A good sleep is one of the things we all want to have since it’s essential for our health and wellbeing.
However, if you share your bed with someone who snores, you are very likely to be deprived of this vital thing and it can be a real nightmare. You wake up at small hours and feel frustrated if you cannot fall asleep again. And it’s very common that when you think they stopped snoring, then they start up again. This extremely unpleasant situation can easily mess with both your sleep and relationship.
Is snoring a frequent problem?
Unfortunately, snoring is a very common problem among people. For example, some research claims that over 40% of people in the UK snore.
Snoring is harmless in most cases, but many studies suggest that there is a connection between this frequent problem and premature memory loss and cognitive decline. Even though there isn’t an instant cure for snoring, you can do a lot to deal with it. If you or your partner have problems with snoring, feel free to read about the causes, treatments and tips for coping with it.
What are the symptoms of snoring?
In order to get rid of snoring once and for all, you’ll have to try to figure out the type of snoring, since there are different symptoms of this problem depending on the type. You can figure this out by listening to the noise your partner makes when he or she sleeps.
Nasal type. This type makes a typical low-frequency rumble that can range from not very loud to a noise that can wake up the neighbours. Nasal snoring is often caused by allergy and the nostrils are narrow, blocked or weak. It’s best treated with nasal strips, sprays and dilators.
Tongue type. One of the less common types, which occurs when the base of the tongue collapses into the back of the mouth and restricts the airway. The noise it makes is high-pitched. In order to treat this type of snoring, a special contraption called a mandibular advancement device may be effective. It keeps the tongue and lower jaw forward to aid breathing.
Mouth type. These snorers make more noise than nasal and tongue types. The sound is guttural and throaty. The most prominent feature of this type is sleeping with the mouth open. Mouth snoring type usually affects people who breathe through their mouths during the day. It’s best treated with chin-up strips, mouth shields and nasal sprays, which keep the mouth closed and the nostrils unobstructed.
Palate type. A typical feature of palate snoring is a raspy sound that may be extremely loud. With palate snoring the soft palate vibrates during sleep. As for the treatment, the devices used for mouth snorerers may be helpful.
Multifactorial. Multifactorial snoring is a combination of all the above. It involves nose, tongue, mouth and soft palate. In the case of this type of snoring, it’s recommended to try various devices and to find out which work best.
What are the underlying causes of snoring and what is the solution for each of them?
There are several possible reasons for snoring. These include the following:
Overeating. Being overweight increases the likelihood of snoring since extra fat deposits often put pressure on the airways and thus airflow is restricted. So if your partner has problems with extra pounds, try to encourage him or her to slim down and the problems with snoring will probably decrease or even disappear.
Smoking. Smoking is also one of the commonest factors for problems with snoring since it may cause inflammation and narrowing the airways. No matter whether you or your partner smokes occasionally or every day, it may lead to snoring. So this is another good reason to quit.
Alcoholic drinks before bedtime. Since alcohol relaxes the muscles in the throat and narrows the airways, it may be one of the culprits of a noisy night due to snoring. So, if you or your partner like to have a drink, but snore, the best thing is to avoid it or if it isn’t possible, at least try not to have the last beer or a glass of wine four hours before going to bed.
Sleeping on the back. While sleeping on the back the base of the tongue and soft palate fall into the back of the throat due to the gravity. This may cause snoring. A full body pillow would be a perfect solution for this since it allows sleeping on the side.
Skipping exercise. If you don’t like being active, the muscles in your neck may be another factor for snoring. In order to avoid this problem, the best thing would be to improve overall muscle tone, that is, to shape up.
Allergies. Snoring, especially the nasal type, can be triggered by allergic rhinitis. This condition not only causes inflammation and mucus production, it also leads to swelling airways. So, if you notice that you or your partner sniffles, consulting the doctor would be the best advice since allergic rhinitis can be treated successfully with antihistamines.
What are the other tips for dealing with snoring?
Change the pillows. Since people with allergic rhinitis often snore because their nasal passages are regularly congested, the best thing you can do to decrease the likelihood of snoring is to dust regularly and change your pillows every six months. You can also use a thicker pillow to elevate your head.
Get a bigger bed. Sharing a tiny bed may be difficult, especially when you must handle a snorer. In that case it’s almost impossible to sleep. Both of you may find it easier to sleep in a bigger bed.
Earplugs. Earplugs are both cheap and effective when it comes to dealing with snoring. You can use either basic earplugs or specialist ones.
Changing your lifestyle and eliminating bad habits is the key for combating snoring. However, if you have severe problems with this issue, you should see your doctor.