Have you ever been woken by a snorer in the family? You would have noticed them making a harsh buzzing sound with their mouth wide open. To your annoyance, you are wide awake, and the snorer is oblivious. He has no idea he has woken you up. Ever wondered why people snore? Snoring is caused by obstructed breathing, which happens when relaxed throat tissues block the airway in the snorer’s mouth.

Given below are some FAQs that would help you get a better understanding of why people snore and what can be done about it.

1. Why do some people snore louder than others?

Ans. The structure of the body and anatomy of the mouth are responsible for some people’s snoring. Usually overweight and pudgy people snore louder because their muscles are replaced with fat and flabby weak tissues. Having a thick soft palette can narrow their airway. Overweight people may also have extra tissues that narrow their airway. These weaker tissues around the mouth relax, making the vibrations faster and the sounds louder.

2. My 8-year-old daughter snores so loudly that I can hear it all the way to my bedroom at night. Is it normal for children to snore?

Ans. Snoring in children is unusual unless they are suffering from a blocked nose or seasonal allergies.  There could be other reasons your child is snoring. Snoring in children is mostly related to a breathing disorder. It is important to have a complete sleep screening examination conducted by your pediatrician. Your child could be suffering from any one of the following:

  • obtrusive sleep apnea
  • blocked airway due to enlarged tonsils
  • seasonal allergies
  • obesity

Treating this disorder will help your child sleep well and take care of  ADHD symptoms related to sleep deprivation. Your child will also be able to concentrate and do better in school.

3. Is snoring dangerous?

Ans. Most consider snoring a disturbance and an annoyance, however, there is more to it than that. Snoring has been one of the main reasons for family discords. Apart from causing fatigue, marital discord and daytime sleepiness snoring could be indicative of some underlying serious conditions like:

  • blood pressure
  • carotid artery atherosclerosis
  • impending stroke
  • obtrusive sleep apnea

4. My husband snores a lot during spring and the fall season? Can seasonal changes cause snoring?

Ans. Seasonal changes don’t affect sleeping patterns. However, during seasons like spring and fall dust, pollen and allergens are in the air. Naturally, people with weaker immune systems can get affected. Allergies cause congestion in the nasal passage, resulting in snoring. A simple solution to this is using saline drops to moisturize and unblock the nasal passage. You may also use affordable over the counter nasal dilators. Nasal dilators will keep the nasal passage open through the night letting him breathe easy and snore less.

5. Can consuming alcohol cause people to snore?

Ans. Yes. Consuming too much alcohol before bedtime will make the throat muscles relax, obstructing the airflow, causing increased vibration resulting in loud snoring sounds.

6. Does sleeping position affect snoring?

Ans. Your sleeping position also has a role to play in snoring. Snoring is typically the loudest when people sleep on their backs. That’s because gravity causes the throat muscles to relax and narrows the airway, making a whistling or rough vibrating sounds.

7. My wife suggested exercising to stop snoring. Does exercise help reduce snoring?

Ans. Your wife is right. Exercise helps tone the various muscles in the body. Stretches and upper body workout help in toning the abs, arms, neck and throat muscles. Stronger throat muscles will not sag or relax during sleep.

8. Are there any self-help measures to stop snoring?

Ans. You could make these simple lifestyle changes to live happier and healthier.

  • Lose weight – losing even a little weight can reduce the fatty tissues around the throat that cause vibration when they are relaxed. No saggy tissues – no snoring.
  • Quit smoking – Smoking irritates the membranes around the nose and throat causing inflammation. This causesa blockage in the airway. This leads to snoring. Smoking is injurious to health. So, why not kick away the butt for good for your own good.
  • Refrain from using alcohol, sleeping pills, and sedative – These substances induce a deeper level of sleep, which makes snoring worse. Get into the habit of falling asleep naturally. Practice deep breathing and meditation techniques for half an hour before bed. This will relax your mind and let you fall asleep naturally.
  • Exercise regularly – Exercising regularly will strengthen and tone the muscles in the body. This helps is toning muscles around the throat helping to reduce snoring significantly.

9. Are there any anti-snoring solutions or devices available over the counter to stop snoring?

Ans. There are several anti-snoring devices available over the counter that help alleviate your snoring problem almost immediately. They are reasonable, effective and many of them are also available online. Some of them are listed below:

  • Anti-snoring nose drops
  • Antisnoring mouthpiece
  • Antisnore nose piece
  • Antisnore air purifier
  • Intelligent antisnore wristbands

10. Is there any medical treatment or procedures to stop snoring?

Ans. If you have diligently tried all the lifestyle changes and self-help suggestions to reduce snoring without success, don’t give you. Talk to your otolaryngologist. There is help available through medical intervention. Some of the effective treatments for snoring are:

  • Laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty (LAUP) – A small incision is made on either side of the soft palates in the throat. As the cut heals, it stiffens the surrounding tissues preventing vibrations that cause snoring.
  • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) – This device blows pressurized air into a mask you wear over your nose when you sleep. This aids in keeping the loose membranes and tissues firmly in place, helping you to breathe out comfortably without making snoring sounds.
  • Palatial implants – This procedure involves inserting small plastic implants into the soft palate. This procedure will keep the soft palate stiff and prevent the tissue collapse that causes snoring.

Useful Apps

Technology is nearly touching every aspect of our lives, and snoring is no exception. Below are some samples on snoring related apps:

SnoreLab

Sleeptracker

Prime Sleep Recorder

Snoring has significant implications for relationships. Sleep deprivation causes multiple health and mental problems including impairment ofjudgment, intolerance and cognitive functions in general. In addition, it can lead to anxiety, mood swings, and irritability. It can foster feelings of hate and disgust, result in broken marriages, or cause couples to sleep separately. Accepting the issue is the foremost and the biggest step you can take because treatment is simple and readily available.

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