Why do we snore?
After an active day, which we spend at work or doing our household chores, we often long for a sound sleep at night. For those, who suffer from chronic snoring and their spouses, falling and staying asleep is not always that easy. The truth is that it could look like an innocent irritation around us, but it might turn to have dangerous consequences, extending much far beyond nighttime. It’s the reason, why lots of people are so worried about the problem of snoring.
However, in today’s reality, this issue may be solved, as sleep experts can define, what exactly causes the phenomenon.
Let’s observe several reasons, why snoring can be dangerous. In the majority of cases, it might be a sign of particular health problems. In fact, snoring is one of the most common symptoms among both adults and even children. We all know that sleep helps us relax the muscle tissue, which contributes to the larynx stenosis. As a result, the air hardly enters the trachea and into the lungs, and as it comes out of them, the processes of inhaling and exhaling become quite problematic. While we are sleeping, the walls of the larynx form vibrational sounds during breathing, and finally, snoring arises. The chances of snoring development are two times higher if a person is predisposed to asthma or various allergies. All the others are also prone to such problem, but the risks are a bit lower.
What’s more, according to the statistics, 5,6% of children, about 40% of males, and 19% of females in the world suffer from snoring. Another 59% of people claim that their partners snore.
Key causes of snoring
There may be different causes of the phenomenon, which depend on a certain person. The specialists distinguish several main reasons, why people snore. The most common ones include:
1. Overweight. This problem is strongly tied to the snoring phenomenon. Fat deposits have a negative influence on the process of breathing, putting pressure on the respiratory tract.
2. Bad habits. Both smoking and alcohol are able to make the problem even worse, affecting our lungs, heart, and the state of health in general.
3. Pills. If you take any hypnotics, they can also cause snoring or exacerbate it.
4. The conditions and positions of sleep. It is vital feeling comfortable while sleeping. The right position can often fix the problem.
5. Allergies. As it’s been already mentioned, the people with allergies are more subject to snoring. It is usually a trigger of the issue.
6. Irregular characteristics of organs. The size of the nostrils, the position of the tongue or any other non-typical things might cause snoring.
How to get rid of snoring: important issues and consequences of a neglected problem
There are a few more points, which we should talk about concerning the phenomenon. The truth is that unfortunately plenty of people do not pay attention to snoring, thinking it has nothing to do with serious problems. But sometimes snoring is an evidence of various diseases.
If you hear you or your spouse making a loud gasping sound while sleeping, it could be a condition called sleep apnea. With such a disorder, breathing breaks and resumes during the night. It is often connected to various heart diseases, hypertension, and even diabetes. What’s more, any snorer has very high stroke risks even without apnea. If you are aware of your snoring problem and often feel sleepiness or memory problems during the daytime, it is strongly recommended seeing a doctor as soon as possible.
Such a diagnosis is often connected with a lack of physical activity, overeating, hormonal imbalance, metabolism troubles, and other common reasons. All of them are similar in one aspect: they provoke the formation of a fat layer in the throat, which will cause snoring. The shorter and thicker the person’s neck is, the more likely he or she will snore. This problem does not have a significant gender difference, but the neck fat appearance is more frequent among men, as women usually suffer from extra pounds in the waist. Weight loss and increased physical activity will definitely help get rid of the problem.
This category includes alcohol, cigarettes, and even drugs for insomnia. Alcohol slows down the brain and relaxes the body, which has a negative effect on our sleep, making muscles too lethargic. The same thing concerns tablets. As for smoking, it irritates the muscles of the pharynx directly, as well as the mucous surface. This provokes sweating and other processes that make breathing during sleep difficult. Moreover, passive smoking is also dangerous: even non-smoking members of your family can snore, because they inhale smoke from your cigarettes. The best solution in such a situation is to reject bad habits. However, if this is too difficult for you, try not to resort to them at least 4 hours before bedtime. Such strategy is able to make the things with snoring better.
Despite the fact that the disease of apnea (which manifests itself during sleep in the form of snoring) is more common among men, women can also suffer from it. This gender misconception often causes an incorrect diagnosis, which leads to dangerous consequences. Compared to males, hormones play a decisive role in a female body. Thus, the ladies are more sensitive to the “malfunctions” in their organisms, and any health problems might lead to snoring. That’s why it is required to maintain personal health.
Discomfort during sleep
Whether you suffer from apnea or not, sleeping on your back can provoke snoring. To avoid this effect, it is better to choose a position for sleeping on the side. The body tries to take its position on the back, but you should try to fix it without harm to the strength and depth of your sleep. You can put pillows on the side or gradually accustom yourself to this method.
The sleep stages are also one of the important aspects. The essential ones are light and REM sleep. During these periods, changes in breathing are particularly noticeable, and a comfortable sleep will help to avoid snoring for the whole night.
The allergy can be provoked by many causes. It might be:
- tobacco smoke (also works for passive smokers);
- feather pillows;
- an abundance of dust;
- wool of domestic animals;
- an odor of household chemicals (including washing powder), etc.
All those irritants can lead to allergic rhinitis. According to the WHO, about 35% of the population suffers from allergic rhinitis. During sleep, this disease provokes itching, irritation, sneezing and other symptoms, which disturb the sleep depth and finally lead to snoring. In order to get rid of this problem, it’s necessary to find and remove the allergen. Thus, you will secure your sleep, making it safe and sound.
Neglected snoring may become a big problem, as it can not only disturb the rest of a person and people around, but also be a witness of serious troubles. Besides, bad health state may be resulted by a deprivation of sleep. A research led by the Foundation of National Sleep has found out the following: about 1/3 of people understands — the partners’ snoring provokes changes of the relations to the worse. Strong problems disrupt the sleep of both, causing rage, irritations, and sometimes depression. Such situation might become the reason of disputes and even divorces.
The most important step to start a way to a better sleep is to speak to a person, suffering from the disorder. Express the worries not just about your well-being but about his or her health as well.
In the case, you’re the one suffering from the phenomenon, do not be light-minded to your beloved one’s concerns.
Don’t forget — snoring doesn’t allow you living a normal life. Loud sounds prevent you from resting and sleeping well, as well as your wife or husband. It has been estimated that having lived in marriage for 50 years with a snoring spouse, you could deprive yourself of about 4 years of silent life. The only way to get rid of snoring is to diagnose the reason correctly and start fighting with it. Never delay treatment and take care of your health. All the efforts will finally give your body a calm and strong sleep!