What causes snoring?
Snoring is caused by air moving through the nose and throat during sleep. When you sleep the tongue mouth and throat relax, causing the airways to narrow. If the airways are not clear the air causes the tissue at the sides of the airway to vibrate as it pushes through, causing the familiar annoying snoring noise. This noise is responsible for keeping others and sometimes the sufferer themselves awake. Snoring can be a huge strain on relationships if the sufferer consistently keeps their partner awake at night.
Ways to help:
- Change Your Sleep Position
Try sleeping on your side as this will open up the airway, if the air is flowing freely it will not cause the noise.
- Maintain A Healthy Weight
Any extra fatty tissue weight on your neck will squeeze the throat and reduce air flow which will make snoring worse as the air has to work harder to move through the throat.
The smoke from cigarettes irritates the lining of the throat making it swell up, this will, in turn, make it more difficult for the air to flow through.
Breathing through your nose should stop the snoring, so make sure that your nasal airways are clear. If you have a cold use nasal sprays to reduce the build-up and restore airflow. Or take an antihistamine for allergies and hay fever.
- Don’t Eat Heavily Before Bed
A full stomach can weigh on your chest muscles and can make it difficult to breathe normally while you’re asleep. The compression of the lungs will make them work harder when laying down.
Issues like dry air can irritate the throat, a humidifier can help to moisten and open up the airways, reducing the friction and therefore the snoring, as the air can get by without the vibrating.
There are a range of over the counter treatments that may be able to help. Your options include nasal dilators to widen the nostrils, throat sprays, or chin straps that improve air flow. If you would like more advice on anything discussed today, speak to a registered Doctor today with The GP Service.
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