Why Do I Snore?
Just as your mind and body relax as you fall asleep, so do the soft tissue, tongue and other muscles in your throat, nose, and mouth. The relaxing tissue can cause an obstruction of the airway, resulting in a vibration as air moves past it. Smaller openings mean air moving more forcefully, which will result in louder snoring.
More men snore than women. The space available in a man's throat is bigger than that in a woman's throat. The result is that the relaxed muscles and tissue will cause a minor obstruction in men's throats, around which air can readily move. The same obstruction in a woman’s throat, not having as much space, will most likely force her awake instead. Cursed to contend with the snoring!
How Do I Stop Snoring?
Because there are many reasons for snoring, there are many treatments. Experts agree that lifestyles changes are the best place to start before pursuing any medical treatment.
1. Maintain your weight
Although snoring isn't restricted to overweight people, losing excess weight around your neck and throat could reduce the potential for oral obstructions. Fewer obstructions mean a lower chance of a passerby mistaking your house for a construction site.
2. Restrict alcohol consumption around bedtime
Alcohol is a muscle relaxant and will cause your throat muscles to collapse more, making it more likely to produce what Thackeray referred to as that "gentle, unromantic music of the nose".
3. Change position
Sleeping on your back is the most conducive position for snoring. Stay on your side and you should reduce your night-time decibels. To keep from rolling onto your back, consider adopting a territorial snapping turtle trained to protect their side of the bed. Alternatively, tape a tennis ball to the base of your neck (boring, yes, but also more practical than teaching a turtle not to steal the covers).
4. Stop smoking
Smoking causes swelling of your nasal cavity making snoring more likely. Not only will you be free of the stigma associated with being a smoker, it will make you instantly more likeable at night.
5. Treat allergies
Use a neti pot or humidifier, change your pillow, and get rid of allergy-causing smelly candles. These steps should ease nasal congestion so that you don't sound like you're trying to emulate a buzzsaw.
6. See your doctor
There are nasal strips, valves, and oral devices available that your doctor can recommend. As a last resort, speak to your doctor about potential medical procedures.
If you’re able to reverse the unfortunate ‘habit’ of snoring you’ve fallen into, it likely means you can pat yourself on the back for improving your health and lifestyle. It will also hopefully rid you of the kicks you are rewarded with at night to get you to roll over. Also, consider the brownie points you’ll earn by ensuring that your partner doesn't wake up in the middle of the night convinced you're an angry chainsaw wielding monster ready to swoop.
Date Published: 09 March 2018