Snoring is possibly the biggest bane of the bedroom. The roaring sound of a heavy snorer can feel like it’s shaking the earth’s core, but the snorer themselves can often be completely oblivious to the problems they may be causing.
With 41.5% of the UK adult population being guilty of snoring, it is more than likely that at some point you will be affected by snoring.1
Your brain needs sleep just as much as it does food, water and air to function to its full capability, so if the snorer beside you is causing you to have interrupted sleep or worse, you struggle to get to sleep at all, something needs to change.
We’ve taken a look at the key areas of snoring, and ways to help you alleviate your snoring problem.
What causes snoring?
Snoring occurs when air doesn’t move freely through your throat and nose when you’re asleep, causing the tissue around your throat to vibrate. Those who tend to be serial snorers often have issues in the throat and nasal passages.
However, the reasons why people snore vary, including:
Sleeping posture – if you sleep flat on your back, you’re more susceptible to snoring as the tissue in your throat relaxes and partially blocks your airway.
Nasal and sinus problems – a stuffy nose or blocked airwaves can lead to inhalation issues and create a vacuum in your throat.
Physical condition – being out of shape and overweight can make you snore, even if you only have some excess weight around your neck.
Bad habits – smoking and drinking alcohol are contributing factors to snoring, as they increase muscle relaxation.
The effects of snoring on health and relationships
Lack of sleep can leave a person lethargic and sapped of energy. Not only that, it can also make you prone to high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes, as well as making your body more susceptible to obesity – studies have found that those who sleep less gain weight more easily than those who get a solid eight hours.2
The mental impact on the sleep-deprived partner can also be detrimental, with a short temper, inability to concentrate and feeling more irritable being key issues.
One of the major problems caused by snoring is arguments between spouses. This can make for a strained relationship; one partner being full of rest, whilst the other is exhausted and sleep deprived. Snoring may force your partner to have to move into another room just to get some well-needed rest, taking away the intimate aspect of your relationship.
How to help prevent snoring
The best way to help reduce snoring is by eliminating any factors causing it. Below are some suggestions you can try to turn your throaty vibrations into peaceful hums:
- Change your sleeping style
To stop you sleeping on your back, try placing a pillow in the area where you usually sleep. This will create a bump and force the back to be in an unorthodox position, making it uncomfortable to sleep lying on your back, forcing you to sleep on your side. Keeping your head elevated whilst sleeping is also an easy way to reduce the risk of snoring, as it’ll encourage your tongue and jaw to move forward, rather than sitting back and causing the vibrations.
- Watch what you eat
Having large meals right before you go to bed can often worsen symptoms of snoring, as can specific food types – dairy being one of the prime candidates.3 Losing weight is also a great way to reduce the risks of snoring, so a healthier, balanced diet is beneficial.
Reflexology can be an effective remedy for snoring in two ways – treatment on the respiratory region of the foot can result in deeper, more relaxed and slower breathing, which prevents a forceful intake of breath through the throat. It can also help is if you’re suffering from a cold, as reflexology can help in releasing mucus and toxins, in turn opening up the nasal passage.4
The British Snoring & Sleep Apnoea Association has a comprehensive guide called the 90 day snore-no-more plan to try and help people alleviate their snoring – it is designed to help individuals follow the correct route for problem diagnosis and seeking of treatment.
If you feel you’ve exhausted all options, and that making changes to your lifestyle or trying self-help strategies hasn’t helped alleviate your snoring problems, the next step could be to seek medical advice and treatment. Depending on the severity and cause, there’s a variety of options to be explored with your doctor or an otolaryngologist (a specialist in ear, nose and throats) to help reduce snoring.
To find out more about Sovereign Health Care and how one of our cash plans could help you save money on your everyday health care expenses, including reflexology, dental check-ups and treatment, glasses and contact lenses, physiotherapy and much more, click here.
1 British Snoring & Sleep Apnoea Associations http://www.britishsnoring.co.uk/media.php
2 NHS https://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/tiredness-and-fatigue/Pages/lack-of-sleep-health-risks.aspx
3 Helpguide.org https://www.helpguide.org/articles/sleep/snoring-tips-to-help-you-and-your-partner-sleep-better.htm
4 Body Mind Therapy http://pristinesensesacademy.blogspot.co.uk/2011/10/reflexology-treatment-for-snoring.html