Have you ever considered going to a sleep specialist? If you don’t experience insomnia or sleep apnea, it’s unlikely that you have thought of seeking help. Do you snore, though? Because if you do, then seeing a sleep specialist makes perfect sense.
If you or your loved one snores and you’re concerned, read on as Sleep Better Live Better shares what you need to know about snoring, including its causes, the risks that come with it, and what you can do to lessen snoring:
What Exactly Is Snoring?
Snoring is when air cannot flow through your nose and throat when you’re asleep due to some blockage. This is typically caused by having too much tissue in the nasal passage or the throat. This may also be because of your tongue falling back, collapse of your throat and something structural like a deviated septum. As the air pushes its way through, the tissues in the throat vibrate, giving off that loud sound that is known as ‘snoring.’ Many people think that snoring is just a harmless annoyance that could disrupt one’s sleep, but the truth is, it can lead to various health issues, or can be a symptom of a sleep disorder.
What Causes Snoring?
There are several causes behind snoring, and they’re typically not something a person can prevent. People with a low and thick, soft palate, for instance, usually have narrower airways. Also, an overweight person may have extra tissue in the neck and throat, so they are more prone to snoring, too.
Aside from that, here are some of the other causes of snoring:
- Nasal Problems – Due to the high levels of pollution, many people experience nasal allergies or even have chronic congestion that leads to blockages. Many snorers also have a deviated septum which is a crooked passage in the nose that results in the airway getting narrower than it should be.
- Mouth’s Anatomy – If the structure of the mouth is narrow and small, this reduces the area that the tissues in the back of the through can comfortably sit in. We know that the lower third of our face (our lower jaw) has shrunk significantly since the advent of agriculture. This change has caused many of our mouths to be “too small” in relation the the teeth and tissue they are supposed to house.
- Sleeping on the Back – While chiropractors swear it’s the best sleeping position, it’s also the one that is most likely to lead to snoring. It’s because gravity drags the relaxed tissues of the throat downwards, leading to airway blockage and snoring.
- Drinking alcohol – You might not know it, but even just one drink before bedtime can relax the throat muscles and result in the obstruction that is behind snoring. Drinks sush as red wine also contain tannins, sulfur, and sometimes residual pesticides that can cause an increase in allergy symptoms.
Problems Caused by Snoring
Not many people know that problems can occur because of constant snoring, too. Here are some of the symptoms that you might notice:
- Lack of energy during daytime
- Lack of focus and poor attention span
- Sore throat
- High blood pressure
How does snoring cause all that? All snoring is a disruption of airflow to the lungs during sleep. When this happens, it can cause blood oxygen levels to drop which prompts the brain to bring you into a lighter stage of sleep, therefore constantly disrupting your sleep cycle.
If the person snoring pauses longer than usual between breaths they wake up gasping, it could be that they are suffering from OSA or Obstructive Sleep Apnea. However, it doesn’t have to be this bad before you notice your quality of life getting affected by snoring. So even if you only see one or two of the mentioned symptoms, it’s best to take action immediately.
What You Can Do to Stop Snoring
Because snoring can be caused by different problems, the solutions may vary, too. In general, though, you can do these things to stop snoring:
- Lose weight
- Sleep on your side instead of on your back
- Use nasal strips of a nasal dilator
- Treat your chronic allergies
- Avoid drinking alcohol at night
- Avoid taking sedatives at night
- Ask you nearest Dental Sleep Specialist about an oral appliance for snoring
- Speak to an Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist about ensuring your airways are structurally clear
- Consult a sleep doctor
- Undergo a sleep study to screen for Obstructive Sleep Apnea
For some, snoring is just a nuisance. For others, the problem can be more serious. Either way, it is always disrupting the sleep of those around you, and snoring is something that a sleep specialist can address. You don’t have to deal with snoring for many years. Consult a sleep specialist who can help improve the quality of your sleep and address problems like snoring, insomnia, and others.
Sleep Better Live Better is a sleep clinic in Vancouver that you can visit if you are experiencing problems with your sleep. We take rest seriously, so you don’t have to worry about your symptoms, whether they’re minor or advanced. Contact us today and schedule an appointment!