For many people, the first knowledge they have about the fact that they snore is because of the disruption to their bed partner’s sleep. The good news is that you can stop snoring if you know what the cause is. There are a number of tactics that can be used to prevent snoring and get a good night’s rest. We’ve put some tips together to help you with how to get rid of snoring.
What Is Snoring?
Snoring takes place when the airways collapse or are obstructed during sleep. The sound that is made is due to the vibration of the throat muscles.
Snoring is so common that it is believed as much as 20% of the population does it. It is more common in men, middle-aged people and people who are overweight but most people will experience it at some point in life.
The most typical snorer profile is a male age between 30 and 65, who is overweight or obese and who may have high blood pressure. Snoring is typically made worse when this person drinks alcohol or has a cold.
What Causes Snoring?
Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA)
Snoring can be a symptom of a condition called obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA). This occurs when the airways collapse at night, preventing you from being able to breathe. Your brain sends a message to wake you up in order to get oxygen to your body, which may leave you gasping for breath. Many people are not even aware that this is happening but these episodes may occur throughout the night, disrupting your quality of sleep and putting you at increased risk of other health complications such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
If you have sleep apnoea you are likely to experience other symptoms in addition to snoring such as
- Teeth grinding
- Tiredness and daytime fatigue
- Tense or sore muscles in the jaw, neck and head
- Memory and concentration problems
- Worn down or damaged teeth
Sleep apnoea is statistically more likely to affect men and people who are overweight.
If you are obese you probably have extra fat around your neck. This additional fat puts pressure on the muscles of the neck, making it easier for them to collapse during sleep. Abdominal fat can also put extra pressure on your chest and push it towards your airways.
Drugs And Medication
Certain medications, drugs and even alcohol can cause the muscles in the airways to relax during sleep, causing the vibrating sound you hear when a person snores. Smokers are more likely to snore than non-smokers.
An enlarged tongue, nasal polyps or a bent septum could all contribute to whether a person snores. Sinus problems and allergies can also cause nasal congestion that contributes to snoring and mouth breathing during sleep.
How To Get Rid Of Snoring?
There are a number of ways to prevent snoring, so the best point of departure is always a discussion with your healthcare practitioner.
You will begin with a consultation and a general health check before your healthcare provider will examine your lifestyle.
How To Get Rid Of Snoring With Lifestyle Changes?
It may be necessary to review your lifestyle in order to make positive changes that could help you stop snoring.
Lose Some Weight
Losing weight has many benefits but the immediate benefit to prevent snoring concerns losing fat around your neck to take the strain off. Regular exercise is good for your brain and body and can help you to get a better quality night’s sleep.
Change The Way You Sleep
Sleeping flat on your back does cause your tongue to fall backwards to the extent that it could get in the way of your airways. The solution to stop snoring could be to change your position, by sleeping on either side.
Review Your Medication
If you are taking sedatives, muscle relaxants or other medication that could be contributing to snoring, your doctor will review your script to help you stop snoring.
Consider Your Stimulants
If you are a smoker you would need to quit to try to stop smoking. If you are a regular drinker you would want to consider cutting back, quitting or stopping alcohol after a certain point in the evening (this can be discussed with your doctor) in order to stop snoring.
Manage Your Air Quality
Dry air can irritate your sinuses and nasal passages and can make allergies even worse. If you suffer from sinus problems or allergies, speak to your doctor about treatment. Also, consider the air in your bedroom and try to keep it warm and humid using a humidifier if necessary.
If your snoring is caused by obstructive sleep apnoea, a mouth guard or oral appliance may be necessary to prevent snoring at night. Oral appliances like mouth guards and oral mandibular splints keep your mouth open and jaw slightly forward, to physically prevent the collapse of your airway. The other benefits of using oral appliances include avoiding damage to your teeth through grinding and allowing your jaw and neck muscles to relax more as they do not come into contact with each other.
CPAP machines can help patients with serious OSA to breathe easier, by feeding air through a tube into the airways when you sleep. It keeps your mouth open and stops your airways from collapsing. While it may not be the most comfortable approach, it can be a life-saving intervention.
Snoring could be a sign of a more serious underlying health problem and should be discussed with your healthcare provider. To find out more about how to get rid of snoring it’s best to speak to a professional. Please contact us for an appointment:
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