One out of every three people snores. In addition to the potentially harmful effects for their own health, each day the people in their immediate surroundings are also bothered by snoring.
Snoring or ronchopathy is a sound that is produced during sleep by the vibrating soft tissues of the nasal cavity, mouth and throat. Severe snoring activity may be an indication that someone is experiencing brief pauses in their breathing during the night (sleep apnea). These breathing pauses often lead to a waking or near-waking state resulting in major sleep disruptions. Snoring occurs more frequently in men than in women. There are also types of snoring that can’t be prevented, such as the type of sleep apnea in which people hold their breath for very long periods. Those suffering from this type would be wise to see their GP.
What Causes Snoring?
When we sleep, our muscles relax, including our tongue and the soft palate of our airway. In some people, the oropharynx (part of the throat cavity) is so narrow that it nearly closes all the way when they inhale. This narrowing causes people to start breathing through their mouths when they sleep.
Because the sleeper’s mouth is open, their tongue slides backwards toward the throat, and this causes the airway to narrow even further. The air passing through the narrow airway causes the uvula and other soft tissue in the mouth and throat to vibrate. This causes the sound made by snoring.
Remedies To Stop Snoring
Snoring occurs more frequently with people who are overweight; losing weight can help. These days, many people wear mouthpieces that keep their lower jaws forward at night, and there are also others that keep the tongue in a forward position. Behaviour during the day can have a considerable influence on snoring. Because of their muscle-relaxing effect, alcohol consumption and sleep aids can turn a quiet sleeper into a heavy snorer.
The sleeping position can also make a crucial difference; people snore the most when they sleep on their backs. Sometimes, snoring is caused by an underactive thyroid, and can disappear after treatment. Continuous irritation of the throat, from smoking or heartburn also doesn’t help; these people will also be more likely to snore.
Lifestyle Rules To Prevent Snoring
Do not consume any alcohol two hours before going to sleep. Do not eat a heavy meal right before going to bed. Do not smoke. Aim to reach a good body weight by eating healthy and getting enough exercise.
Try to achieve regularity in your routine so that any sleep aids or sedatives are no longer necessary. Try to avoid sleeping on your back by sewing a tennis or golf ball into your pajamas at shoulder height.