with your snoring problems, which can also be reduced substantially by improving your seeping posture and sleeping with your head elevated to facilitate easy breathing.
Advantages of Snoring Pillows
Today, you can get specially designed snoring pillows that are considered an inexpensive and effective remedy to snoring. These pillows are designed to ensure normal air flow when you breathe while you are sleeping. Since now we know that snoring could be a result of incorrect breathing, by addressing the core problem you can find relief from snoring.
These snoring pillows are designed in a way that the edges are thicker than the centre of the pillow. This ensures that your head is aligned in the right way and elevated to the right extent to make smooth, natural breathing possible. If you tend to sleep on your back, then these snoring pillows help you by raising your chin, and let you breath naturally without any hindrance.
Given that snoring pillows perform the important task of reducing your snoring, and thus letting you enjoys a good night’s sleep, you need to ensure that you choose the right pillow for yourself. Think of the quality of the material used in these pillows and pick one that’s of the right shape and size for your body type and your natural sleeping position. You will also find pillows that adjust themselves to different sleeping positions to ensure normal breathing and comfortable sleep. These snoring pillows are reasonably priced, don’t need any special installations and offer you a long term solution for your snoring problems.
Don’t let your snoring get in the way of your normal day to day functioning, or your cherished relationships. Address the root cause of the problem and find remedies that suit your problem to the T. It could be self treatment, medical or a natural one, you can find relief from your snoring problem one way or another. You might have to make some lifestyle changes or use devices like snoring pillows that work wonders. Whatever you do, there’s no reason to lose hope, as how to stop snoring is no rocket science.