Why do we snore?
Contrary to popular belief, snoring isn’t simply a bad habit that a person can be trained to give up. In most cases, snoring occurs when the muscles of the throat relax during sleep, narrowing the passage of air. Muscle relaxant medications, excess tissue in the throat, and a deviated nasal septum can each contribute to a worsening of this condition. As the person breathes during sleep, the passage of air through the narrowed opening causes the characteristic “rattling” sound of snoring.
The Harmful Effects of Snoring
Snoring may also be a warning sign of a much more serious medical disorder, Obstructive Sleep Apnea. This occurs when excess tissue blocks the airway, lowering the volume of air passing into the lungs, and therefore reduces the amount of oxygen in the body. As a result, the heart compensates by pumping harder and increasing the blood pressure to maintain the oxygen supply throughout the body. To compensate for the insufficient oxygen, most sufferers wake briefly and repeatedly throughout the night to “come up for air”.
Snoring without apnea is not typically harmful to one’s health (it’s just annoying for those sleeping with you). However, careful medical attention is required to ensure OSA is properly diagnosed and treated.
What can you do to decrease snoring?
The following recommendations may help reduce the snoring tendency and they include:
o Lose excess weight,
o Exercise regularly,
o Avoid smoking,
o Avoid tranquilizers, sleeping pills or antihistamines before going to bed,
o Avoid Alcoholic beverages within four hours of bedtime,
o Avoid heavy meals within four hours of going to bed,
o Sleep on your side, rather than on your back, and
o Raise the head of the bed.
The “Silent-Nite” anti-snoring appliance works by gently repositioning your jaw while sleeping allowing more air to flow freely, providing you and your spouse with a restful sleep.