Snoring is a loud, hoarse sound that you produce when relaxed tissues in your throat vibrate as you breathe. It is an embarrassing problem affecting your sleep quality and your partner’s sleep quality. Nearly 45% of adults occasionally snore, and another 25% experience this regularly. While snoring may not be harmful per se, it may signify an underlying health condition. Make it a point to see your doctor at Sleep Services of Maryland LLC if you experience other symptoms such as daytime drowsiness, morning headaches, and breathing pauses as you sleep.
What causes snoring?
It is usual for the soft palate, tongue, and throat to relax as you transition from light to deep sleep. However, the throat tissues can relax too much that they narrow your airway and vibrate as you breathe. The more the airway constricts, the louder the vibration of throat tissues. The following variables may affect your airway, resulting in snoring.
- Alcohol consumption
Too much alcohol relaxes your throat muscles, narrowing the air passage. It also decreases your body’s natural response against airway obstruction. When you consume excess alcohol a few hours before bedtime, you increase your risk of this problem.
- Your mouth anatomy
A low and thick, soft palate may narrow the airway as you sleep. Some people are born like this, but some develop it as they gain more weight. Obese individuals have extra tissues in the throat which vibrate as air moves in and out. An elongated uvula may also block the airways and increase the vibration.
- Sleep position
The snoring can become even louder when you sleep on your back because of gravity’s effect on your throat.
- Sleep deprivation
While throat relaxation is regular, too much of it obstructs air passage, which can happen when you don’t get enough sleep.
- Nasal problems
A deviated septum may cause snoring, and people with chronic nasal congestion are more susceptible to this problem.
How can I prevent or quiet snoring?
Sleep on your side. Your tongue moves towards your throat when you lie on your back, narrowing the airway. Lie sideways instead, and you constantly find yourself on your back, make this position uncomfortable by sewing a round object on the back of your pajamas.
- Lose extra weight
Extra tissues in the throat are usually present in people who are overweight. Losing excess pounds can help you prevent or reduce snoring. Besides this, maintaining a healthy body mass index is essential for your general well-being.
- Get adequate sleep
Ensure you get at least seven hours of sleep if you are an adult and that your pre-school children get at least 10 hours of sleep. Encourage your teenagers to sleep for at least 8 hours every day.
- Limit alcohol intake
Do not take any alcoholic beverages two hours before you sleep, as this depresses your central nervous system causing the muscles to relax further. Sedatives also affect the central nervous system, so you should inform your doctor if you snore before taking any sedatives.
- Stop smoking
Quitting smoking can help prevent snoring besides other severe diseases such as lung cancer.
Besides being a nuisance, habitual snoring puts one at risk for other problems, including hypertension. Consult your doctor today at Sleep Services of Maryland LLC if you have further questions about sleep apnea.