Are you snoring in sleep? Then think again. If it is rarely, for just for one or two minutes, it is ok. But if it becomes a routine every night, then a physician has to be consulted. Who knows what is behind it?
Snoring disturbs sleep. As such, neither the body nor the mind gets proper rest. More than those who are snoring, those who sleep beside them suffer. They might not like to sleep beside you if you are a terrible snorer. Lets us see what doctors and experts have to say on how to sleep peacefully, without snoring:
Why snoring occurs?
During sleep, when there is any obstruction in the nostrils while breathing, snoring occurs. At this point, there is a tendency to breathe through the mouth. If this passage too is obstructed, then the air has to pass through a restricted pathway, creating sounds due to muscle movement. This is one of the reasons. In reality, there are many other reasons and issues as to why snoring occurs. It is necessary to know what these are, as it is a problem that can be resolved.
Breathing through mouth
Normally breathing is through the nose. But if there is any blockage, breathing occurs through the mouth. Allergies, sinusitis, inflammation of the nostrils, adenoids, all these are obstructions for breathing.
The throat region becomes narrow after middle age. This also leads to snoring.
Men snore more when compared to women. The pipes carrying air are very narrow. They are congested in overweight persons, leading to snoring.
Nasal, sinus problems
In sinusitis, the nostrils are jammed. As taking in air becomes difficult, the movement evokes sounds.
Alcohol, tobacco, tranquilizers like lorazepam and diazepam, give total relaxation to the muscles, during sleep. This also leads to snoring.
If the posture during sleep is wrong, snoring occurs.
If the neck portion is thick or if the body is heavy and the neck is narrow, then too, there is snoring.
Those who snore regularly are liable to suffer from obstructive sleep apnoea. Sleep apnoea is a chronic condition. Because of this, there is difficulty in breathing during sleep, frequent waking and lack of deep sleep. If snoring has been occurring over a period of time, there are chances of blood pressure increasing. As such the heart enlarges. Heart attack and stroke are caused. There is no sound sleep due to snoring. As such there will be several other health problems. Oxygen levels in the blood are decreased, due to improper breathing. Pulmonary hypertension might occur. Chronic headaches, obesity, fatigue, sleeping in the day time, also occur. If snoring is heavy and if you are sleeping during the day, you are suffering from sleep apnoea. Or it should be recognised that there is some serious breathing problem. Sleep apnoea affects the heart.
Even in children
Snoring also occurs in children. An estimated 15 kids out of 100 suffer this sleep disorder. It could be due to obstructions in the throat, congestion and improper construction. Snoring also occurs due to allergies and swelling of tonsils. In children mostly snoring occurs due to swelling of tonsils. It can be seen in premature infants and obese children. If children are restless during sleep, if chest movements are irregular and if they are snoring, you must understand that there are some breathing problems. But it must never be neglected. Medical experts warned that snoring affects the growth of children. That is why they must be referred to the doctor immediately.
How to identify?
It becomes easier to identify snoring, if the sounds are audio/video recorded and shown to the doctor. They will test the oxygen levels in the blood with a pulse oximeter. If there is no other complication, they will suggest ways and means to overcome snoring. If there is any problem, they will treat it with medicines and surgery. Snoring with mouth closed means the tongue is obstructiong. Snoring with mouth open means neck muscles problem. If snoring occurs while sleeping straight on the back, this condition can be overcome with some lifestyle changes. If snoring occurs while sleeping in any position, then it needs to be treated.
- It is possible to overcome snoring with some techniques and lifestyle changes:
- Change sleeping posture. Sleep with the head at least four inches high. This way, the jaw and tongue will come forward. Ensure that the neck muscles are not cramped.
- Turn to one side while sleeping. Do not sleep on the back. If the nose is blocked, use saline water drops in the nostrils to clear it. Take the medicines for allergy, if any. Start reducing weight at once.
- Snoring is quiet frequent among smokers. So try to stop the habit. Avoid alcohol and sedatives.
- Do not take any heavy foods before sleeping, as they are difficult to digest.
- Daily exercise, if possible swimming, will be very useful.
- Pronounce vowels (a, e, i, o, u) loudly, thrice at a time. You can do this any number of times, throughout the day. Put your tongue out and turn your jaw towards the left side. Retain this position for 30 seconds. Repeat the same on the right side.
Latest and modern treatment is available. Meet Ear, Nose, Throat (ENT) specialist at once for a solution to snoring problem. He might suggest various methods and medicines. Surgery would be necessary if snoring occurs due to tonsils or sinus problem. If sleep apnoea is detected, the doctor will suggest some medicines. Tests for heart functioning are also done. Snoring is an external sign and should never be neglected. The cause for it has to be detected. Rarely, some heart problems and other diseases might be discovered, through snoring. That is why is better to consult a doctor and get all the tests done.