Whilst it may be irritating to your partner, roommates or those you live with snoring is simply the sound you make while you’re asleep caused by disruption of the airflow and soft tissue vibration. It’s a common issue and many Australians snore occasionally but, for about 775,000 Australians, it is a serious and chronic issue.
As common as it might be, it also represents a major obstacle to high-quality deep sleep. Poor-quality sleep affects your daily energy level leaving you tired and incapable of functioning at your highest capacity throughout the day. The first step towards getting a better night’s sleep is to understand what’s impeding your sleep.
- Avoid stimulating substances late at night
We all know that coffee is a great pick me up for when you’re tired in the morning (probably after a night of restless, broken sleep) but for people who struggle with sleep, a poorly timed coffee can be enough to keep you up all night. Sleeping lightly increases your likelihood of snoring. The consumption of alcohol, some medications and muscle relaxants loosens the muscles in the throat and tongue making you more susceptible to snoring. So avoiding drinking caffeinated or alcoholic beverages for the 3 hours before you go to bed. Specialists often advise limiting yourself to 400 milligrams of caffeine per day to make sure you’re sleeping soundly and are well rested by the morning.
- Keep an eye on weight gain
Being overweight puts you at risk for many health problems including snoring. Whilst many of us are aware of the link between being overweight and snoring, people might not be aware that the correlation is due to excess weight on the throat and neck leading to increased tissue vibrations which produces the snoring noise. While trying to lose some weight would be the best way to stop your snoring and improve your overall health we recognise that that is way easier said than done. So if you can, it is worth trying to lose a bit of weight to stop your snoring.
- Treat your allergies
Allergies can be a total pain and are incredibly disruptive to the lives of the people who suffer from them. The scientific explanation for allergies is allergic rhinitis which develops when a person breathes in common allergens and a chemical is released causing a person to suffer from nasal congestion, sneezing and hinders their normal breathing patterns. Anything that affects the way you breathe puts you at a growing risk for snoring and sleep apnea. If you have been diagnosed with specific allergies and you know what triggers an allergic reaction then consult your physician regarding the best medication but also remember to discuss the concerns about sleep issues and the impact these medications can have on your alertness and daily activities.
- Old age
With age comes wisdom… and sleep issues. The fact of the matter is, older people may experience difficulty falling asleep and find themselves waking up frequently during the night. As we age our throat and nasal muscles relax which causes increased vibration when we inhale and exhale in our sleep. Consult your doctor if your snoring is so disruptive that you feel the need to take action against it. One of the ways you could minimise your snoring is by doing regular nose and throat exercises or using a device such as a nasal dilator.
- Sleep disorders
If you are a chronic snorer and you can not seem to find a way to shake the terrible habit, there may be something else causing your problem that you may not have originally thought about. If you are a serious snorer, you should consult your doctor or a sleep specialist to find out if you have a severe sleep disorder such as Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). CPAP machines, such as the ones available at CPAP Direct, are medically approved to treat OSA and prevent snoring by blowing pressurized air through the airways helping the airways stay open throughout the night. This treatment often helps people with this condition, because it makes it easier for them to breathe at night, thus making less noise when they snore.
There are many reasons why people snore, and though it is common and unpleasant, all of us can tolerate it from time to time because it is not always harmful. However, if your snoring disrupts your sleep or starts interfering with the quality of your sleep, it might be an indicator of a sleep-related issue like sleep apnea. In such cases, you may want to consult a doctor who can offer you some of the effective treatments and solutions to overcome this problem.