Snoring - 40% if adults snore regularly. It can also be one of a couple’s biggest pet peeves in the bedroom. Pretty much everyone snores at some point and it’s usually not something to worry about, but sometimes snoring can affect you (or your partner’s) quality of sleep which can lead to grumpiness, lack of energy the next day, or even relationship problems. We’re going to dive into what snoring is, and some tips to prevent it!
So… What Is Snoring?
Snoring is when the air can’t move freely through your nose and throat while sleeping. Often, people who snore more frequently have extra “floppy” tissue in their nose and throat that’s prone to vibrating.
Common Causes of Snoring
Many times sleep position can be the culprit for snoring as sleeping on your back tends to cause more snoring than sleeping on your side. When you’re on your back, gravity will pull the tissues surrounding your nasal airway downward, making it more narrow and harder for air flow.
Alcohol and smoking can also be a cause for snoring at night. Alcohol causes snoring by relaxing the muscles that support the tissue around the airway, making it more susceptible to blocking free airflow. Studies suspect that smoking can cause snoring because it may cause the upper airway to be inflamed, blocking free air flow.
A more serious reason for snoring and worth chatting with a doctor about is OSA, or Obstructive Sleep Apnea. It’s a sleep-related breathing disorder when there are repeated pauses in breathing during sleep because of a partial or complete collapse of the airway.
How to Prevent Snoring
Avoid alcohol, sedating medications, and cigarettes before bed. Like we mentioned previously, alcohol and sedatives relaxes the muscles in the throat and can affect breathing, leading to snoring. Smoking cigarettes irritates the membranes in the nose which can cause snoring.
Clear nasal passages if you have allergies or a stuffy nose, try using nasal strips that help open up the nasal passages. You can also consider a humidifier to keep the air in your bedroom moist. Dry air can irritate the membranes in your nose and throat which can add to nasal issues.
Change sleeping positions to sleep on your side instead of your back. Sleeping on your back can cause the tongue to relax and actually block the airway causing snoring. If you’re a back sleeper and can’t get in the habit of sleeping on your side, try raising the head of the bed by a few inches or adding an extra pillow for a little bit of elevation.