Learn About The Different Ways You Can Prevent Snoring

Learn About The Different Ways You Can Prevent Snoring

We all tend to snore occasionally, and it is often not something worrying. However, if you frequently wheeze throughout the night, it could adversely affect your sleep quality and can lead to irritability, daytime fatigue, and various other health problems.

Moreover, if your persistent snoring disturbs your partner and keeps them awake, it may even lead to serious relationship problems as well.

Woman Cloging Her Husbands Nose

The good thing is that sleeping in different bedrooms is not the only solution to this problem. There are many practical solutions to ensure both you and your spouse get a good night’s sleep, overcoming the issues caused by snoring.

Why People Snore?

People snore when they are not able to freely move air through their throat and nose during sleep. As a result, the tissues surrounding the nose and throat tend to vibrate, producing the familiar and pesky snoring sound.

Therefore, if you snore, you have excessive nasal and throat tissue (also known as “floppy” tissue) which is prone to vibrate. Also, your tongue’s position may become an obstacle to smooth breathing.

Snoring From A Medical Point Of View

As different individuals often suffer from wheezing and making horrible sounds while sleeping due to various reasons, it is vital to understand what causes you to snoring entirely.

If you figure out why you regularly snore, you will be able to find the most efficient solutions that will help you get a more profound and quieter sleep. There are many causes of snoring discussed below.

Age

As you grow older and reach middle age, the throat will become narrower, while the muscle tone and moisture in the throat will decrease. Although you can do little about growing old, a few changes such as new bedtime routine, lifestyle changes as well as throat exercises may help prevent snoring.

Being Overweight

If you are out of shape or obese, both poor muscle tone and fatty tissue can contribute to snoring. Even for those people who are not overweight, carrying more weight around the throat or neck could trigger snoring. You may be surprised to know it, but just losing weight and exercising could, at times, get rid of the problem.

Fat Man Sleeping On Couch

Physiology

The specific way your body develops may lead to snoring in many cases. Men often have much narrower air passages compared to women and thereby, are more prone to snoring.

Keep in mind that a cleft palate, narrow throat, enlarged adenoids, and various other physical characteristics that lead to snoring are usually hereditary. In particular, the physiology of your upper airway could facilitate the right conditions that lead to snoring. 

Your overlarge organs such as the tonsils or tongue may become an obstacle to proper breathing, or deviated septum or soft chin could create just the perfect conditions for snoring. To repeat, although you do not have much control over your gender or build, you could overcome snoring with the help of suitable lifestyle changes and healthy bedtime routines. 

Sinus And Nasal Problems

A stuffy nose or blocked airways can make inhalation quite tricky, creating an unhealthy vacuum in your throat that leads to snoring.

Smoking, Alcohol, And Medications

Smoking, alcohol intake and a variety of medications, like tranquilizers such as diazepam (Valium) and lorazepam (Ativan), could increase muscle relaxation in the chest and neck which can lead to more snoring.            

Specific Sleep Postures

Your sleeping posture could affect whether you snore. A majority of wives who have spouses who frequently snore find that they usually sleep on their backs while snoring. However, in most cases, a nudge which turns them to the side, often lightens up snoring or stops it altogether.

That is because sleeping on the back causes the flesh in your throat to loosen up, blocking your airway. Therefore, if you change your sleep posture, you may overcome your snoring problem.

Congestion And Allergies

Anything that can keep you from inhaling and exhaling through the nose may cause snoring. That may happen due to a variety of reasons such as congestion, flu, and cold. Similarly, deformities or allergies of the nose like a deviated septum can trigger snoring.

Sleep Deprivation

It may be hard to swallow, but sleep deprivation may also lead to snoring. Trying to fall asleep after days without a proper sleep-cycle can also lead to excessive wheezing and snoring throughout the night. That is why recovery sleep often leads to too much snoring because of the persistent sleep drive and fatigue.

Woman Yawning

Disorders

In many cases, underlying sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea or insomnia could be the culprits. Insomnia affects individuals who wake up consistently several times in a night; in many cases, folks who have natural nighttime awakenings tend to suffer from untreated or unidentified sleep apnea.

What Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is often a severe sleeping disorder. If you have this disease, your breathing could become very shallow or, in some cases, you might even stop breathing momentarily during your sleep. 

It may cause your breath to stop and repeatedly start while you sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea tends to occur when something entirely or partly blocks the upper airway.

As a result, your chest and diaphragm muscles have to work more rigorously to unblock your obstructed airway, pulling air into your lungs. In most cases, breathing tends to resume with a snort, loud gasp, or body jerk.

You will not be able to sleep well if you have this condition; however, you are less likely to know that you are experiencing breathing interruption. Moreover, obstructive sleep apnea could lower the oxygen flow to your vital organs, leading to irregular or erratic heart rhythms.

Keep in mind that there are various kinds of sleep apnea; however, obstructive sleep apnea is the most common among them. Snoring is a noticeable symptom of obstructive sleep apnea. There are various treatment options available for overcoming obstructive sleep apnea.

For example, one treatment entails using a customized device that helps keep the airway open during your sleep. Another viable option is using a mouthpiece that thrusts the jaw forward while you sleep. However, when it comes to severe snoring, you may have to resort to surgery.

Some of the common warning signs and symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea include the following:

  • Daytime fatigue or sleepiness
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    A sore throat or dry mouth when you get up in the morning
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    Headaches or nausea in the morning
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    Forgetfulness, trouble concentrating, irritability or depression
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    Restlessness during your sleep
  • Night Sweats
  • Snoring
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    Sexual problems like loss of libido
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    Difficulty waking up in the morning
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    Suddenly waking up and feeling as if you are choking or gasping

In case you and your partner share a bed, he or she will notice these symptoms before you can do. In a majority of cases, signs in kids might not be apparent or visible. The symptoms to look out for may include:

  • Drooling or choking
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    Bedwetting
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    Excessive sweating at night
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    Behavior and learning disorders
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    Sleepiness or sluggishness (usually construed as laziness or lack of interest in classroom activities)
  • Teeth grinding
  • Snoring
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    Restlessness in bed

In case you observe any of these symptoms, speak with your doctor as soon as possible. Also, keep in mind that there are several other potential causes for the symptoms mentioned above too.

Illustration Of Obstructive Sleep Apnea

You are more susceptible to obstructive sleep apnea if you are obese or overweight, have a significant or thick neck, or have much smaller airways in the throat, nose, or mouth.

Also, it may happen in case you have inflamed or enlarged tonsils or excess tissue near the back of your throat. Also, if your tongue is more significant than average, it may block your airway; so does a deviated septum. 

Plus, it is vital to understand that obstructive sleep apnea is more prevalent in men compared to women. However, it is important to note that the condition is not a regular part of aging. There are many other risk factors such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Elevated blood pressure
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    Increased risk of a stroke or heart failure

Which Demographic Groups Most Often Have Problems With Snoring?

With the sheer volume of research done on snoring as well as its various effects, you may easily assume researchers and scientists know all they need to know about it. Unfortunately, this is just not true. Although both medical professionals and researchers know a lot about snoring, there are always several aspects you must consider.

When a person with snoring problems begins to look for a solution or treatment, usually one of their first and essential questions relates to the prevalence of this condition, meaning just how common snoring is. Although the answer to this question is not too complicated, it is also not too simple as you may assume.

Considering the group of individuals in question is essential. Whether they are old or young? What is their bodyweight? Are they obese or overweight? Moreover, are they female or male?

That is because all these questions are particularly relevant and have a considerable impact on the answer. It is usually hard to generalize the conclusions and say that a specific proportion of the population has a snoring problem. However, we will share what the research has to say. Overall, the ratio of male to female who tend to snore is 2 to 1.

We can say that roughly 40% to 50% of men and about 20% to 30% of women snore on a regular basis. That is a relatively accurate demonstration of the above 2 to 1 ratio. Nearly sixty percent of individuals have a partner or spouse who snores.

Woman Snoring

Out of those people who snore frequently, about 28% usually have sleep apnea. Besides, the prevalence and risk of snoring tend to rise with age.

Snoring-Statistics

The statistics relating to snoring indicate that it is a problem which affects a broad range of our population. Some relevant figures are listed below:

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    Up to thirty percent of individuals who are thirty or above thirty are regular snorers. This percentage increases to 40% in most middle-aged people
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    Nearly 65% of total partnered adults state their partner tends to snore
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    When separately questioned if they snore or not, individuals answered in the affirmative at an average rate of six out of every ten or sixty percent
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    About 6% of kids snore habitually
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    Nearly 5 percent of women and 10 percent of men in the age range of 30 and 60 years have sleep apnea
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    Sleep apnea can happen in up to twenty to forty percent of the total adult population that tend to the snorer

How To Treat Or Prevent Snoring?

You might be amongst the nearly 45% of adults who occasionally snore or at least know somebody who does. The person may bear the brunt of several jokes at the dinner table or family gatherings ("Aunt Jane snores so loud she rattles the windows!") is often a serious problem.

For starters, a snoring individual usually keeps their partner from getting a good night's sleep, eventually leading to separate bedrooms. According to otolaryngologists and snoring experts, snoring may lead to real problems that can destroy a marriage.

Do not treat yourself with over-the-counter pills and sprays until you have checked with your physician or primary healthcare provider. 

However, you can try one or more of these lifestyle changes and natural solutions, which can help you stop snoring.

Change Sleep Position

If you lie on your back, it can make the soft palate and base of the tongue collapse, producing a vibrating noise during sleep. In these cases, it can be beneficial to sleep on your side. Also, a body pillow can provide a simple and easy fix.

That is because it helps you maintain a good sleeping position and may make a considerable difference. Moreover, if you tape a few tennis balls on the back of your jammies, it may keep you from sleeping on the back.

Shed Weight

Losing weight helps many people who snore; however, not everyone. Many thin people also make a lot of noises while in a deep sleep.

Woman Weight Loss

In case you started snoring after putting on weight but did not make sounds while you slept in the past, you may find weight loss helpful.

Losing weight would help cut down the amount of tissue in your throat that may be triggering your snoring. You could quickly shed a few pounds by lowering your caloric intake and eating small portions.

Avoid Alcohol

Sedatives like alcohol and certain medications can lower the resting tone of your muscles and tissues in the back of the throat, which causes you to snore.

 Also, drinking alcohol three to four hours before sleeping can make your snoring worse. Folks who do not snore typically will do so after imbibing.

Practice Healthy Sleep Hygiene

According to medical experts, poor or unhealthy sleep habits (also called weak sleep "hygiene") may have a similar effect as that produced by drinking alcohol.

For example, putting in long hours at work without getting enough sleep implies that when you eventually hit the sack, you are overtired. As a result, you tend to sleep well and hard, which makes your muscles floppier and leads to snoring.

Open Your Nasal Passages

In case snoring starts in the nose, it is advisable to keep your nasal passages open. That will let air move through slower. In case your nose is narrowed or clogged because of a cold or some other reason, the quick-moving air may produce snoring.

Before going to sleep, take a hot shower to open your nasal airways. That could help open your nasal passages.

Moreover, have a small bottle of salt-water rinse in your shower. Rinsing out your nose with it while you are showering will also help open up nasal passages. You may also use a nasal dilator or nasal strips for this purpose.

Treat Any Chronic Allergies

Allergies could reduce the airflow via your nose, forcing you to inhale and exhale through your mouth. It can increase your likelihood of snoring. Speak with your doctor regarding the type of OTC or prescription medications that may alleviate your condition.

Change Your Pillow

Allergens in your pillow and your bedroom might contribute to snoring and other diseases. When did you last replace your pad or dust your overhead ceiling fan?

Keep in mind that dust mites can accumulate in your pillow and may lead to allergic reactions, which in turn cause snoring. Moreover, if you let your pets sleep in your bed, it can cause you to inhale animal dander, which is another irritant.

In case you feel okay throughout the day but feel obstructed especially at night, animal dander might be causing you to snore. Place your pillow, once every week, in the air fluff cycle and change it every three months to keep allergens and dust mites to a minimum. And, if possible, keep your pets out of your bedroom no matter how much you love them.

Stay Hydrated

Drink lots of water and other fluids. Secretions in the soft palate and nose tend to become stickier if you are dehydrated. That may lead to more snoring.  The Institute of Medicine recommends that women require about eleven cups of water per day, while men need about sixteen cups.

Couple Drinking Water From Glass

Overall, sleep on the side, get sufficient sleep and avoid drinking alcohol before bedtime. With blocked nasal passages, taking a hot shower can help. These are some smooth and natural practices that could make a big difference when it comes to reducing snoring.

Types Of Anti Snoring Measures

An anti-snoring device or aid, as its name suggests, helps get rid of snoring and sleep apnea (or breathing difficulties) while you sleep. Different tools work in different ways to keep the muscles and tissues of your upper airway in place and make it much easier to breathe.

Orthopedic Pillows

Orthopedic pillows are designed to improve body positioning while lying on the bed or another surface. The design of the pad complies with orthopedic guidelines to make sure one or more parts of your body are well supported. That provides healthy and safe rest to the sleeper. These pillows can help with snoring and other sleep problems such as sleep apnea and insomnia.

The pillow is specifically designed to keep your throat airways open. It achieves this by supporting your neck sufficiently. As a result, you can eliminate the constriction, and your breathing is aligned. This anti-snoring device is inherently non-invasive.

Tongue Stabilizing Device

Tongue stabilizing devices are a mouthpiece individuals use to treat both sleep apnea and get rid of snoring. The invention is made of a small plastic piece and resembles a pacifier.

You can place it on the lips and insert your tongue into the hole found on the device. It will hold the tongue forward, keeping it from falling right back, and therefore it will not block your airway. It can reduce snoring considerably.

Snore Sprays

Snore sprays are another popular solution to your snoring problems. A majority of snore sprays prevent snoring by targeting the primary reason for snoring, which is the throat. Some anti-snore sprays are nasal, while others are oral.

Most sprays are a combination of a variety of oils like peppermint and menthol, alongside glycerin and alcohol.

Chin Straps

Chin straps can hold your mouth in a closed position while you sleep. As a result, you will be forced to inhale and exhale through your nose. A chin strap is often used in combination with nasal CPAP to prevent mouth venting, which may lower the effects of therapy.

Chin straps are very basic, and people can easily purchase and use them to reduce or eliminate snoring at night. Depending on your specific problem, you may choose a chin strap to get rid of the cause of your problem.

Positive Airway Pressure

One of the most effective and standard nonsurgical treatments for both sleep apnea and snoring is Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP). CPAP is usually applied via a facial or nasal mask while you are sleeping. However, the CPAP device will not breathe on your behalf. Instead, it works by creating a steady flow of air pressure as you inhale.

Man Sleeping With CPAP Mask

The force is sufficiently strong to keep the airway passages open. If your otolaryngologist thinks that a CPAP device is right for you, you will have to wear your CPAP mask on a daily basis before going to bed.

When determining if CPAP is the most suitable treatment for you, your otolaryngologist could ask any of the following questions:

  • Do you feel sleepy during the daytime?
  • Does your frequent snoring disturb your spouse, family or friends?
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    Do you frequently have morning tiredness or headaches?
  • Do you regularly wake during the night?

After examining your airway and reviewing your medical history, your otolaryngologist would order a sleep study. Your otolaryngologist will evaluate the results of this research and after that make a CPAP recommendation.  A CPAP device will help keep your airway passages open.

That will prevent any pauses you experience during breathing and thereby help you get a better and deeper sleep. As a result, you will not feel daytime fatigue, sleepiness, or other health problems related to sleep apnea such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes among others.

Surgery

For people who cannot get rid of snoring through the various devices we have discussed, the operation is usually the last resort. The surgical treatment to overcome snoring is called somnoplasty.

During the procedure heat energy is used to modify the delicate tissues in your soft palate and uvula. Somnoplasty is usually an in-office surgery performed using local anesthesia. However, keep in mind that it is not a recommended treatment for sleep apnea.

Somnoplasty is an excellent and unique surgical treatment for overcoming habitual or frequent snoring by stiffening or removing the tissues in your soft palate and uvula.

Unlike a majority of other procedures (like laser treatment), somnoplasty often uses low to moderate level of radiofrequency heat energy to create controlled and small burn-areas just under the lining of your soft tissues in the soft palate.

The localized burn areas are slowly resorbed by your body, stiffening your throat-tissues, shrinking your tissue volume and, lowering symptoms of snoring. In most cases, the surgery is performed in an outpatient setting with local anesthesia and can take about thirty minutes.

Pillar Procedure

The pillar procedure is an efficient, safe and straightforward treatment designed to prevent people from snoring. In a lot of cases, the pillar procedure can also help individuals who have moderate to mild obstructive sleep apnea. This method works by stiffening your soft palate, which is a significant contributor for up to 80% of individuals who just cannot stop snoring.

Illustration Of Sleep Apnea Pillar Procedure

The best part is that it is a 20-minute procedure, with only local anesthetics. As a result, you could swiftly be on the way to healthier and better sleep. During the process, a trained doctor will place small woven implants inside your soft palate with a sterile tool.

With time, these implants coupled with your body’s fibrotic response will lend structural support and stiffen your soft palate, thereby reducing the tissue vibration which leads to snoring. Also, these implants could also reduce the risk of tissue collapse that can obstruct your upper airway and trigger sleep apnea.

When you do not want your snoring to interfere with your partner’s sleep or the bedroom intimacy and putting on a mask is too cumbersome, the pillar procedure could be the perfect treatment for you. However, it is better to try a less invasive surgery such as CPAP first.

Unusual Treatments Of Snoring

There are some outlandish ways of treating frequent snoring. However, you must proceed with caution before trying any of them.

Compression Socks

The tight socks that people usually wear on long flights can prevent snoring. That is because they prevent blood clots. According to a research in 2015, when a group of individuals with sleep apnea and breathing problems wore compression socks before going to sleep, they noted a significant 27% decline in disruptive breathing over a three-week period.

Electric Shock

Nowadays, there are a variety of devices that are carefully designed to deliver a minor electric shock in case snoring is detected. That can either stimulate your neck muscles, forcing your body to maintain a stable muscle tone or negatively reinforce the snoring behavior. If it sounds a little far-fetched, you are not alone. Moreover, because of the risk, it is not recommended by experts.

Conclusion

We have discussed why people snore on a frequent basis. We have looked at the medical aspects of snoring, particularly its various causes such as obesity, physiology, smoking, alcohol, medications and sleep positions and sleep disorders. We have also discussed what obstructive sleep apnea is along with its warning signs and symptoms and how it causes snoring.  

Happy Couple Sleeping

Then we have looked at demographic groups that are most affected by snoring. We have shared some statistics as well. We have looked at a variety of measures that can be taken to overcome snoring. These steps include changing sleep positions, losing weight, avoiding alcohol, and treating any chronic allergies.

We have highlighted many anti-snoring devices or measures such as orthopedic pillows, chin straps, snore sprays as well as surgical procedures like the pillar procedure. Our buying guide will discuss the different features that you should consider when buying anti snore devices along with some recommendations.

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