Sleep is a basic human necessity that helps your body recharge for the next day. Apart from keeping you well rested, it provides plenty of benefits—such as reducing inflammation and lowering your risk of heart disease—that’ll allow you to stay healthy. A good night’s sleep may help address issues such as lack of focus and decreased productivity throughout the day.
Different people sleep in different ways. While some can just close their eyes and drift off to sleep without a problem, others have difficulty falling and staying asleep, especially when they’re right beside a heavy snorer.
What Is Snoring?
Snoring is a condition in which a person releases a loud breathing noise while they’re sleeping. While the sound produced may seem harmless in itself, snoring can be a sign of health complications you should be aware of.
Health Issues Associated With Snoring
It’s important to know the health risks of snoring so you can figure out how to address the root cause and eventually stop snoring altogether. It’s true that snoring once in a while shouldn’t be a cause of worry, particularly if you’ve had a long, exhausting day. But if you’re a chronic snorer and there has never been a night when you were able to sleep quietly, you might be dealing with an underlying condition you’re not yet aware of.
Some health risks related to snoring are the following:
- Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
- Heart Disease
- Mental Health Issues
- Sleep Apnea
To alleviate snoring, you may want to consult with a doctor who can diagnose if a particular health problem is causing you to snore. They can ask you to undergo polysomnography, also referred to as a sleep study. In this test, you’ll sleep either in your home or their laboratory, and a device will be attached to your body to help them monitor your breathing, heart rate, and brain activity.
Alternatively, the doctor can conduct an imaging test that’ll allow them to determine if there’s an obstacle that should be cleared from your airways.
How To Reduce Or Eliminate Snoring
Sleeping next to a chronic snorer is never a treat, especially if the other person is a light sleeper. Even if you sleep alone, if you’re aware that you snore loudly and excessively, you should look into and take measures to put a stop to the issue so you can sleep peacefully every night.
Here are several ways on how you can sleep better at night and minimize your snoring:
Sleep On Your Side
One of the top reasons people snore is that their airways are blocked, usually by their tongue, making it difficult for the air inside their body to get out. If you’re a back sleeper, your tongue may be lying at the back of your throat and obstructing your airway. Because there’s no clear path for air, you end up snoring.
To prevent that situation, you may want to consider sleeping on your side so your tongue rests on the side of your mouth. In this way, you can eliminate the possibility of it blocking your air passages.
Before you start sleeping on your side more often, you may want to switch to side sleeper-friendly pillows. These allow for proper body alignment, enabling you to wake up without any body or neck pains.
Elevate Your Pillows
If you’re uncomfortable sleeping on your side, you can choose to elevate your pillows instead. Doing this prevents your tongue from being pushed back and becoming an obstacle. When raising your pillows, you shouldn’t forget to give adequate support to your neck and shoulders as an improper sleeping position can also cause blockage of the airways.
To allow yourself to sleep on your back without worrying about the angle of your body, you can opt to purchase a wedge pillow, which has an inclined angle. This will allow your upper body to be in the perfect position for sleeping.
If you’re overweight or obese, you might want to think about trying to lose weight. When you have extra tissue, especially in your throat, this may be getting in the way of your air passages and contributing to your snoring problem. The excess tissue can squeeze the diameter of your throat, hindering the air in your body from being released. With that, you may find yourself snoring every time you sleep, be it in the afternoon or at night, which could lead to a more significant health problem in the long run.
Even if you’re not overweight or obese but you’ve realized that you started snoring when you gained weight, losing a few pounds can help solve the issue.
Wear A Mouthpiece
One way to ensure that your tongue will stay in place when you sleep regardless of the position you end up in, is wearing a mouthpiece intended to help people who snore. With this kind of mouthpiece, all you have to do is wear it before hitting the hay and go to sleep as usual.
Ideally, you should look for a mouthpiece with an anti-snoring feature so you can ensure that it’ll serve its purpose well. While it’s generally acceptable to go for a standard size when choosing a mouthpiece, you might want to search for one that allows for custom fitting. This way, it won’t be too loose or too constricting, and you’ll be comfortable throughout the night.
Conclusion on snoring
There’s nothing wrong with snoring occasionally. But if you snore heavily every time you take a nap or go to sleep at night, it’s advisable to look for ways to stop it from happening. Not only will the people around you be able to sleep without disturbances, but you can also reduce your chances of developing more serious health problems.
Ideally, you should first find out why you’re snoring so you can determine the appropriate steps you have to take. You can always start with the tips above and see if any of them works for you. However, it’s best to visit your doctor for a proper diagnosis, expert advice, and treatment.