Understanding the causes of snoring
To understand how to stop snoring, it is necessary to recognize the cause of snoring. Snoring happens due to a breathing disorder cause by a soft tissue, membrane, or fluid blocking the breathing canal. This in turn causes an obstruction of the airway, and produces the noise that is associated with snoring.
This disorder usually occurs as you get older, when your throat becomes narrower, and the muscle tone in your throat decreases. Sinus and nasal conditions also are a cause of snoring, as they make breathing more difficult, and create a vacuum in the throat, leading to snoring. Our current lifestyles also cause contribute significantly to snoring and sleep apnea. Too many fatty tissues, poor muscle tone, a lot of alcohol, smoking, and medications all contribute to a snoring problem.
You should also be aware that snoring can also happen when you sleep with the wrong sleeping posture, especially whilst lying on your back, as this causes the muscles in your throat to relax and hinder proper lubrication of the throat tissues.
Snoring may lead to Sleep Apnea
A serious breathing and snoring disorder can create sleep apnea, a condition that results in pauses in breathing, or shallow breaths while you are sleep. A person with an acute sleep apnea and severe snoring condition may wake up many times during the night, not be fully rested after sleeping. This results in a poor sleep quality that makes you feel fatigued throughout the following day. Serious risks of sleep apnea consist of sleep deprivation, oxygen deprivation, depression, and heart disease.
Due to the various root causes of snoring, there is no single treatment all that will perform for everyone. Correct diagnosis and knowing the cause will help the preventative process. However, several tips to stop snoring are available that can be effective to decrease or stop snoring altogether.
Stop snoring Mouthpiece
If you want to try something immediately, and don’t want to take a chemical substance, a stop snoring mouthpiece is recommended. This is a reasonably priced treatment to help you to stop snoring and treat sleep apnea. As with any mouthpiece you will feel slightly uncomfortable as you start to make use of it, but after several days this will lessen. You should try to mold the mouthpiece as instructed, and you will most likely need to try and tweak the shape several times.
Another way that may help you to stop snoring is by working out, especially for sufferers who are obese. Consistent exercise will improve overall body condition and lung capacity. Exercise will also reduce the fatty tissue that surrounds the back of the throat that causes or exacerbates snoring.
Pillows and Eucalyptus Tea !
Another simple remedy to cure snoring is to make higher your head with pillows or lift up the head of your bed several inches, alternatively, try sleeping on your side and it may resolve your snoring problem.
Another home treatment to stop snoring and help with sleep apnea is to drink a cup of eucalyptus tea before going to sleep. This will help your body and mind to relax, enhance your condition, and help in reducing your snoring.
These home remedies to stop snoring are worth trying, especially before choosing more expensive techniques such as CPAP machines. These treatments are general and suggested for back pain relief also. Keep in mind always stay away from cigarettes, alcohol, sleeping pills, meals and other relaxants well before sleeping, and you can regain restful nights.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep Apnea (or Apnoea as it is spelt in the United Kingdom) is a breathing disorder associated with sleeping and more specifically snoring. It is also known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea. This condition is caused by the relaxation of the respiratory muscles and the subsequent blockage of the airway at the back of the throat, which is sucked to the closed position by the action of breathing whilst asleep. The result is a lack of oxygen which eventually causes the body to react sharply in a reflex reaction to prevent death through suffocation. This reaction may be observed by a sleep partner as a long silence in the breathing of the sufferer, followed by a gasp for air, which then repeats itself many dozens of times throughout the night.
Who Suffers from Sleep Apnea – what are the causes?
The condition occurs most frequently in overweight middle aged men, but may also be experienced by children, especially those with enlarged tonsils. It is estimated that up to 4% of the overall population suffers from some degree of Sleep Apnea. The main causes are obesity, nasal obstructions such as
adenoids, and respiratory depressants such as alcohol or strong analgesics. Symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea The sufferer may not be aware that they have Sleep Apnea. It is often diagnosed by a sleeping partner who is disturbed by the symptoms, which may be summarised as:
- Loud snoring
- Breathing pauses (over 10 seconds in duration)
- Daytime sleepiness
- Unrefreshed sleep
- Restless sleep
- Morning headache
- Night time choking
- Reduced libido
- Swollen ankles
- Feeling of ‘drunkenness’ in morning
The effort and shock of the sudden strenuous forced breathing, although brief and violent does not usually wake the sufferer, although it is sufficiently disruptive of the sleep pattern to cause problems with drowsiness and tiredness the following day.
Why sleep Apnea is very bad news for heart health
A person with Obstructive Sleep Apnea habitually deprives their brain and arterial system of oxygen. This is known as Hypoxia, and it can lead to raised pulmonary arterial pressure. In some cases it can even lead to sudden death from Cardiac Arrest. It increases a person’s risk of having a heart attack or dying by 30% over a period of four to five years, according to a new study carried out at Yale University. The study which involved 1123 patients over a 5 year period, also found that the risk of developing heart disease or dying was proportional to the initial severity of the Apnea.
What to do if you suspect you may have sleep Apnea
If you believe you may be suffering from Sleep Apnea, or your sleeping partner has identified some of the symptoms listed above you should consult your Doctor, as this is a serious medical condition that should be investigated. It is likely that your blood oxygen levels will be monitored by a non-invasive process known as Oximetry. This may be followed up by a visit to an overnight sleep disorder clinic, where you can be monitored by special diagnostic machines whilst sleeping, to determine the extent of the problem.
I’ve been diagnosed with Sleep Apnea – what treatments are available?
The diagnosis is generally confirmed if there are more than 15 ‘Apneas’ or disruptive episodes in any one hour of sleep. The treatment recommended by the Doctor will most likely depend on the cause of the condition, but may involve one or more of the following:
- Surgery to the throat or nasal areas
- Lifestyle change to reduce obesity, alcohol or drug use reduction
- Use of an artificial sleep aid such as a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) device which is worn by the sufferer continuously whilst asleep
- Use of a dental device which fits over the teeth and changes the geometry of the mouth to improve airflow (Mandibular Advancement Device)
- Nasal Strips
- Herbal remedies