Do you know someone who keeps you up at night with their snoring? Has someone complained about having to sleep next to you? Snoring is a very common problem that affects up to 50% of people. Chances are, you are affected by snoring–either yours, or your spouse's snoring.
While snoring may seem like just a nuisance, it actually can really affect your quality of life because it prevents you from getting a good night’s sleep—and of course does the same for those around you. Not getting a good night's sleep can lead to headaches, fatigue, anxiety, the inability to concentrate and other emotional and physical problems.
Here are a few common causes of snoring and what you can do about them.
Allergies cause nasal congestion in many people which can result in snoring. People who are allergic to pet dander and dust may have these symptoms all year around while others may only snore when their allergies flare up during pollen season.
Things to try:
– Do not allow pets in your bedroom.
– Be sure to regularly dust and vacuum your bedroom—including cleaning your mattress.
– Keep your bedroom windows closed during pollen season.
– Use allergy medications to reduce the flare ups.
– Use nasal decongestants, saline rinses, or take a hot shower prior to going to bed.
– Try nasal strips that open your nasal passage.
People who are overweight, drink alcohol, and smoke are all more likely to snore. People who sleep flat on their backs tend to snore more because their tongue falls backwards into their throat.
Things to try:
– Lose weight by exercising and healthy eating.
– Do not drink alcohol before going to bed.
– Stop smoking for your general health and snoring relief.
– Sleep on your side.
– Elevate your head when sleeping.
Probably the most serious cause of snoring is sleep apnea. People who have sleep apnea very often snore because their airway is closed for several seconds while sleeping. This is a serious medical condition because the brain is being deprived of oxygen during this time. Signs that you might have sleep apnea include persistent snoring and repeatedly waking up gasping for air or choking throughout the night. You may not even realize you are doing this, but someone else may notice that you seem to stop breathing then gasp and choke during your sleep. If you have these symptoms, it is very important to get evaluated for sleep apnea and treated if necessary.
Sleep apnea is diagnosed through a sleep study. These studies are usually done in a lab, but can also sometimes be done using a home monitor. During a sleep study, your brain activity, heart rate, oxygen levels and other vital signs are recorded as you sleep. A specialist is then able to review the results and determine if you are suffering from sleep apnea.
If you do have sleep apnea, it is very important that you receive treatment. While treatment will stop the snoring symptom, more importantly it will insure that your brain is not being deprived of oxygen and your heart is not being stressed during your sleep.
Things to try:
– If your sleep apnea is caused by a condition like a deviated septum or enlarged adnoids you can receive surgery to correct this.
– If your sleep apnea is caused by an underlying condition, such as a heart condition, this must be diagnosed and treated.
– Use of a CPAP device to provide oxygen and keep your airways open while you sleep.
We all know how important sleep is to our physical and emotional health. Don’t let snoring continue to disrupt your life and the sleep of those around you. What tips do you have to stop snoring?