Snoring is the sound that results when air passes through your airway when it is partially blocked. This happens because tissues at the top of your airway touch each other and vibrate, leading to the snoring sound. For most individuals, snoring is merely an embarrassment or annoyance. However, for some, it can indicate an underlying health issue.
Causes of Snoring
Sleeping Position: Your likelihood of snoring heavily depends on your sleeping position. People are more likely to snore when sleeping on their backs, also known as the supine position. In contrast, they snore less when they sleep on their sides, termed as a lateral position. The tendency to snore could be more attributed to head position than body position. People tend to snore less when their heads are turned to the side. If you're struggling with snoring, consider choosing the right mattress to support a side-sleeping position.
Nasal Obstruction: Internal and external nasal dilators aim to improve airflow as you sleep, potentially reducing snoring. These small devices, available over-the-counter, can be a game-changer for many. A nasal strip, or external dilator, sticks to the outside of the nose, pulling outward and opening the nasal passages. An internal nasal dilator operates similarly but from the inside. Studies have shown that both types of dilators can reduce snoring, with internal dilators being more effective. If you're a side sleeper and still face snoring issues, consider looking into mattresses designed specifically for side sleepers to further alleviate the problem.
Non-Surgical Solutions to Snoring
Addressing snoring doesn't always require medical intervention. There are several non-surgical methods that can significantly reduce or even eliminate snoring:
Weight Management: Excess body weight, especially around the neck, can put pressure on the airway, causing it to collapse and result in snoring. Weight loss is often recommended as one of the first treatments for snoring, especially for those who are overweight or obese. Adopting a balanced diet and regular exercise can help in managing weight and subsequently reduce snoring.
Mouth Exercises: Just as exercises tone the body, there are specific exercises designed to tone the muscles in your tongue, soft palate, and throat. Known as oropharyngeal exercises, they can effectively reduce snoring. These exercises involve repeatedly moving your tongue and parts of your mouth to strengthen the muscles, which can lead to reduced snoring.
Quit Smoking: Smoking is not only detrimental to overall health but also has a direct link with increased snoring. The smoke from cigarettes can irritate the lining of the nasal passages and throat, causing swelling and catarrh. This means the airflow is decreased, making you more likely to snore. Quitting smoking can significantly reduce snoring and also offers a plethora of other health benefits.
Side Sleeping: Another effective non-surgical solution to combat snoring is promoting side sleeping, and the Rematee Bumper Belt is a tool designed precisely for this purpose. How it Works: By preventing back-sleeping, the Rematee Bumper Belt ensures that the airway remains open and less restricted. This reduces the chances of the tissues in the throat collapsing onto each other — a common cause of snoring. Over time, with consistent use, many users find that they naturally adopt a side-sleeping habit, even without the belt.
For those who find that their snoring is most prominent when sleeping on their back, the Rematee Bumper Belt offers a simple yet effective solution to encourage side sleeping and enjoy a quieter, more restful night.
Limiting Alcohol Consumption: Alcohol relaxes the muscles in your throat, which can increase the risk of snoring. It's especially impactful if consumed shortly before sleeping. Reducing alcohol intake, particularly in the evening, can help in decreasing the intensity and frequency of snoring.
Anti-Snoring Mouthpieces: There are dental devices designed to ease snoring. These anti-snoring mouthpieces can be a bit challenging to get used to but have shown effectiveness in many individuals. They come in two primary types:
- Mandibular Advancement Devices (MADs): These are molded to fit your teeth and adjusted to move your lower jaw forward, helping reduce snoring.
- Tongue Retaining Devices (TRDs): These hold the tongue in place, preventing it from falling back into the throat and obstructing the airway.
When to Consult a Doctor
While the above solutions can be effective for many, it's essential to recognize when professional help is needed. If you've tried multiple remedies and still find no relief, or if you experience symptoms like gasping or choking while asleep, daytime fatigue, morning headaches, or feeling unrefreshed upon waking, it might be indicative of obstructive sleep apnea. In such cases, it's crucial to consult a doctor and get a proper diagnosis.