Do you have trouble snoring? Snoring not only disrupts your sleep, but it keeps the people around you awake, too. According to Johns Hopkins, 25% of adults deal with chronic nighttime snoring. Luckily, BASS Medical Group has expertise in providing treatments for snoring.
Snoring can indicate a more severe disorder, such as sleep apnea, or it may disturb your sleeping partner and lead to restless nights. This article will discuss why people snore and potential treatments for snoring.
Snoring: Why Do We Snore?
Snoring happens when resistance in the respiratory tract and air cannot flow normally. Typically, this occurs during the phase in your sleep cycle when you are comfortably asleep, and the muscles in your throat are relaxed. As a result, your airway is temporarily blocked, causing vibrations to produce a harsh sound.
There are a few different reasons people snore. Firstly, the anatomical makeup of your mouth can determine if you are a snorer. The soft palate, towards the back of the roof of the mouth, tends to be thicker in people who are overweight. Additionally, the wider someone’s soft palate is, the more likely they are a chronic snorer. This is because their airway is restricted.
Another factor that causes snoring is alcohol consumption. If you habitually drink alcohol in the evenings, you may find yourself waking up out of your sleep from snoring. Since alcohol affects the central nervous system and relaxes the tissue in your throat, this further exacerbates snoring.
Do you suffer from chronic congestion? Is your nose always stuffy, or is there a lot of mucus in your chest? If so, this could be a cause of snoring.
Lastly, the quality and amount of sleep you’re getting can affect snoring. Sleeping on your back leads to snoring since gravity affects your body. If you are not getting adequate rest, the muscles in your throat tend to relax more.
Here are some effective snoring remedies to consider:
Since snoring is common in overweight individuals, a standard recommendation is to lose weight. This is because overweight people have more tissue in their throats, which leads to airway obstruction and snoring.
Limiting Alcohol Consumption to Daytime
If you are going to drink alcohol, limit consumption to daytime hours, or a few hours before bedtime. Alcohol consumption causes the muscles in the throat to relax, which is the pathological reason for snoring. Therefore, being mindful of alcohol consumption can alleviate trouble with snoring.
Managing Nasal Congestion
You can use nasal strips to open your nostrils during sleep. These sticky pieces of material hold your nostrils open and widen the passage for air.
Getting Adequate Sleep
If you are not getting enough restful sleep at night, your body will respond accordingly. Sleep deprivation leads to the soft palate becoming too relaxed, resulting in disruptive snoring. Make sure you are in a dark, comfortable environment when you go to sleep.
Adjusting Your Sleeping Position
Generally speaking, most doctors recommend sleeping on your side or raising the head of your bed. This will counteract the effects that gravity has on your body.
If you participate in a sleep study, the physician may discover that you have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Patients with OSA may find it helpful to wear a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) mask to bed. The mask provides your airway with oxygen, so you do not stop breathing.
If a physician determines that your snoring is problematic enough, you may need to have surgery. There are a few different surgical options to relieve snoring. One choice is maxillomandibular advancement (MMA), a procedure where the upper and lower jaw is moved forward so that the airway widens. Another option is a plastic surgery called uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP). The patient receives general anesthesia, and tissue is cut away from the throat, another way to open the airway.
We’re Here To Help You Rest Comfortably
Chronic snoring can disrupt sleep and affect your performance and mood during waking hours. If you or a loved one are concerned about excessive snoring, contact BASS Medical Group. Our otolaryngology experts at BASS Medical Group can provide you with treatment for problematic snoring. Call us today at (925) 350-4044 or schedule an appointment to consult a specialist.