Snoring is a common occurrence for many people, and but could be an indicator of a significant health issue. Even with no underlying cause, frequent snoring can still cause issues. Anyone that sleeps next to you can be irritated by the sound. Moreover, it can cause lack of quality sleep that creates sleepiness during the day or worsening of your mood. Getting to the root of the problem can help you uncover any hidden health issues or improve your sleep for the better.
Why am I Snoring?
If you snore, there are two overall causes: either from an underlying health condition or not from an underlying health condition. The most likely underlying condition is sleep apnoea, a condition where your breathing stops and starts while you sleep. Long-term sleep apnoea can cause cardiac issues or mental health issues due to lack of consistent, quality sleep.
If you do not have an underlying condition that causes you to snore, that’s good news. The bad news, however, is that the cause may be harder to track. It may be worth looking into your daily habits. If you don’t eat particularly healthily or drink many units of alcohol per week, this could well be a factor.
Smoking in particular can make you up to 2.3 times more likely snore. Tobacco tightens your airwaves and creates excess mucus, disrupting air going through your nose and throat. Long-term smoking also puts you at far greater risk of developing sleep apnoea.
When Should I Contact a Doctor?
If you think you could have sleep apnoea, it is best to seek medical advice as soon as possible. If you find yourself snoring loudly, waking up frequently in the middle of the night, or choking, these could all be signs of sleep apnoea. Day-time symptoms can include pain when you wake up, irritability or tiredness despite a full night’s sleep.
If you’ve been making changes to your daily habits, such as cutting out alcohol or smoking, and you still snore, it may be worth seeing a doctor. There could be an underlying issue, or a doctor could provide personal advice. It may however take a long-term break from drinking or smoking for symptoms to improve.
How Can I Stop Snoring?
As discussed, tracking your daily habits and any signs of sleep apnoea are a great place to start. Don’t expect any overnight changes, as your body becomes accustomed to your new lifestyle and clears itself of damage from smoking, drinking, etc.
Sleeping on your side is a rather quick fix. Sleeping on your back causes compression of the airwaves because of gravity, and side sleeping prevents this.
If you must sleep on your back, however, it is worth investing in a specialised pillow. Sleeping on a low pillow will cause your airways to be constricted, so a good pillow will put your head and neck in good position with the rest of your body to keep a good airflow. The Hullygood Organic Buckwheat Pillow, for example, cleverly aligns your posture to avoid compression that causes snoring. Its positioning helps to open your throat and maintain tour airways, avoiding the blockage.
Snoring is more common when you’re tired and are catching up on sleep. Getting the recommended minimum of seven hours of sleep a night for adults is the key to improvement. A consistent schedule of enough quality REM sleep will help you stop snoring for good.