Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder which causes shallow breathing when you sleep. It also causes your breathing to stop for a few second or even up to several minutes. This can occur up to 30 times in one hour. Normal breathing will usually resume with a snorting or choking sound. This is an ongoing condition which makes the quality of your sleep poor and can lead to fatigue during the day. You may not realize that you have sleep apnea until your partner or a family member notices you snoring. If you suffer from a mild case of sleep apnea or you are a “conventional snorer,” there are some changes you can make to prevent snoring and help you and your partner have a comfortable night’s sleep.
What causes Snoring?
Snoring occurs when air is unable to pass through the nose, back of the mouth and throat smoothly. It causes vibrations of the surrounding tissues which create the rattling sound we call snoring. Snoring can be a problem for you, your sleeping partner and even someone sleeping in the next room. It can also be bad for your health.
How to Stop Snoring
There are a number of measures you can take to help you stop snoring. Here are some ideas:
- Lose weight: if you’re overweight, you may have extra tissue in your throat causing you to snore.
- Quit smoking:
- Raise the head of your bed: if you raise the head of your bed about 4 inches, this may open your airways more.
- Humidify your room: sleeping in a room with dry air increases your chances of snoring.
- Change sleep position: try to avoid sleeping on your back.
- Avoid drinking alcohol before bedtime: it can expand the tissues in your throat causing them to vibrate.
- Clean your bedroom: make sure it’s free of dust and pet dander.
- Add plants: putting indoor plants in your bedroom can help clean the air.
Look here for more tips on how to stop snoring.
Changing your pillow may help. Although a pillow cannot cure snoring, it’s important to find one that will support your natural body alignment. This can go a long way to keeping your airways open. So you need a pillow that will not push your head too far back or too far forward. Sleeping on your stomach or on your side can also help.
There are a number of anti-snoring devices out there, such as:
- Mouthpieces: these are designed to move the lower jaw forward so that the back of the throat is opened.
- Nasal strips: these work by gently pulling open your nasal passages.
- Chin straps: these are designed to keep your mouth closed, so you only breathe through your nose.
A Wake-up Call for Snorers
If you are a habitual snorer, it’s best to find a solution before it causes serious health problems. Snoring may lead to insomnia, obstructive sleep apnea, daytime fatigue, strain on the heart, low oxygen levels in the blood, GERD, stroke, arrhythmias, and chronic headaches.