After a long day of work, many tired people look forward to relaxing and winding down in order to recharge their body for tomorrow’s challenges. However, sleep is an elusive elixir for many people who have problems with snoring. Learning how to stop snoring can help you, and your spouse, get a good night's sleep.
Snoring can be a frustrating nightly ritual causing problems for both you and your partner. The effects of snoring include chronic sleep deprivation, daytime fatigue, increased health problems, and irritability. Besides, keeping your partner awake at night can cause friction in a relationship. After all, your spouse needs sleep as well. Without sufficient sleep, you and your partner start your day with a negative mindset. This often leads to problems in relationships.
However, there are many effective methods for managing snoring. In most cases, these options are much preferred to sleeping in separate bedrooms so your partner can get their rest. These methods can help both you and your spouse get the quality sleep you deserve.
What Is Snoring?
Snoring is the result of not being able to move air freely through your nose and throat when you sleep. This resistance in airflow causes the surrounding tissue to vibrate. The vibration of this tissue is what produces the loud snoring sound that causes sleep disruptions. A common feature of people who snore is that they have higher amounts of throat or nasal tissue, which tends to vibrate during sleep.
Pretty much everyone snores occasionally, which can result from a variety of factors. The problem with snoring lies in the frequency of these events. Regular snoring can significantly impact your health, as well as the people closest to you. Since people tend to snore due to different causes, it is important to examine the various factors underlying this problem if you want to determine how to stop snoring.
Why Do We Snore?
When you lay down, your muscles relax, and this allows you to breathe while being horizontal. Simply put, snoring is the resulting sound when your breathing muscles relax too much. This is because of the airflow being restricted in either your throat or your nose.
As air enters your respiratory system through your nose and mouth, and exits in the same manner, the tissue vibrates. This sensation is not unlike the difficulties you experience in windy weather when you try to keep your clothing from flapping back and forth. When you sleep, the vibrating tissue causes the snoring sound.
This can even develop into tissue blocking your air passages to the lungs, which brings on coughing or choking to clear the obstruction. If you have ever woken up in the middle of the night quickly and coughing, it is likely that this is what happened.
Causes of Snoring
Snoring may be caused by either temporary factors or structural factors. Temporary factors include those causes brought on by short-term changes to our health or lifestyle habits. Structural elements encompass the long-term physiological contributors.
Temporary factors are more easily solved. They are temporary, or in other words, they are short-term in nature. These factors may include excessive use of alcohol or smoking, seasonal allergies, sleeping position, or ailments such as a cold or flu. In such cases, snoring should cease once these factors are properly managed.
Structural factors include characteristics that increase our propensity to snore, and include many physiological and other more permanent contributors. Structural factors encompass such aspects as weak throat muscles, misalignment in the jaw, collection of fatty tissue in the throat, physiological obstruction in the nasal passages, shape of the nose, closeness of tissues at the openings of airways, pregnancy, gender, being overweight or obese, ageing, and the shape of your head and neck.
Recognizing the cause of snoring can significantly assist in choosing appropriate strategies for how to stop snoring.
How to Stop Snoring
It is a sad reality that there is no single effective cure for how to stop snoring. Another contributor to the difficulty in solving problems with snoring is the wide range of products available that claim to offer a simple remedy. These products often lack sufficient scientific support and serve to confuse the general public about possible snoring solutions.
The good news is that there are many proven treatments for snoring. While the relative effectiveness of solutions for snoring differs depending on an individual’s characteristics, there are proven techniques which offer legitimate hope for those suffering from the problems associated with snoring. It is possible that one of these tips can you solve the problem of how to stop snoring.
Healthy diet and weight
As mentioned above, one cause of snoring is fatty tissue in the neck area that squeezes the airways and obstructs air flow. When this happens, the fatty tissue vibrates, and thus, we snore. Being just slightly overweight can cause this, even if it's by just a couple of pounds. Therefore, losing weight -- even just a little bit -- can prevent this common cause of snoring.
Sleep on your side
Some of us prefer to sleep on our backs. The problem with this position is that your tongue, chin, or fatty tissue may relax and block your airways. This is the second most common cause of snoring. You can prevent this by sleeping on your side.
Alcohol promotes the relaxation of your muscles. This affects the muscles in the throat as well as the rest of your body. During sleep, the intake of alcohol may cause the muscles in your throat to collapse as you breathe, which causes you to snore. This is particularly true if you have a drink within four to five hours of laying down to sleep. So it is a good idea to avoid alcohol for at least four hours prior to sleep in order to prevent snoring.
Quit or reduce smoking
Smoking is also a contributor to snoring. This is due to the fact that cigarette smoke irritates the lining of your throat and nose, which causes swelling. Swelling means that there is an increased likelihood of your air passages blocking air flow. As mentioned above, this resistance causes your tissue to vibrate, which produces the snoring sound.
Improve nasal breathing
Impaired nasal breathing is one of the most common causes of snoring. As you might expect, when your nose is clogged, the chance of snoring is significantly increased. For comparison, breathing and snoring work in a similar fashion to a vacuum cleaner.
The respiratory system can be compared to a vacuum cleaner in that the nose functions in the same manner as the nozzle of the vacuum, the lungs act like the suction from the vacuum cleaner, and the airways are similar to the suction hose. When you are vacuuming and you get something caught in the nozzle, you hear a louder sound emanating from the vacuum. This is because the nozzle is blocked by an object, which creates a strong suction in the vacuum hose resulting from the vacuum sucking in air. The vacuum hose may contract, which causes air turbulence in the hose, leading to a loud noise. Your nose becoming congested acts in the same way. Air in the air passages vibrates tissues in the throat, which causes you to snore.
So it is essential to keep your nose unplugged. Whether allergies, a cold, or allergies cause your nose to become stuffed up, make sure to address this problem before you go to bed so that you can get a restful night of sleep.
Avoid mouth breathing
The number one cause of snoring is breathing through your mouth while you sleep. Not only does breathing through your mouth cause you to snore, but it is also a less healthy method of breathing compared to breathing through your nose. “Teaching” yourself to breathe through your nose while sleeping can seem like an impossible task. There are a number of products available to help, including the use of a snoring mouth guard (also called a mouth shield) or the use of a chinstrap. Both of these instruments align your body in order to promote effective breathing through your nose while you sleep.
Keep bedroom air moist
Dry air can cause nasal tissue to swell. As mention above, this can narrow air passages and cause you to snore. If this is the cause of your snoring, the use of a humidifier is a simple solution for how to stop snoring.
Change your pillows
Allergies are a prominent contributor to snoring. Allergens in your bedroom and pillows may accumulate, causing allergic reactions. This is particularly true if you have pets. A tip that may help here is to consider whether you feel any differently at night in terms of being more congested when you are trying to sleep. If this is the case, then it's possible your bedroom environment is to blame.
Wash your pillows regularly in order to minimize dust mites and allergens. You could also consider keeping pets out of your bedroom in order to solve any snoring issues you may experience.
It is believed that your body produces stickier secretions in your nose and along your respiratory tract when you are dehydrated. This increases the likelihood of snoring. Along with the numerous benefits associated with drinking enough water, it is a sound strategy for how to stop snoring.
Life After Snoring
Curing regular snoring is a daunting challenge well worth undertaking. Thes are just a few of the many tools that can help you learn how to stop snoring. Overcoming snoring problems improves your energy levels, decreases your irritability, improves relationships with loved ones, promotes the sleep quality of your partner, and can lead to a more productive life. So live life to its fullest, and try these helpful tips for a better night's sleep for you and your loved ones.