Whether you have been a victim of listening to someone’s snoring at night, or you are the culprit yourself, everyone can agree that snoring can be quite annoying. According to a study by the Dubai Health Authority, over 50% of adults suffer from snoring or sleep apnoea. Apart from keeping people up at night with loud sounds, snoring is actually quite normal and common in some people.
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And though snoring may be a normal occurrence for some, it may also mean that a more serious health concern may be underlying in yourself. Experts say that if snoring and other sleeping disorders go undiagnosed, they can lead to serious health concerns.
Why Do People Snore?
1. Your age
Once you reach middle age and over (40+), your throat will naturally become more narrow, and the muscle tone in your throat will decrease. Age is a factor in snoring that is out of your control. The best way to get rid of snoring is by adjusting other aspects of your lifestyle.
2. Being overweight
Snoring can also be caused by having too much fatty tissue and not enough muscle in the body. Even though your overall body may not be excessively out of shape, carrying too much fat on your neck, chin and shoulders can contribute to snoring. Being overweight and out of shape can also affect the quality of your sleep and cause other health concerns.
The way your body is structured is influential in whether you snore or not. If you have a family history of a particular health complication or disorder or genetic condition, chances are it may affect your sleeping habits. Gender is also another factor that is out of your control. Men are more likely to snore than women as they have narrower air passages than women.
4. Nasal and sinus problems
These usually happen when you are suffering from cold or flu. For some people, however, nasal and sinus problems can be a common issue. When the airways blocked or congested, it can create difficulty when we try to inhale air, leading to a vacuum in our throat and can cause snoring.
4. Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a severe sleeping disorder where your breathing is briefly interrupted during sleep. This can happen in very short instances and may occur multiple times in a single night. Snoring does not affect the quality of sleep; however, sleep apnea does. So if you can’t sleep well and feel fatigued in the morning, sleep apnea or other sleeping issues may possibly be the reason why you snore.
Can Snoring be Prevented?
Fortunately enough, snoring can be prevented with small and simple changes to your sleeping and lifestyle habits. This means watching and maintaining better health for yourself and enjoying a better nights sleep for yourself as well as others.
What You Can Do Before Bed
- Adjust your sleeping position. Sleeping on your side instead of on your back is known to prevent snoring. Elevating your head by using a thick pillow or multiple amounts may also help to ease breathing.
- Anti-snoring mouth appliances. These appliances may help to open your airway by bringing your jaw and tongue forward during sleep, clearing all your airways and allowing you to breathe smoothly.
- Clear your nasal passages. If you have a stuffy nose or sinus, rinse them out with saline just before bed. Using nasal strips, decongestants or neti pot will help you to breathe more easily in the night and stop the snoring.
Lifestyle Changes to Help You Stop Snoring
- Lose weight. Reducing the amount of fatty tissue, specifically around your neck, chin, and upper body, can help to reduce or stop snoring.
- Quit smoking. Smoking can irritate the membranes in your throat and nose and can block airways to cause snoring. Quitting smoking will also improve other aspects of your health and lifestyle.
- Watch the medications. Certain medications may be the cause of snoring. Sleeping pills, sedatives, and other antibiotics can cause snoring as they interfere with breathing and trigger muscles in the throat. If you notice a particular medication that is causing problems in your sleeping habits, speak with a doctor on the best approach.
- Physical exercise. Apart from the obvious benefits of physical exercise and the toning of their entire body in the process, exercise can also help to tone the muscles in your throat to help you reduce or stop snoring.
When to See a Doctor?
The above points may sound simple and straightforward, but unless you actually try, you won’t know how difficult it is to maintain these points and turn them into lifelong habits.
If you struggle to self manage your snoring or notice that none of the above points are working for you, seek the advice of your medical practitioner. If you believe you may have a sleeping disorder such as sleep apnea, then it is highly advisable to seek your medical practitioner.
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