How does it feel when you are in a deep sound sleep and you are suddenly woken up? Not by an alarm but by the snore of the person next to you. Nothing is more annoying than sleeping next to a snorer. You would just want to somehow stop the snoring.
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What is Snoring?
Snoring is loud breathing when sleeping. It is common in all ages and all genders. Some people snore softly whereas some snore loudly. So loud that it is impossible to sleep next to them. Snoring may occur throughout the night or recurrently.
Technically, Snoring is an unpleasant noise, a sort of vibration created by the respiratory system due to obstruction in the passage of air. It happens when the tongue and muscles around the tongue fall back due to gravity, tiredness or nasal block problems.
Snoring in sleep may be a cue of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). It is not voluntarily possible to fix snoring. One may have to go through medical treatment or try some home remedies to stop snoring.
When we sleep, the airflow makes the tissues of the palate in the roof of the mouth and throat to pulsate, leading to snoring.
Why do people snore?
Any person can snore. It is not influenced by certain attributes. Just like how an obese man with fat in his neck snores, a slim woman also can snore loud enough. Sometimes people who do not snore in regular may report cases of snoring when they are ill, intoxicated, suffering from nasal infections, feeling tired etc. and it’s not in the hands of the snorer to fix snoring.
Certain causes why people snore:
Certain nasal allergies can clog the passage of air and cause congestion which may lead to snoring
- Environmental conditions
A dry climate with dry air and certain regions where there is a lot of air pollution may form thick mucus in the upper airway of the nasal passage. This causes congestion and makes it difficult for the air to pass
- Weight issues
Gaining too much weight swell up the fat and tissues surrounding the neck area making the airway passage area thin. This leads to vibration in the swelled up area causing to snore.
Use of intoxicants like cigarettes and alcohol makes people snore. Smoking causes irritation in the throat. It causes inflammation leading to snoring.
Alcohol relaxes the upper airway muscles which makes them sloppy and create a noise when breathing in sleep.
When on medications, it makes people drowsy and extra relaxed. This relaxation influences the structure of the muscles in the neck and chest making the breathing noisy.
The moisture in the body decreases as people age. Aging also makes the muscles to loosen up, which makes a vibrating sound when breathing.
- Biological formation
Biological formation of the body also makes people snore. Sometimes the formation of overlarge tonsils or a thick tongue, a soft chin or a deviated septum may get in the way of breathing activity.
- The sleeping position
Sometimes people start snoring even because of the position they are sleeping in. Lying on the back will make the upper airway touch the nasal area and the snore may come out. When sleeping on the floor makes the gravity pull the upper airway and again may lead to snoring.
- Lack of sleep
Someone deprived of sleep also may start snoring because of exhaustion. The recovery sleep also effects snoring as the body is completely relaxed due to the exhaustion.
Those people who sleep very less or wake up many times during their sleep time also snore. This is because their body is not getting enough sleep making them exhausted and extra relaxed when slept.
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Snoring also happens when an individual is suffering from a sleep disorder called Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
How to stop snoring?
Snoring may interrupt your sleep or that of your partner and even if it’s not bothering much, it’s not a condition to overlook and needs to be fixed.
Depending upon the intensity and regularity of the snoring, various treatments could be used to fix it. If the recurrence of snoring is intermittent the home remedies or natural methods could be used to stop snoring. But if it is very intense and occurs regularly, then one may have to undergo medical treatment to fix snoring.
Home remedies to fix snoring naturally
Certain home remedies may be used to fix snoring naturally:
1. Losing weight if you are obese
A lot of fat is gathered around the neck area of an overweight person. This narrows the airway passage. Therefore, regular exercise and cutting down on calorie intake will be of great help in weight reduction and to fix snoring.
2. Sleeping on the side
Sleeping on back moves the tongue to the back of the throat blocking the airflow. So, sleeping on your side allows air to flow easily and helps to stop snoring.
3. Heighten the head level
Heightening the head level of the bed by four to five inches raises your head a level above your body. This creates a vacuum and makes the passage of air easier aiding to fix snoring.
4. Gargle with peppermint mouthwash
Peppermint helps to fix snoring. It has medicinal properties that melt down the mucus which causes congestion in breathing. This is effective especially if the congestion is caused by cold. Once the congestion is cleared, it helps to stop snoring.
5. Use of neck brace
People suffering from whiplash face snoring problem. Whiplash tears the tissues and tendons in the neck reducing the flexibility in the neck. Wearing neck braces in such conditions helps to stop snoring.
6. Taking a steam
Taking a hot water steam with eucalyptus oil helps to melt down the congestion clears the airway passage. This helps to stop snoring.
7. Treat chronic allergies
Allergies may cause some irritations in the nasal area and deteriorate the quality of breathing and airflow. Treating these chronic allergies by consuming prescribed over the counter medicines or liquid solutions will ease the airflow and help to stop snoring.
8. Avoid heavy meals at bedtime
Consuming of heavy food just before the bedtime should be avoided to stop snoring.
9. Limit on the alcohol intake
Avoid intake of alcohol at least 2 hours prior to bed also helps to fix snoring.
10 Avoid sedatives before bedtime
Sedatives make ones sleep extra relaxed. This may loosen up the muscles causing a block for the air to pass. So, it is better to avoid taking sedatives right before bedtime to stop snoring.
11. Quit smoking
Smoking thickens the tongue and affects the breathing activity causing to snore. So, quitting or reducing smoking habit could be beneficial to stop snoring.
12. Sleeping routine
Lack of sleep or being deprived of sleep induces snore when asleep. So the snorers need to follow a proper sleep routine of 7-8 hours to fix snoring.
13. Keep your home free from dust
Snoring may be caused due to allergic reactions in the nasal area. So keeping your homes clean off dust, non-carpeting, fluffing the pillows, dusting the furniture may help you be free of allergies and help to stop snoring.
14. Other home remedies
- Drinking hot water with Cardamom powder reduces congestion and helps to fix snoring
- Drinking warm milk with turmeric powder makes one fall asleep and helps to stop snoring
- Garlic clears up the sinus blockage and strengthens the respiratory system and helps to stop snoring
- Chamomile tea with honey reduces anti-inflammatory effects and helps to fix snoring
- Inserting 2 drops of Clarified butter or ghee eases the respiratory tissues and cures the swelling in the neck and throat which eases the passage of air and fix snoring
Medical treatments to stop snoring
Snoring may be caused by improper functioning of various organs like nasal area, throat, neck, chest, dentures etc. based on which organ is causing the problem, a treatment may be undergone to fix snoring issue.
1.A flaw in the nose
A deviated septum i.e. a wall that separates both sides of the nose is misaligned and restricts the airflow. It may cause breathing through the mouth during sleep producing snores. A surgery has to be conducted to correct this condition to fix snoring.
2. Using a mouthpiece
Dentists offer dental mouthpieces like “oral appliances” keeps the mouth open when asleep and lets the easy flow of air. This stops snoring.
3. Use of nasal strips
Stick-on nasal strips that are easily available at any pharmacy may be placed on the bridge of the nose. This increases the space in the nasal passage and fixes snoring by making the breathing activity more effective.
4. An external nasal dilator
Another home remedy to stop snoring is a nasal dilator. It is a stiffened adhesive strip to be applied on top of the nose across the nostrils. This decreases the airflow resistance, easing the breathing activity.
5. Using palatal implants
This is a treatment where braided strands of polyester filaments are injected into mouth’s soft palate. This is also called “pillar procedure”. This treatment stiffens the palate and helps to fix snoring.
6. Nasal irrigation
A remedy for the treatment of nasal congestion due to allergy and sinus is nasal irrigation with the use of Neti Pot. It is made plastic or ceramic and contains a safe saline solution that thins and flushes out the mucus in the nasal area. This treatment helps to stop snoring.
7. CPAP treatment
Obstructive Sleep Apnea, a serious medical condition where the throat tissues are blocked partially or completely when the OSA sufferer sleeps. In this condition, CPAP machine treatment is advised. CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) is a treatment where a pressurized air mask has to be worn on the nose when sleeping. This air mask helps to keep the airway open and stops snoring.
8. UPPP Surgery
UPPP (uvulopalatopharyngoplasty) is a surgery that tightens the throat tissue. Another treatment LAUPPP (Laser Assisted Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty) is more effective that UPPP to fix snoring issue.
Somnoplasty is the latest treatment that uses low-intensity radio waves to shrink the tissue on the soft palate to stop snoring. This is also called Radio Frequency Tissue Ablation.
It becomes very important to fix snoring because if the problem keeps ascending and turns into Obstructive Sleep Apnea as it may lead to a number of health problems. An overnight test confirms the intensity of the OSA, where the airway is blocked most of the times during sleep and restricts the flow of oxygen in the blood supply. Over the long term, if this condition keeps continuing, it may lead to serious health problems like strokes, obesity, high blood pressure, heart diseases, problems of the lungs, cardiac arrest and many more. Hence, proper steps have to be taken at right time to stop snoring issue.
How to stop snoring immediately?
It is possible to stop snoring based on the 5 types of snorers and the type one belongs to.
- Snore influenced by blockage nose or collapsing nostril may be cured by using nasal strips, nasal dilator and eyebright nasal spray that opens nasal blockage and helps to fix snoring.
- Snore influenced by open mouth breathing and relaxed jaw may be cured by using chin-up strips or oral shields.
- To fix snore caused by tongue dropping back may be cured by Mandibular Advancement Device.
- Snore influenced by the fluttering of the soft palate and the uvula may be cured by chin-up strips or oral spray.