Snoring can be a real problem, especially if you're in a relationship and your partner is having to make sacrifices in order to accommodate your snoring. To help reduce or even get rid of your snoring, it's important to first understand why we snore. Here are nine causes of snoring along with some treatments that could help you towards a peaceful and snore-free night.
What makes you snore? Snoring Causes
1. Extreme physical or mental tiredness
Extreme physical and mental tiredness, especially during the day, could be a result of sleep apnea which is known to be a root cause of snoring. A lot of times, people won't realise they have sleep apnea until they discover that they consistently feel extremely tired during the day. This is because sleep apnea results in restless nights and affects sleep overnight. If you are suffering from extreme tiredness and have been told that you snore, make sure you consult a medical professional over the possibilities of sleep apnea.
2. Overweight and eating too late before sleeping
Obesity and eating too late can cause endless nights of snoring. The problem occurs because overweight people generally have wider necks. If you have a neck circumference that measures 42cm or more, you are far more likely to start snoring. This is because there is a build up of fatty tissue around the neck. Once the tissue condenses the airway, any airflow is restricted. This leads to stunted breathing and snoring.
3. Alcohol consumption before bed
Snoring can be caused by drinking too much alcohol before you go to sleep. The problem with drinking before bed is that alcohol works to relax your throat muscles. This means any natural defenses you have against the obstruction of your airways are compromised, potentially leading to heavy and consistent snoring.
4. Sleeping positions
You may be unaware of it, but the position you sleep in could be affecting your snoring. Quite often, people who snore are told to sleep on their side to see if it cuts out their snoring. This is because snoring is known to be the most frequent and loudest when you're sleeping on your back. This is because while you're on your back, the tongue is far more likely to fall back. This can cause your airway to either narrow or completely close. Narrowed or closed airways are known to result in snoring.
5. Nasal congestion
Nasal congestion is another cause of snoring. If you're suffering from congestion in your nasal passages, it means you're likely to compensate by breathing with your mouth open. Breathing through your mouth creates more negative pressure which is known to develop behind the soft palate and the uvula. The negative pressure is what increases the vibrations as the air attempts to pass through during sleep. Those vibrations result in the sounds we have come to know as snoring.
6. Snoring could be being caused by an allergy
If breathing through your nose isn't smooth, your snoring could be the result of an allergy. One of the most common causes of an allergy is dust which can quickly gather throughout the household. If you are suffering from allergies, it will make breathing through your nose difficult which can lead to you breathing with your mouth open and snoring.
7. Snoring during pregnancy
Pregnancy has been known to cause snoring. Studies have shown that it usually occurs in the third trimester, and that a quarter of women suffer from strong snoring towards the end of their pregnancy. The reason pregnant women snore more during pregnancy is down to the extra weight gained. Being heavier results in extra tissue in both the neck and the throat, which can lead to blocked airways.
8. Genetics and snoring
Researchers have discovered that, for some, snoring is genetic. In fact, it's estimated that children of parents who are chronic snorers are up to three times more likely to snore themselves. There are abnormalities that can be inherited which can control the breathing during sleep. This affects the ventilation which can cause the narrowing of the airways. Once the airways are narrowed, there is a greater chance of snoring occurring.
9. Sleep apnea and snoring
Sleep apnea and snoring go hand in hand. Sleep apnea occurs when something either partly or completely blocks the upper airway. When the upper airway is blocked, the muscles in the chest and the diaphragm have to work harder to open up the airway that's obstructed. The extra work is necessary in order to pull air into the lungs. Once the air is in the lungs, breathing can resume, which usually happens with a gasp, jerk or a snort. Sleep apnea can lead to potentially serious conditions such as heart disease, so if you suspect you may be suffering from it you should consult a medical professional.
Snoring Solutions, Aids and Remedies
1. Bed Wedge Pillow
A pillow wedge can help adjust your sleeping position to ensure you don't lie flat on your back while maintaining your comfort levels.
2. Body pillow for side sleepers
If you're not keen on sleeping on your side, a body pillow designed specifically for side sleepers can encourage side sleeping and add great levels of comfort to your night's sleep.
The Zyppah is a hybrid snoring solution. Not only does it work to keep your jaw in place, preventing your airways from becoming blocked, but it also has a tongue stabiliser which keeps your tongue in place. Meaning your tongue won't fall back and block the throat.
4. Stuffy nose strips
These nose strips are great if your snoring is the result of nasal congestion or allergies. Worn either side of the nose, they work to open the nasal airways by pulling the skin gently open to the left and right of the nostrils.
A small and soft mouthpiece that has been designed by dentists. The comfortable mouthpiece prevents the jaw from falling back. It opens the airway which is located at the back of the throat. This then allows the air to move freely and stops the vibrations that are known to cause snoring.
Another mouthpiece that works to effectively reduce and stop snoring. Known for being comfortable, it gets to work on the root cause, enabling you to have a restful night's sleep. Lern more
This is a mouthpiece that works slightly differently. Unlike other mouthpieces which work to hold your jaw in a forward position, the Good Morning Snoring Solution actually holds your tongue forward. Stopping it from falling back and blocking your airways.
8. Smart Nora
This is a clever device that works to combat snoring as you sleep. The device is able to detect your snoring, once it does it activates a silent pump which will either inflate or deflate an insert which sits below your pillow. The movement in the pillow then stimulates your throat muscles, allowing your airway to go back to its natural position.
If your jaw position is the cause of your snoring, then My Snoring Solution could work for you. A comfortable chinstrap, My Snoring Solution aims to keep your jaw in place and keep your airways open during sleep.
This is another mouthpiece that will keep your jaw in the forward position as you sleep. The difference with SnoreRX however is that is allows the user to customise the mouthpiece by making a teeth imprint. Read The Review
11. Adjustable pillow wedge
Like other pillow wedges, an adjustable pillow wedge stops you from lying flat on your back which has been known to cause snoring. 3-piece wedge systems also provide foot support for maximum comfort.
12. Simple pillow wedge
A simple pillow wedge can be an effective snoring solution because it can keep your airways open simply by aligning the neck and the spine with your head. Usually a triangular shape, different wedge pillows will vary in effectiveness depending on the manufacturer.
13. Pillow wedge for side sleepers
If you prefer to sleep on your side, a pillow wedge designed for side sleepers can help to combat allergies and snoring. By gently adjusting your body position, it elevates your upper body for additional support which can greatly reduce snoring.
14. Vitamin D
Although vitamin D is not specifically designed to stop snoring, studies have shown people with low vitamin D levels are at a higher risk of snoring and sleep apnea. If you suffer from snoring, it's a good idea to ensure your vitamin D levels are healthy before trying other solutions.