Snoring can be such a nuisance not only to the snorer but also to the family members.
Snoring maybe so loud that it keeps the other members of the family awake or even partners which may, sometimes, complicate relationships.
For some individuals, the condition is extreme. This may disrupt the quality of one’s sleep and subsequently lead to fatigue during the day and at work, the productiveness declines.
Sleep Health Foundation, an organization based in Australia that works to improve people’s lives through better sleep, establishes a number of factors that causes snoring.
Causes of the condition
First, people who breathe through the mouth are more likely to snore. This is because the walls of the throat at the back of the mouth vibrate easily.
Walls at the back of the nose do not vibrate so easily.
Secondly, a blocked nose means that one will have to breathe through the mouth. This increases the chances of snoring.
Thirdly, being overweight or obese means that there is fat around the neck region. This will reduce the diameter of the throat making it narrower and therefore, vibrate easily.
Fourthly, drinking alcohol will relax the muscles in the throat. This will lead to more sound and vibration.
Fifth, sleeping on your back makes the tongue fall directly back. This can get in the way of your airflow. Snoring is worse on the back.
Sixth, snoring is more likely to occur in pregnancy even if someone has never experienced it before. Blood vessels expand as a result of blood increase in the body and ultimately, lead to swollen nasal membranes.
Seventh, some people are born with a smaller airway than normal. These people will have a higher chance of snoring in their lifetime.
Eighth, allergies, hay fever and smoking can make snoring worse, as they make it harder for air to flow in and out of the nose. Many people snore due to allergy related medical conditions.
Ninth, some people snore because of narrowed airway caused by nasal polyps, a large tongue or thyroid swellings. These narrow the airway. Children snore because of large tonsils and adenoids.
In most cases, the snorer is allocated a separate bedroom to avoid causing sleepless nights to the rest of the family members.
There are remedies to minimize or end snoring that one can practice without seeking for medical treatment.
First and foremost, it is significant to understand the cause of the snoring before embarking the remedies.
If the cause is nasal passage, ensure it is open since it will minimize the snoring. This can be achieved by taking a hot shower or applying other means that will open the nasal passage before sleeping.
Avoiding alcohol consumption especially during bedtime. In doing so, you are encouraging resting tone of the muscles at back of the throat.
Shedding some weight will also help reduce snoring level if the cause was as a result of obesity. Losing weight will likely enhance diameter expansion of the throat and finally reduce the condition.
If one notes that the snoring is brought about by sleeping with the back, changing the sleeping position will help lessen the snoring. Furthermore, the practice will hinder the tongue from collapsing to the back.
Keeping the bed tidy always will help keep off dust which may cause allergic reaction and later snoring. This applies to people with allergies.
Finally, if the snoring persist, even after exhausting most of the home remedies, seek medical help from health professionals.
On a serious note, endless snoring could be a warning sign of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), a condition where breathing stops for 10seconds or more.
By Joseph Macharia