Oh, snoring. It affects around 57% of men and 40% women in the U.S. but, it seems like everyone knows or has dealt with some sleepless nights do to someone dreaming they’re a lawn mower. Well, the first step towards a solution is knowing the problem: why do people snore?
This nasal orchestra is due to rattling and vibration of tissue in the back of your throat near the airway. While you sleep, the muscles loosen and our deep inhaling and exhaling causes the tissues to make noise. Depending on the size and shape of the muscle and tissue in your neck you could be more prone to snoring than others. Higher risk contributions to snoring are things like obesity, alcohol consumption, deviated septum or use of sedative medications. Other things like pregnancy or nasal congestion are also popular factors.
Many people worry about the dangers of snoring, most importantly how to tell if it’s sleep apnea: a breathing disorder where the airway gets blocked or collapses during sleep causing breathing problems. Snoring is a common symptom but not everyone who snores has sleep apnea. You should worry and consult a doctor if it sounds like choking, snorting or gasping rather than regular snoring. If you live by yourself and are worried about this you can always set up a recording and play it back in the morning to see if you should be concerned about irregular snoring.
There are many remedies for snoring including mouthpieces, mouth exercises, airway pressure devices and even surgery; however, one of the easiest ways is to make some lifestyle changes. Like most health conditions it’s important to maintain a healthy weight and limit/monitor your use of alcohol. More specifically when it comes to snoring, limit your use of sedatives and try different sleeping positions. Raising your head and using nasal strips can help reduce and relieve nasal congestion.
Best of luck to those that snore and especially to those that unfortunately have to fall asleep listening to it. Best remedies for you sorry souls are earplugs, a white noise machine or separate rooms. For more information we encourage you to check out SleepFoundation.org and look to you other articles and blogs for more on health.
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