According to the Guinness Book of Records, the loudest snoring recorded was approximately 111.6 decibels. This is the equivalent of a jet flying right over your house. But it’s not a jet; It’s a 60-year-old grandmother of four who goes around with her nasal passages every night, much to her husband’s horror.
Unfortunately, many people can empathize. Studies show that around half of us snore at some point in our lives. Snoring is more common in men, although many women snore. It seems to run in families and becomes more common as we age. About 40 percent of adult men and 24 percent of adult women are habitual snores. Men snore less often after the age of 70. But what causes snoring and how can you fix it (if not for you, then for everyone else)?
The causes of snoring
As you nod off and move from a light sleep to a deep sleep, the muscles in the roof of your mouth (the soft roof of your mouth), tongue, and throat relax. The tissue in your throat is allowed to relax enough that it partially blocks your airway and vibrates. The narrower your airways, the stronger the airflow. This will lead to an increase in tissue vibration, making your snoring louder and making your family plans to move you to a corner in the garage.
Factors that make snoring worse
The most common culprits for nightly sawing wood are weight gain, allergies, an irregular sleeping position, or medication. But sometimes snoring is a symptom of something more serious. “Snoring can be a sign that a person has obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA,” says Sarah McConville, MD, assistant professor at the University of Utah Health Care Symptoms of daytime sleepiness, lack of energy and fatigue can result. ” OSA is also a risk factor for high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, stroke, insulin resistance, and diabetes.
Another surprising factor contributing to snoring is sleep deprivation. “When we’re trying to catch up after sleep deprivation, the snoring can be more severe due to changes in our sleep architecture during that ‘makeup’ sleep,” says McConville.
Ways To Reduce Snoring
It only takes two hours of nightly home shopping channels to see that there are many home remedies and devices available for those suffering from snoring. And some actually work. Remember that over-the-counter devices like pillows or mouthpieces can help with snoring, but this can vary greatly from person to person. “It is important for people with sleep apnea to understand that over-the-counter snoring products are almost always different from FDA-approved sleep apnea therapies, and that improvement in snoring may not indicate an effective treatment for sleep apnea,” says McConville.
Snoring patients should speak to a doctor to rule out serious causes. Then, try adding some simple lifestyle changes that are effective at calming the nightly roar:
Gaining a slight weight may not feel like a lot, but those extra pounds will ruin your good sleep. Make sure to exercise at least 30 minutes each day for better blood circulation, weight loss, and optimal sleep
Try positional therapy.
Also known as strategic pillow arranging among laypeople, positional therapy is an easy way to get rid of local “snoring” from warming up for an encore. “Some people only snore when they sleep on their back,” says McConville. Arranging pillows so that they don’t roll into a position that encourages snoring is sweet dreams for everyone.
Reduce your alcohol consumption.
Some people rely on a relaxing glass of a favorite beverage to help them relax and prepare for sleep. But in most cases, too much of a good thing creates the perfect environment for snoring. Drinking alcohol relaxes the jaw and throat muscles so much that they block the airways. The narrowed airways cause the tissue to vibrate, which others perceive as snoring. An alternative is to reduce the amount consumed or drink alcohol earlier in the evening.
Everyone needs at least seven to nine hours of sleep every night; it is an essential part of good health. But when the counting of the sheep is attacked by the “cheesy Weezer” in the next room, it is time to act. By making a few simple changes and consulting a doctor, a snore-free night means a good night’s rest in no time.