Most people snore occasionally in their lives, but not everyone does it on a regular basis. Men tend to snore more than women. While three out of ten women snore, four out of ten men snore. It can vary from mildly to severely irritating to those sharing a home with the snorer, as their own ability to fall asleep or stay asleep declines significantly. In addition, the person doing the snoring can also suffer negative health effects, if there is something more serious going on. So, if you are a man who snores regularly, it is something that you should speak to your physician about, especially if you find that you are often still tired after a night of sleep.
So what causes people to snore in the first place?
It results when the air that flows through your nose and mouth are obstructed and the airways are narrowed, resulting in the soft tissues of your nose and throat vibrating. There can be many physical reasons for snoring, including nasal passages obstructed by nasal polyps, or when the throat and tongue muscles relax and the tongue falls back into the throat. People with enlarged adenoids and tonsils often snore too, as do those under the influence of alcohol or certain medications. People who are overweight are more at risk of snoring and having sleep apnea (which is temporary cessation of breathing).
Sleep apnea can result in a poor sleep and fatigue the next day, as well as increased risk for heart attack and stroke. This requires medical attention, and the possibility for the need for a CPAP (Continuous Positive Air Pressure) mask to be worn during sleep.
Here are some other techniques that may help you reduce your snoring:
1. Stop sleeping on your back –
If you have always been a back sleeper, this may sound like something that is just not do-able. However, just as women have to adjust their sleeping postures during pregnancy, it is possible for men to do so too.
The best position is to sleep on your side. To make yourself even more comfortable, buy a body pillow as this will allow you to position your arms and legs without twisting your spine.
To ensure that you remain on your back, sew a tennis ball to the back of your pajamas. You can do this by sewing a mitten or a sock to the back of your pajamas and then inserting the ball. Then anytime you try to roll onto your back, the discomfort caused by the tennis ball will cue you to get off your back.
2. Elevate the head of your bed –
You can raise the head of your bed a few inches by buying and using a wedge pillow. This can sometimes help to prevent the tongue from falling backwards into your throat as you sleep.
3. Speak to your dentist –
A dentist can design an appliance meant to reduce snoring.
4. Limit alcohol consumption before bedtime –
Alcohol causes relaxation of the structures in your throat, and results in increased risk for snoring. Abstain from alcohol at least five hours before bedtime. If you are taking prescription medications, you should also speak to your physician as certain ones (such as sedatives) can cause snoring.
5. Lose weight –
Although thin men also snore, obesity does tend to increase your propensity for snoring. Losing weight also has many other health benefits, and should therefore be considered strongly.
6. Take care of your nasal passages –
This tends to help the snorer with clogged nasal passages. A salt-water rinse administered with a neti pot is a great way to clean out stuffy nasal passages. You can also try nasal strips that help open up your nasal passages.
7. Quit smoking –
You already know all the reasons why you should quit smoking. Snoring is one more reason to quit. It has been found that people who smoke, snore more often. Second-hand smoke exposure also increases the risk of snoring. One possible reason why smoking increases snoring, is because the smoke irritates the tissues in the upper airway.