A snoring problem is not just a nuisance in the night, but can also ruin a marriage, disrupt an entire household, and indicate that a serious health condition is lurking in the shadows. Affecting millions of individuals, snoring ranges from light wheezing to loud, boisterous interludes. Nearly half of all adults snore at least occasionally due to anything from extreme fatigue to uncomfortable pillows to medical issues.
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Causes and Complications
The initial cause of snoring takes place when air travels past relaxed tissues found in your tongue, roof of the mouth, and throat. As a result, the tissues start to vibrate when you breathe, which generates the guttural or harsh sounds that an individual experiences when sleeping. The level of narrowing of your airway will determine the force of your airflow. As tissue vibration increases, so does the sound of your snoring. While the problem is occasional in some people, others develop a habit.
A handful of factors can also affect your susceptibility to developing a snoring problem. You probably never thought that even the shape of your mouth could be causing your sleeping issues. A low, thick soft palate; enlarged tonsils; elongated tissue hanging from your soft palate (called uvula); or inflamed tissues in the back of your throat (called adenoids) can narrow your airway. Other factors include:
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Chronic nasal congestion and other nasal problems
- Sleep apnea
Ignoring a snoring problem can lead to health complications, including high blood pressure, obstructive sleep apnea, heart failure, and stroke. Children can also suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, which can increase the risk of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) .
Snoring Home Remedies
When over-the-counter methods have not curbed a snoring problem, some people are forced to pursue surgery. However, before you make plans for an invasive procedure – consider the following home remedies for snoring:
a) Sleeping Positions:
If you normally lie on your back at night, try sleeping on your side to prevent your tongue from falling backwards into your throat, which can partially obstruct airflow.
b) Limit Alcoholic Beverages:
It is suggested to limit your alcoholic beverage intake at least four hours before it’s time to hit the hay. Alcohol affects the central nervous system, causing your muscles (including the tissues found in your throat) to excessively relax.
c) Lose Weight:
Better said than done, but losing weight can aid an individual’s quest to treat their snoring problem by attacking the source. If you are overweight, you may suffer restless nights because the extra bulkiness in the throat narrows your airway.
d) Firm Mattress:
Trade in your soft and lifeless mattress for a firmer model. When you sleep on a mattress that is flat and firm, your neck is straight and obstructions in your airway are reduced.
e) An Elevated Bed:
Many people underestimate the power of body positioning when it comes to snoring. Consider purchasing an adjustable bed, which will raise your torso. A less expensive alternative is to place bricks or blocks of wood under your headboard in order to raise the front of your bed.
If you love pillows, then put them to good use. Place extra pillows under your head in order to prop yourself up and shift your sleeping angle. For some people – the more pillows, the merrier. However, others complain that propping pillows under the neck can add to a problem with snoring. Instead, they find it better to adjust the angle of their torso in order to lift them higher and avoid elevating only the neck.
g) Kick the Habit:
Smokers often face a snoring problem because the chemicals actually change the tissue found in your respiratory system.
Routine exercise can keep congestion out of the upper respiratory tract, as well as enhance your lung capacity and overall breathing. In turn, you may curb some of the sources behind your snoring.
i) Nasal Strips:
When you apply an adhesive strip to your nose before going to bed, you may increase your nasal passage area, which can improve your overall breathing.