Apparently I snore. My snoring has negatively affected my wife’s sleep and it likely has led to less restful sleep for me as well. Plus, it has resulted in a number of bruises due to my wife punching me in the middle of the night.
Today’s IFOD is about what causes snoring and then possible remedies, including the one that rid me of snoring.
According to the Mayo Clinic snoring occurs “when you doze off and progress from a light sleep to a deep sleep, the muscles in the roof of your mouth (soft palate), tongue and throat relax. The tissues in your throat can relax enough that they partially block your airway and vibrate. The more narrowed your airway, the more forceful the airflow becomes. This increases tissue vibration, which causes your snoring to grow louder.”
The following factors influence whether someone snores:
- trouble breathing through the nose or throat due to congestion or structural abnormalities,
- being overweight or obese,
- the natural aging process,
- alcohol consumption,
- being male,
- body position
- and pregnancy.
Most snoring is just a nuisance but it also might be a symptom of obstructive sleep apnea which can be damaging to your health. Note, while sleep apnea is characterized by snoring, not all people who snore have sleep apnea. As mentioned above, snoring occurs due to a partially blocked airway. Sleep apnea is also caused by a blocked airway, but additionally involves stopped breathing due to airway obstruction. Sleep apnea is associated with increased risk of a heart attack, high blood pressure and a stroke. If there is reason to believe your breathing is interrupted or if you choke or gasp during sleep it is important to talk with your doctor. Sleep apnea is most commonly treated with a CPAP device which causes positive air pressure that keeps the airway open during sleep.
What to do about snoring? For non-apnea snoring, addressing the causes of snoring can be effective, such as avoiding alcohol before bed, losing weight, sleeping on your side or stop being a male.
Another option, which worked for me, is to use a mouth appliance that moves the lower jaw forward while you sleep to open the airway. I acquired my snoring appliance from my dentist and was custom fit to my mouth. It has worked great. The first night I wore it I slept so quietly that my wife checked to see if I was alive! I also feel like I’m getting a better night’s sleep. I don’t mind wearing it at all. My appliance looks like this: