What is snoring?
Snoring basically is a breathing disorder which surfaces during sleep. When the respiratory structure vibrates during sleep a grunting sound is produced which is called snoring. The sound produced during snoring can be soft which is generally ignored by the person concerned but considered as a nuisance by those around the person. But when the snoring is loud and not realized by the person himself, it is an indication that the person is suffering due to serious health and life style related issues.
Why is snoring a cause for concern?
The primary outcome of snoring is the psychological and social damage caused to a person. But the more serious outcome is that snoring has the potential to rupture the atherosclerotic plaque and even cause a stroke.
Loud snoring is also found to create disturbance in the carotid artery blood flow which irritates the blood cells.
Snoring occurs at only two places, namely, nasal passage and in the back of the throat.
Reasons for snoring
While sleeping on back of your body the throat flesh may relax and obstruct the passage of air.
Advancement in age
As age of the person increases, the muscle tone in the throat contracts. This makes the throat narrower and prevents free flow of air.
Problems in the nose
Breathing through the nose becomes difficult due to a stuffy nose or due to sinus problems and this leads to snoring.
Body weight and shape
If the body is overweight or if the flesh around the throat and neck are abnormally grown snoring occurs.
Men generally have narrower airways than women and hence snoring by men is most common.
Certain hereditary health conditions like cleft palate, enlargement of adenoids or narrow throat can cause snoring.
Smoking and consumption of alcohol
Both of these life styles when they become habitual cause distortions in the health conditions of the body.
This leads to snoring besides many other serious health conditions.
Using medicines like tranquilizers particularly lorazepam and diazepam induces muscle relaxation around throat. This causes snoring.
An infection along the respiratory track due to allergy may cause inflammation of the nose or throat triggering snoring.
There are ways to get rid of snoring through natural remedies. Try these before going to a doctor for medication or surgery.
Different types of snoring
- Snoring while the mouth is closed which may be due to a problem with the tongue.
- Snoring with open mouth indicates the problems in the throat tissues.
- Snoring in all postures of sleep indicate severe problem that may need comprehensive treatment.
- Snoring while sleeping on the back of the body is a mild type of snoring which is easily overcome by change in sleeping postures or by a small change in the life style.
Remedies to stop snoring
Change in life style
Losing a few pounds might reduce the thick tissues in the throat and decrease snoring or even stop snoring.
Ordinary body exercises might tone down the muscles of the throat and lead to reduced snoring.
Completely doing away with smoking eases the airway thus stopping snoring.
Avoiding usage of sedatives and consumption of alcohol will result in removing throat relaxation and stop snoring.
Routine sleeping habits also regulate the respiratory system and remove causes of snoring to some extent.
Treatment for the throat
The muscles in the respiratory track are strengthened by daily throat exercises and stop snoring.
Some of the throat exercises found to be useful are:
- Repeating the vowel letters loudly for a few minutes each day.
- Closing the mouth with pursed lips for about half a minute every day.
- Exercising the jaws by moving them from left to right and vice versa.
- Moving the hanging bell in the throat up and down a few times
Use of humidifier in the bedroom will reduce the problems due to swollen nasal tissues which may be due to dry air circulating in the bed room creating problems for the membranes in the nose and throat.
Sleeping on the side instead of on the back can be practiced by just keeping a pillow below the back during bed time which will force turning on the sides and will eventually become a regular habit and give relief from snoring.
Please remember that the source of snoring must be identified and the appropriate self-help remedies adopted.