What is snoring? And why do you snore?
According to the Sleep Foundation, snoring affects approximately 90 million American adults. And it affects nearly 37 million on a regular basis. It is a common night time disturbance, that affects all ages, men and women.
Put simply, snoring is noisy breathing that happens as you sleep. To get in a little more detail, as you body is much more relaxed as you sleep. Your throat muscles are relaxed, your tongue falls backward, and your throat becomes narrow and floppy. As you breathe, extra tissue in your throat vibrates. This vibration of your respiratory structures leads to obstructed air movement, which produces a sound. That sound is snoring.
The obnoxious snoring sound we hear at night can be causes for any number of reasons.
Allergies or Congestion
Anything that prevents you from breathing from your nose, or even making it difficult to breath, can cause you to snore. For example, congestion when you have a cold, flu or even allergies. Or physical nose deformities, like a deviated septum, the tissue that separates your nostrils.
Alcohol, smoking, aging
Your body is at its most relaxed state when you sleep. And when your throat and tongue are relaxed, you’re more likely to snore. Substances, like alcohol, muscle relaxants or kinds of medications, can relax these structures. Smoking can leave prolonged effects, that can relax these structures also. Additionally, the natural process of aging can increase your likeliness that you will snore.
Certain conditions or disorders can lead to snoring. For example:
- Sleep Apnea
- Sleep Deprivation
- Throat Weakness (which causes your throat to close when you sleep)
- Sleep Position (i.e. sleeping on your back)
- Obesity (causing fat to gather in and around your throat)
- Mispositioned Jaw (caused by muscle tension)
- Enlarged Tonsils or Adenoids
- Nasal Polyps
How does snoring affect your health?
You now know why you snore. But you are probably, already familiar about what snoring sounds like. And if you experience snoring yourself, you might also be aware of some of the symptoms it can leave you with. Symptoms, that can be having a negative impact on your overall health and well-being.
Common Symptoms and Side Effects
- Pauses in your breathing
- Excessive daytime tiredness/sleepiness
- Choking or gasping as you sleep
- A frequent need to urinate in the middle of the night
- Irritability, moodiness, or even depression
- Headaches when you wake up in the morning
- Disruptions in concentration, memory, and attention
- Weight gain
- Waking in the night feeling confused
- Waking in the morning, feeling like you haven’t rested
All these symptoms can leave negative, and possibly lasting, impacts on your health and well-being. By leading to physical and mental health problems.
An arrhythmia is an irregular heart rhythm. People who suffer from long term snoring, or sleep apnea, have an increased risk of developing arrhythmia.
GERD stands for, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease. This condition is extremely common when people suffer from sleep apnea, or long term snoring. This is caused by the way the throat opens and closes when people snore. It causes a change in pressure, which can suck the contents of the stomach into the throat. If you’re overweight, GERD can become worse. Contrary, losing weight can reduce the symptoms.
A terrible night’s sleep is likely to cause tension, stress and a lack of sleep. This is what leads to the headache you wake up with in the morning after a night of snoring. Especially if you are an excessive snorer, or suffer from sleep apnea. Snoring can also lead to hypertension.
Mental Health Issues
Long term and extended sleepless nights can lead to mental health issues. These issues range from mild to serious depression, to irritability. And as mentioned above, they can also lead to memory and concentration problems.
Sleep apnea is often linked to cardiovascular problems. Numerous sleep studies have concluded that people who snore, or who have sleep apnea, are almost twice as likely to develop heart disease. Or suffer a fatal heart attack.
Risk of Stroke
Sleep studies have suggested that the intensity of your snoring can lead to an increased risk of stroke. This is caused by carotid atherosclerosis, which is the shrinking of arteries in your neck because of fatty deposits. This is what leads to a stroke.
How do you limit the negative impact of snoring on your health and well-being?
Can be simple as how you position your body when you sleep, to resorting to having medical surgery.
Switch Up Positions
For some, sleeping on your back causes you to sleep. You might be able to improve your snoring by changing your sleep position.
Losing a couple of extra pounds might help decrease or eliminate your snoring.
Invest in a Snoring Mouth Piece
You might find this to be money well spent. Check out stopsnoringmouthpieces.com, to help you make the right purchase that will reduce your snoring. Affordable mouth pieces that reduce snoring, and therefore the disruption that it causes.
As mentioned above, alcohol has the ability to relax the respiratory structures that vibrate when you sleep. Avoiding alcohol, can help keep these structures from relaxing so they vibrate, And therefore, cause you to snore.
There are various medical procedures you can have, that might eliminate your snoring. For example, the removal of bulky tissue.
Open Your Nasal Passages
A clogged nose contributes to snoring. By opening up your nasal passages, you reduce your likeliness to snore. You can do this by taking a hot shower before bed. Or by using over the counter nasal strips.
Change Your Pillows
Dust mites can accumulate on your pillows. Which can lead to allergic reactions. Allergic reactions that can clog your nasal passages and lead to snoring.
When you’re dehydrated your the secretions in your nose and soft palate become stickier. This causes you to store. By staying hydrated, drinking plenty of water, you can reduce how much you snore.