Do you find yourself routinely banished to the couch because you or your partner just can’t stop snoring at night? Does your snoring wake up the house on a regular basis? Snoring is a problem that affects a large portion of the American population and can cause tension and irritability among your family relationships.
Many families try to put up with the racket coming from multiple bedrooms, but there are some simple solutions that you and your loved ones can implement to keep the house quiet at night and get you and your partner back to sleeping in the same bed. So rather than resign yourself to a lifetime of terrible sleep, try some of these solutions that will get you back to a full night’s rest.
Why Do We Snore?
When you sleep, the muscles in your throat relax, which causes the windpipe (or trachea) to narrow, causing less air to flow through your airway. When you breathe, the tissues of the soft palate shake and vibrate, causing you to snore.
What Increases Your Risk of Snoring?
- Drinking alcohol. Alcohol consumption causes the muscles in your body to relax, including the muscles in the back of your throat. When the muscles relax, the airway can narrow, which causes snoring.
- Smoking. Smoking cigarettes irritates the tissues in your airway, which will make them more prone to vibration, which causes snoring.
- Obesity or increased weight. Weight plays a significant factor into snoring, as the excess weight around the neck can cause the airway to narrow.
- Inflammation of the airway. If you’re prone to allergies or are experiencing a cold or other respiratory infection, then you might find that you snore more often, as the inflammation can cause a tightening of the airways.
- Sleeping on your back. Sleeping on your back can cause your airway to narrow, increasing your chances of snoring. This is often the most common reason that causes someone to snore.
Can Snoring Cause Health Problems?
Snoring isn’t just obstructive to your partner’s sleep, but your sleep as well. When you don’t get a healthy night’s sleep, it can lead a host of other illnesses that rely on your body getting the right amount of rest that allows it to do what it needs to do to keep you healthy. These sleep disturbances have been shown in studies to lead to increased risk of heart problems, diabetes, or even cancer.
Some Tips to Help You Stop Snoring
What are some things that you can do to help you stop snoring and get you (and your partner) back to a better night’s sleep?
1. Avoid Alcohol Close to Bedtime
Even though alcohol can help you fall asleep, having a nightcap before bed is something that you want to avoid if you don’t want to keep the house awake.
2. Quit Smoking
Quitting smoking comes with a whole host of health benefits, including reducing your risk of smoking-related cancers and stroke or heart attack. Included in those benefits is a potential reduction in your snoring.
3. Work to Lose Weight
Studies strongly suggest that even a small reduction in weight can help reduce your snoring tremendously. A regular workout routine has the added benefit of improving your sleep and helping you get to sleep faster.
4. Find a Decongestant that Works for You
If you find that allergies continue to plague you and are causing a disturbance in your sleep, work with your doctor to find a nasal spray or other decongestant that will help alleviate some of your symptoms. It will help open your airway and allow for better breathing at night.
5. Use an Intraoral Appliance
Intraoral appliances reduce snoring by moving the lower jaw forward and holding the tongue down while you sleep, which will help keep your airway open during the night. Advanced Sleep Solutions of Virginia can help you get an oral appliance that will fit specifically to your bite and help you get a better night’s sleep.
Do You Have Sleep Apnea?
It’s possible that your snoring may be a symptom of a larger sleep disorder, like obstructive sleep apnea. This sleep disorder is caused by a collapse of the airway that is significant enough to cause an interruption to your breathing. The treatment for this disorder is fairly simple, but if you leave it untreated, you may be at risk for more serious health conditions, like increased obesity, cardiovascular disease, and memory or cognitive problems.
If you experience or your partner notices any of these symptoms, speak with a doctor as soon as possible:
- Loud snoring
- Mood swings or irritability
- Dry mouth or throat in the morning
- Excessive daytime sleepiness, even after a full night’s sleep
- Morning headaches
- Observations of interruptions in breathing during sleep
Your doctor may order a sleep study to help determine what is causing these symptoms. The sleep study will help the doctor make a diagnosis and determine what is the best treatment for your sleep apnea. This can be a CPAP machine or an intraoral device. You can often take a sleep test from the comfort of your own bed without having to spend a night in a sleep testing facility. When you talk with your doctor, ask if an at-home sleep study is an option for you.
Don’t Let Snoring Ruin a Good Night’s Rest
If you or a loved one is plagued by excessive snoring, there are simple solutions that you can implement that will help you get a better night’s rest. The reduction in disturbances to your sleep and the sleep of your loved ones will lead to a reduced risk of other, more serious health problems, and can greatly improve your quality of life.
At Advanced Sleep Solutions of Virginia, we make the process as convenient as possible, offering at-home sleep testing, online scheduling, and secure telemedicine portals for easy communication with sleep professionals that are dedicated to helping you get a better night’s sleep.
Schedule an appointment online or call us at (703) 689-2480 for a free consultation.