Snoring is a harsh or hoarse sound that will occur when air flows past the relaxed tissues found in your throat. This then causes these tissues to vibrate when you take a breath, creating the noise known as snoring. Most people snore every now and then, but if it is consistent, then it can become a chronic problem. It is usually most common in people over 40, people who are overweight and/or people who have an enlarged tongue or tonsils. If you or someone you care about snores, chances are you are worried about what effects it has on your/their health and ways to reduce it.
Snoring Health Risks
There are some health risks that are linked to excessive snoring. One risk is a drop in oxygen levels, which can be dangerous. It also puts strain on the heart, increasing the risk of heart disease. The intensity of it can narrow your arteries, increasing your chances of a stroke. There are also risks to your mental health, such as anxiety, mild depression and lack of concentration the following day.
Risk of Sleep Apnea
Most of the health risks linked to snoring are usually triggered by obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Sleep apnea is when your breathing comes to a halt during your sleep. This can have the above negative effects on your health and will affect your sleep quality, which will also impact your mood and other aspects of your health. Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to reduce it and OSA.
Use Snoring Aids
Using snoring aids to reduce snoring can be a great way of helping you or your partner sleep better. You can get a snoring mouthpiece, which looks like a mouth guard and is designed to keep your airway open. You can also get snoring mouth strips to help stop your snoring, allowing you to get a longer, deeper sleep. These methods are good options for those with less severe problems.
Change Your Sleep Position
Your sleeping position can have an effect on the amount you snore. If you sleep on your back, then you will be more prone to snoring. To help you stay off your back when you are asleep, you should try using a body pillow and try to consciously change your sleep position. You could also consider filling a soft backpack with a blanket or towel, to discourage you from rolling over in your sleep.
Lose Some Weight
Being overweight can be a major reason why you are experiencing chronic snoring, and it can also be one of the main factors that triggers sleep apnea. Slimming down will most likely reduce it and has the potential to eliminate it altogether. As we all know, losing excess weight has a number of other health benefits and will put less strain on your organs and your body in the long-term.
Stop Smoking and Drinking
Smoking and excessive drinking have many negative side effects on your health. Smoking irritates your airways, which causes them to swell. This will encourage snoring. Alcohol causes your muscles to relax, which can make the tissues in your throat loose and trigger excessive snoring. The same goes for sedatives and muscle relaxing drugs. Stopping both will reduce the problem and other health risks.
Sleeping next to a snorer or knowing that you snore and affect your partner’s sleep can be a difficult issue to go through. Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to reduce snoring and protect your health. However, always speak to and keep your health care provider in the loop when trying any natural remedies to reduce snoring.