As novelist Anthony Burgess observed, “Laugh and the world laughs with you; snore and you sleep alone.” As annoying as it can get, you should remember that snoring is not an illness, but is a symptom. Just like how a symptom is an indication of a disease, so is snoring. In the case of snoring, it can be a symptom of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).
This is a disorder which is distinguished by labored breathing or restricted breathing during sleep. Risk factors that are associated with the development of snoring can be linked with weight gain, alcohol consumption, smoking, nasal blockages, and allergies.
Causes Of Snoring
According to a sleep specialist, snoring is the sound produced by vibrating structures of the upper airway, typically during inhalation. Snoring can be caused due to a number of factors:
- Lying on your back can contribute to snoring. It leads to the blockage of the airway and partially obstruct airflow.
- Consumption of alcoholic beverages right before bedtime can lead to snoring as it interferes with your central nervous system.
- Excessive smoking can block the air passageways both inside the nose and throat.
- Not getting enough sleep can lead to snoring problem. An adult needs at least 7 to 8 hours every night.
- A restricted nasal passage can interfere with normal inhaling and exhaling.
- Putting on weight tends to narrow down your airway.
Snoring is caused by a restricted air passage inside the nose. The narrower the airway is, the louder the snoring gets. Habits like alcohol consumption and smoking are common risk factors that lead to snoring. However, this condition can also occur due to restricted nasal passage or allergies.
Studies have shown that snoring shouldn’t be ignored. Patients need to seek out for treatment as snoring can lead to abnormalities and thickening of the carotid artery which is a potential precursor to atherosclerosis.
Symptoms Of Snoring
Snoring is often linked with a sleep disorder called Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). OSA is a sleep disorder that can occur due to collapsed airways in your throat during sleep, causing loud snoring and experiencing paused breathing.
It is not right to state that all snorers suffer from OSA, but it is important to see a doctor if snoring is persistent with any one of the following symptoms.
- If you have a tendency to feel extra sleepy during the daytime.
- If you have difficulty putting your concentration.
- Constantly waking up to morning headaches.
- Difficulty in getting peaceful sleep.
- Waking up gasping for breath and choking at night.
- High blood pressure.
- A sore throat.
- Abnormal loud snoring leading to disturbing partner’s sleep.
- Frequent need to urinate during the night.
- Pauses in breathing.
- Moodiness, irritability, and depression.
The most common symptom of snoring is clearly identifiable. It is often the loud and hoarse noise that one makes while asleep. But see your doctor if you have any of these symptoms.
7 Simple Ways To Treat Snoring
So if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms of snoring, what is your next step? What are the remedies for snoring? You should remember that snoring can be a tricky condition as it does not really have a cure as such. To lessen your snoring, you can change your lifestyle and figure out what is causing your snoring.
You can try a number of these options to treat snoring.
1. Sleep On Your Side
Lying on your back can interfere with sleeping peacefully. This can lead to your tongue falling back and blocking your throat. Also, it can narrow your airways and obstruct airflow partially. Hence, start by sleeping on your side, instead of your back.
2. Elevate Your Head
Your pillow should not be too fluffy or flat. You will find that adjusting your pillows and elevating your head can make breathing easier. Find a pillow that allows keeping your head and neck in a proper position. Remember that if your pillow is too thick, then it can constrict breathing and thus, lead to snoring.
3. Avoid Using Nasal Spray
It is important to treat nasal congestion or constriction. Do not make use of nasal spray for more than three days unless advised by a doctor. Getting addicted to these medications can make congestion worse.
4. Use Essential Oils
Check to see if dry air and congestion is causing you to snore. If yes, then you can add essential oils to your humidifier. Essential oils like peppermint can be helpful for clearing up sinuses while sleeping. Eucalyptus oil is another therapeutic remedy. You can add 3–5 drops of any essential oil into your humidifier, few minutes before bedtime.
5. Give Up On Alcohol
Drinking alcohol prior to bedtime can increase snoring. Giving up on alcohol can act as a remedy for snoring.
6. Do Pranayama
Practicing Pranayama – a form of yoga – can help cope with breathing problems. This routine involves taking deep and slow breaths. It is an excellent technique for relaxation. Pranayama is also known to relieve sleep disorders like OSA. Through this exercise, one can feel rested and rejuvenated.
7. Shed Those Extra Pounds
If you are overweight, then it is quite possible that it is causing your snoring. When you are overweight, you may have extra tissues in your throat that contribute to your snoring. Losing weight can help reduce snoring