Snoring affects so many people and yet it’s something that many people still feel hesitant to talk about. It’s a little bit embarrassing to be the person who snores loud enough to wake up the neighbors, but it’s important to realize that snoring is incredibly common, it’s possible to treat, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of.
What exactly is snoring?
The National Sleep Foundation describes snoring as “noisy breathing,” although the sound itself can vary from a soft gargle sound to a sharp nasal sound. The sound occurs only when you sleep because the muscles in the throat relax, causing the tongue to fall backward and to obstruct the air passage in the throat. This narrower passage causes tissues in the throat to vibrate, and these vibrations are what we call “snoring.”
Who is most likely to suffer from it?
Men are far more likely to snore than women, and people who are overweight are more at risk as well. People become more likely to develop a habit of snoring as they age.
Is there anything that increases your tendency to snore?
Yes, there are some very common factors that facilitate snoring. If you’re ill and your respiratory system isn’t working properly (this often means that your nasal passages and throat are congested/inflamed), you might begin to snore at night until it’s cleared up. Sleeping flat on your back also increases your risk of snoring, and muscle relaxants (including alcohol) have been known to increase this risk as well.
Are there any serious side effects of snoring?
The biggest disadvantage of snoring is simply the disruption of sleep (and possibly the disruption of your partner’s sleep schedule, too). This may not seem like a serious side effect, but chronic sleep deprivation has many potential health risks. It’s estimated that around 70-90 million Americans have sleep and wakefulness disorders (and 91% of Americans say they wake up in the middle of the night); many of these cases are connected to snoring.
Can snoring be treated?
While there isn’t exactly a “cure” for the common case of snoring, there are ways to mitigate the effects. Lifestyle changes, such as reducing alcohol consumption before bed, may help. Many people benefit from nasal and oral appliances that keep the airways open, and many people also find that adjustable beds provide relief.
Craftmatic® Adjustable Beds equipped with optional heat and massage, may provide temporary relief of low back pain, minor aches and pains due to muscular fatigue or overexertion, edema or swelling of the legs, poor local blood circulation of the legs, symptoms of hiatus hernia, symptoms of gastric reflux, nighttime heartburn. The optional heating accessory provides temporary relief from mild arthritis and joint pain, as well as muscle pain associated with stress and tension. Sleeping in an upright position may reduce or ease light and occasional snoring.