Do you often feel like you’re inside a dragon’s dungeon with your spouse’s extremely loud snoring at night? Snoring, which is the sound produced by soft tissue vibration at the back of the throat during sleep, is caused by turbulent airflow through the air passages. Generally, this condition is harmless except that it can keep other people awake at night. However, in some cases, it can also relate to a breathing difficulty also known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).
Causes of Snoring
Age plays a factor in snoring. It is common in people who are ages 30 to 60 years old, but it is seven to ten times more prevalent in men than in women.
Weight is also contributory to this condition. Obese people are at great risk of obstructive sleep apnea due to the increased neck fat that narrows the airways and causes difficulties in breathing.
It also runs in the family. If you have a first-degree relative who snores loudly at night, then you have bigger chances of doing the same thing when you grow older.
Certain medical conditions may also cause OSA. These include polio, muscular dystrophy, sinus infections, allergies, colds, nasal tumors, and hypothyroidism.
To get better sleep, encourage your spouse to sleep on one side instead of on his back since the latter position increases snoring tendencies. Since it’s difficult to control oneself from rolling on one’s back when already asleep, have your spouse wear a pocket T-shirt backward. Put a tennis ball on the pocket. This would decrease the tendency to sleep on one’s back since that can get very uncomfortable.
Another effective remedy is to lose weight. Even dropping 10 pounds can already make a big difference. As mentioned earlier, increased fat in the neck can constrict the airways and contribute to snoring. In order to lose weight, have your spouse adopt a healthy lifestyle consisting of regular exercise and low-fat, low-calorie diet. Even if your spouse is busy with work, encourage him to squeeze exercise into his life by engaging in physical activity at least 30 minutes a day.
It is also important to avoid consuming alcohol at least 4 hours before sleeping. Those who drink alcohol before sleeping are more prone to snoring than those who do not. Same with alcohol, it would be smart to avoid taking in sedatives or narcotics as this relaxes the throat muscles and increases risk of airway obstruction that leads to snoring.
If snoring bothers you too much that it disrupts your sleep, it may be necessary to ask your spouse to see a doctor. A doctor may prescribe an inhaled steroid preparation to reduce the swelling of the lining of your nose. If the snoring is caused by OSA, surgical procedure or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) may be implemented. The non-invasive CPAP therapy is preferred by most patients. This involves the use of a mask fitted snugly over the nose and mouth and worn during sleep. This mask is connected to a blower that produces pressurized air. This is an effective way of treating snoring.