Snoring is not just annoying for those around you, but it may prevent you from getting the best sleep possible. It can affect your health and well-being leaving you feeling unrested throughout the day.
You might not be aware you snore but at some point have probably been informed that you do. If you want to stop and prevent snoring, it’s important to look into what causes it and ways you can remedy it. Everyone snores a little during the night but with some people, it’s more of a serious condition.
With some people, it doesn’t affect their day-to-day life but at the least can disturb those around them. If you snore, this can cause you some health issues and it’s best to get a better understanding. I remember sleeping one night on a camping trip; we had a large makeshift cabin that was our sleeping accommodations, so it was pretty close quarters.
In the middle of the night, something jolted me awake like an abrupt end to a dream from a shocking feeling. I woke up to see another pillow that someone had whipped at me to stop me from snoring. As much as I wasn’t aware that I snored, the people around me sure were. In this article, we’ll look at what causes snoring and some tips and remedies to help combat and prevent it.
What Causes Snoring?
Snoring happens because when you breathe the soft tissues of your neck can relax while you’re asleep. When they relax they can narrow your airway aka your breathing passage. So now it’s narrowed and when you try to draw in the air it makes the tissue vibrate causing a vibratory noise and this is the snoring we hear.
Anything that can cause your breathing passage to narrow will cause you to snore. There are a few reasons that can cause this narrowing including having large tonsils or a deviated septum.
Obesity is a big cause because you will accumulate more fatty tissue around the neck and this will block the air passage. Weight loss will always be an important step when it comes to snoring, but we’ll cover more of that in a moment.
Another cause of snoring can be alcohol. Alcohol can relax the throat muscles, and this again causes a narrowing of the breathing passage.
More Specifics That Cause Snoring
So the collapse of the airway is the physical effect that causes snoring and excess body fat and alcohol can lead to it. But these aren’t the only causes of snoring, it’s good to identify other things that can lead to narrowing your breathing passage.
Some other things that cause this are:
- Fitness level
- General aging
- Sleep position
What Are the Effects of Snoring?
If you’re sleeping with a collapsed airway, you’ll be snoring in the night. The first thing is this is annoying and disturbing for anyone near you while you might not even be aware you’re doing it. Healthwise snoring can be connected to some issues, and this is when we get into apnea.
Apnea is when you stop breathing for a moment and it can last for a moment and up to ten seconds. Apnea is a Greek word that means “want of breath” and that’s exactly what’s happening at this moment.
Not all people that snore develop this sleep apnea but if you stop breathing while you sleep this is when some problems can happen. You can be at risk for high blood pressure, stroke, and heart failure.
Signs of sleep apnea can be recognized by daytime sleepiness, headaches in the morning, and trouble with concentration, focus and general cognitive impairment.
Weight loss again will help with apnea as that pressure from the excess fat on the neck will collapse the breathing passage. If you think some of these symptoms pertain to you, this is why it will be important to see a doctor to diagnose if it’s genuine apnea or just snoring.
Treating sleep apnea is more specific and can involve using a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine or CPAP. This will force air during the night to keep your airway open and prevent it from collapsing. Depending on the grade of sleep apnea there are also mouth guards and other accessories that can help with jaw position and airway collapse prevention.
So those are solutions for apnea, but let’s look at some natural remedies and tips to prevent snoring:
1. Boost Your Fitness
This has a double effect regarding snoring. The exercise can help with weight loss which will relieve pressure on your airway but the exercise will also better engage your respiratory system and help improve your breathing.
2. Sleep On Your Side
If you sleep on your back, you will put too much pressure on your chest and neck and make it easier for the airway to collapse. Sleeping on your side will be better at keeping your breathing airway more open.
Being in a fetal type position is recommended with a pillow between your legs to relieve pressure on your back. It will also prevent you from rolling on your back.
3. Use A Tennis Ball
This will work if you wear pajamas or some sort of top to bed. Again, this is about preventing you from rolling onto your back and you can do this by sewing a tennis ball that’s in a small sleeve, or sock, into the back of your pajamas.
In the night when you try to roll the tennis ball will aggravate you and lead you to turn back to your side.
4. Essential Oils
When you put essential oils on your neck and upper chest area that can help to open your airways. This can help improve your sleep and reduce snoring. Lavender and chamomile will be two of the best for this and they also are relaxing and can help to promote sleep.
5. Use A Neti Pot
When your nasal passage is blocked a neti pot can help to clear it out and give you a more clear air passage through the night.
6. Herbal Teas
These will also help open the airways like the essential oils and some of the best include chamomile, ginger, thyme, licorice root, and peppermint. Drink this before bed to help open your breathing passage.
Final Thoughts on Snoring
Snoring not only affects you but can disrupt the sleep of others leading to health problems for everyone. Understanding what causes it is important to get a better understanding and help you prevent snoring. The good news is there are some natural remedies and tips that can help you in getting better sleep starting tonight.