Snoring is a common phenomenon that is mostly experienced by
men and people who are overweight. If you are a regular snorer, it means two
things; you have either been told that you are a regular snorer by either your
partner or roommate(s), or you have sleep apnea which is related to snoring.
Either way, someone is getting sleep deprivation so the sooner you find your
causes of snoring and find a cure, the better sleep everyone will have.
Common Causes of
Hereditary – Your mouth anatomy can play a vital
role as to whether you snore or not. Having a narrow throat or a thick soft
palate or uvula (the dangling tissue in the back of the mouth) can limit your
air intake. This is the main reason why men snore more than women because their
airway passages are usually narrower.
Being overweight – Having mass tissue in the
throat area limits the air intake. Someone who is overweight is usually not
fit, resulting in relaxed tissue movement such as the tongue and throat muscles
which fall back into the airway. A similar problem is with children that have
large tonsils and adenoids that block the airway, causing children to snore.
Alcohol, smoking and medications – Excessive
alcohol and/or smoking before bedtime and certain medications like sleeping
pills relax the throat muscles, blocking air intake.
Sleep posture – One of the possible causes of snoring is your sleep posture. People who sleep flat on their backs tend to be snorers because
this again this posture relaxes the throat muscles leading to poor air intake.
Sometimes the way you snore can actually identify why you
snore. If you snore with an open mouth, this usually indicates that you have
problems with your throat tissue. A closed mouth snore can indicate that it is
a tongue issue.
Self-help cures to
– With exercise you do two things at once. You first lose that excessive
weight which in turn will reduce the amount of tissue in the throat that is
blocking airflow, but at the same time you are toning your muscles in the
throat to work more efficiently.
smoking and reduce alcohol consumption – Reducing your alcohol consumption,
especially before bedtime is pretty easy, but to quit smoking can be an issue
for smokers. Smoking has many negatives that we are all aware of, but one of
them is that smoke affects the membranes in the nose and throat which causes
the blockage of airflow.
posture and time – Try to keep a normal sleeping pattern that you can
follow throughout the week. Sleeping on your side can limit your snoring, but
if you unconsciously sleep on your back then here’s a little trick – to avoid
sleeping on your back, attach a sock with a tennis ball in it either by sewing
the sock or safety pinning it to your pajama. This will make you feel
uncomfortable when you sleep on your back, forcing you to sleep on your side.
Use this technique for a couple of weeks until you make it a habit to sleep on
Pillow elevation –Elevate your pillow by a few inches (you can place a book
underneath your pillow) therefore your tongue and jaw move forward helping you
breathe better. I use this trick especially with my kids when they have flu
with a blocked nose. If this doesn’t do the trick then you need to look for a
new pillow that is made especially for snorers.
Use a humidifier – You can keep the air in your
bedroom moist by using a humidifier since dry air can irritate membranes in the
throat and nose.
If the snoring continues then it can be a good idea to see
your family doctor for a checkup and more advice. Snoring can sometimes be a
good indicator of more serious health problems so it can only be good to take a
short visit to the doc for a check up.