Sleep issues: what causes snoring and how to cope with it
Snoring affects just about everyone, whether you’re the snorer or the one being kept awake by a snoring partner. But why do we snore and is there a way to stop?
TEMPUR looks at what causes snoring, how it can impact your health, and snoring solutions to try…
What causes snoring?
Snoring is a medical condition and is caused by a relaxation of the muscles in your neck. As your neck muscles relax, the upper airways narrow, meaning that less air travels into your lungs as you sleep.
The partial closing of the airways causes parts of the walls of the throat to vibrate, causing the snoring sound.
Snoring is more common if you:
- Drink too much alcohol
- Are overweight
- Sleep on your back
Snoring actually occurs more frequently in men and it has a tendency to get worse as they get older. Sleep apnoea, which is a complete closing of the airways during sleep, also causes snoring.
However, snoring can also be a result of something temporary such as allergies or swollen tonsils.
How does snoring impact your health?
You might think snoring is harmless, merely a sign that you’re sound asleep. However, there are some health risks that come with snoring.
Firstly, snoring can disturb yourself, your partner or even your roommate’s sleep. As a result of disrupted sleep, you will feel even more tired the following day and struggle to concentrate.
Tiredness can often cause headaches, making it even harder for snorers and potentially their partners to function in the daytime. This lack of sleep can influence our mood, and potentially damage our mental health.
Snoring is also believed to be linked to heart disease, particularly when snoring is a result of sleep apnoea.
Making simple changes to your lifestyle can have huge results on your snoring problem, and just a few of these changes include:
- Losing a healthy amount of weight
- Stop smoking or try to reduce the amount you smoke
- Reduce the amount of alcohol you consume
- Changing your sleeping position from your back to your side. To encourage this, invest in a TEMPUR mattress which moulds to the shape of your body and helps keep you in the perfect sleeping position
- Provide your partner with earplugs to avoid disturbing their sleep
- Avoid sleeping pills as they can sometimes cause snoring
Aside from lifestyle changes, there are devices you can wear such as a chin strap or a mandibular advancement device which help fix what causes snoring.
In extreme cases, surgery is also an option. However, always speak to your doctor if you have any concerns.
Do you have any tips for stopping snoring? Let us know in the comments below…