A comforting and refreshing sleep is something everyone looks up to. However, having a bedmate who snores will just hamper the whole thing. Worst is if you are the one doing the snoring!
If you snore regularly, it can greatly affect the quality of your sleep. Which might lead you to be feeling unnecessarily tired during the day. Also, one or two other health issues might arise.
Then in the case that your partner or roommate is the one snoring, this can not only affect the quality of your sleep but can also affect your relationship significantly. Sadly, sleeping in separate rooms is not the long term solution for snoring.
So if it is you snore that snores or it’s your partner, this article will tell you all you need to know about snoring.
In this post you’ll:
- get to know what the causes of snoring are,
- things to do to stop snoring,
- and how to handle snoring in your relationship.
So let’s get started…
There are numerous ways to overcome snoring Click To Tweet
Understanding What Snoring is
The first and most important step is understanding what causes snoring. Then, you can adopt various strategies for treatment/remedy, such as;
- behavioral strategies,
- lifestyle changes,
- or in very serious cases, medication.
In the simplest form,
Snoring occurs when you’re not able to move air freely through your airways (nose and throat) during sleep. As air battles to pass through the airways, its movement is restricted by the tissues in your nose and throat, causing those tissues to vibrate, which then makes the snoring sound you are used to.
Individuals who snore regularly snore usually have an excess of the throat and nasal tissue, thus increasing the chances of the vibration to occur.
How To Know If You Actually Snore
A lot of people who snore hardly ever notices. They only get to hear they have this habit when they have a roommate. However, not everyone has the opportunity of having a roommate around.
But here are some checks that might suggest that you snore…
- You usually wake up having a feeling of dry mouth or headache.
- You mostly feel unnecessarily tired during the day.
- Your sleep at night are usually interrupted, you wake up unnecessarily.
- Most of the time, you wake up at night coughing and sneezing.
- You are developing tooth cavities or other related dental problems.
The above are strong indications that you snore. Or might also be a pointer to other sleep disorders.
Since individuals snore for various reasons, it’s necessary to know the causes behind your snoring. When you understand why you snore, you can locate the correct answers for a calmer, more profound rest—for both you and your sleep partner.
Causes of Snoring
Whenever there is an obstruction in your airways, snoring is bound to occur. This obstruction can occur in various individuals for different reasons.
Some of the reasons are…
- Excessive intake of alcohol can loosen your nasal tissues.
- Your tonsils are larger than normal,
- fatty tissues that result from obesity can narrow your airways.
Factors Influencing Snoring
As you arrive at middle age and past, your throat becomes narrower, and the muscle tone in your throat diminishes. Aging is, of course, a natural phenomenon, and there’s hardly much you can do about it. However, you can make some lifestyle adjustments, change sleep positions, and schedule, carry out some throat exercises. These can help prevent snoring.
Obesity/Being Over Weight
Lack of regular exercise, obesity, or being overweight are also great contributors to fatty tissues developing around the throat and neck region. They equally cause weak muscle tone in these areas, thereby reducing the free flow of air, which in turn causes snoring.
Even if you are not overweight or obese, but in one way or the other there happens to be too fat/weight around your neck or throat region, then the possibility of it causing you to snore is increased. In most instances like this, getting more physically active can be all that is needed to put an end to your snoring.
The Male Factor
Men are more likely to be snorers than women. This is because even though men have bigger airways, their larynxes are situated lower in their necks, leaving an amount of space in their throat region.
Then as the man sleeps, his tongue usually falls into this open space in some cases. And this usually causes snoring. Again, even though you do not have much control over your genetic makeup, making some adjustments in your lifestyle, sleep schedules, engaging in some throat exercise, can ultimately help you battle snoring.
The increased hormone secretion that comes with pregnancy can cause the swelling of the mucous layer. This consequently causes a nasal blockage, and can, in turn, lead to snoring. Also, some ladies put on a significant amount of weight during pregnancy. And just like we’ve analyzed earlier, this can cause one to snore.
Nasal and Sinus Problems
Having a stuffy nose, or airways that are mostly blocked can cause you to snore.
Congestion of the Sinus
This can be as a result of some illness or allergies.
For illnesses like common cold or flu, part of their common symptoms is the stuffiness of the nose and difficulty in breathing. People who have other chronic allergies usually experience similar issues to nasal congestion. Whether caused by an illness or an allergy, a blockage of the nasal region can cause you to snore.
Alcohol, Smoking, and Medications
Excessive intake of alcohol, smoking, and certain medications, such as tranquilizers like lorazepam (Ativan) and diazepam (Valium), can increase your muscle relaxation which ultimately leads to snoring.
The way you are built
For some people, snoring is just a result of the way they’re built. If you’re born with large tonsils or adenoids, you may be more likely to snore.
Similarly, if you’re born with a large soft palate or uvula, as is common with autism, you’ll be more likely to snore.
Here are some of the things that might be the cause of your snoring Click To Tweet
Other Causes of Snoring
- Sleep Apnea: for some individuals, snoring could be an indication of sleep apnea (a sleep disorder whereby breathing is temporarily suspended as you sleep).
Bedtime Remedies To Help You Stop Snoring
- Change your sleeping position. Switching between different positions as you sleep can help you remedy snoring. Also, know that there are specially designed pillows available to assist stop snoring by making sure your neck muscles are not curled. You can look out for those.
- Sleep on your side instead of your back.
- Try an anti-snoring mouth appliance.
- Clear nasal passages to enhance the free flow of air in your airways.
- Keep your bedroom air moist. Especially if you usually have swollen nasal tonsils.
Lifestyle changes to help you stop snoring
Try shedding off even a little bit of weight. This can reduce fatty tissue in the back of your throat and can reduce or even stop snoring completely.
Even though quitting smoking is easier said than done, the truth is that this might be all that you need to get rid of your snoring issues. This is because smoking irritates the nasal membranes. This irritation can, in turn, obstruct the flow of air in your airways ultimately leading to snoring.
Avoid alcohol, sleeping pills, and sedatives.
Be careful with what you eat before bed. Popular researches have shown that eating large meals or consuming certain foods such as dairy or soymilk right before you sleep can make you snore.
Try to exercise more. General body exercise, even the simplest throat exercise can be of tremendous help.
Snoring And Relationships
So you snore, and you have a roommate(s), hmmmmm, my dear, chances are that your snoring might make your roommates not look forward to bedtimes at all.
The worst-case scenario is that you are in a relationship. Then it is possible that this might be telling on your relationship whether you realize it or not. So proper precautionary measures should be taken.
It annoys a lot of persons when you try to interrupt their sleep. Worst still is that they turn around and realize that the person depriving them of their sleep is fast asleep! How annoying can that be!
However, a great part of the disturbances and concerns that snoring rises can be reduced with proper communication. That is why it is very important to know how to communicate with your spouse and discover ways of moving forward.
Handling Snoring In Your Relationship
So let’s say you are the one being deprived of your sleep. Here are some steps you can take to approach your partner/roommate about it.
Please bear in mind that you should approach the matter very delicately. Bearing in mind that your partner may not necessarily know that he or she is snoring. This will help you two have a decent conversation, without instigating any form of fight or inferring condescending.
So here we go…
- Pick the best time during the day to talk on the matter. This essentially neutralizes the atmosphere. Making it very conducive to have such a conversation.
- Bring up the matter very lightly. Maybe with a sense of humor. Having a calm and caring attitude towards the matter will make your partner less embarrassed. And will most likely feel open to discuss the matter.
- Speak from the angle of care and concern. You can enlighten him or her on what you have understood about snoring and its causes, based on what we’ve discussed in this article. This will make them feel loved and willing to seek solutions.
- Once they’ve begun to understand how snoring works, and why it might be an issue, begin brainstorming solutions. You can share with him or her some of the tips I have outlined in this article up above.
- They still need your help. Try to support your partner. Bear in mind that when they snore, they are fast asleep, so as a result, you might need to observe him or her yourself to know what’s working and what’s not.
- Be patient. This is a very important factor. While there are a lot of effective strategies you can adopt to battle snoring, you might require a little patience before results begin to show.
Tricks to cope with a snoring partner
Let’s say you share a room with a snoring partner, chances are that you may not be getting the best of nights of sleep. Even when you may have discussed with your partner and you two are working on a solution, it may still take some time before that snoring finally ceases.
So while your roommate is working on stopping his or her snoring, here are some tricks you can adopt to cope with a snoring partner…
- Get very much exhausted before bedtime. Exhaustion can come from a busy day, an outing with friends, etc. The more tired you get before bedtime, the faster and deeper you will sleep, and might not even notice any snoring.
- Replace the noise with another noise (a better one). Listening to better sounds like a cool, soft, ambient music can help you sleep a lot better.
- Wear earplugs. Earplugs come in varying sizes and materials. So look out for the ones that will suit your needs.
The above strategies will go a long way in helping overcome snoring. However, for extreme cases, you can consider the following:
Where to turn for help
- Seek an Otolaryngologist
- Seek a Dentist
- Look for a sleep center
Thank you for reading. Please feel free to leave a comment if there are more strategies you know that I might have not talked about up above. Would like to hear from you.