Do you snore? Have you ever wondered if your snoring can be cured?
To answer this question we first need to understand what snoring is and what causes it.
What Is Snoring?
Snoring is when your breathing during sleep is accompanied by harsh sounds.
The sound itself is caused by the vibration of soft tissues in your mouth and throat. They vibrate when the passage of air through your nose and mouth is partially blocked.
Why Do You Snore?
As you fall asleep you move from a light sleep into a deep sleep. In this deep sleep the muscles in your neck, throat, tongue, and the roof of your mouth relax.
If these tissues relax enough they can start to block the airway and vibrate as air tries to pass by them. That vibration can cause you to snore.
You are more likely to snore if you:
- are overweight
- have weak throat muscles
- have enlarged tissues in your mouth, nose, or throat
- are sleep deprived
- sleep on your back
- have blocked nasal passages
- use alcohol or some drugs close to bedtime.
Why Snoring Matters
You may think that it doesn’t matter if you snore. Maybe it’s only a minor noise problem.
Of course, your snoring may keep your spouse or other family members awake. There are many cases of husbands and wives no longer sleeping in the same bed because one of them snores so loudly.
However, uncontrolled snoring can be a much bigger problem and lead to serious health consequences.
When you snore you don’t spend as much time in deep sleep that is more refreshing to your body and mind. Also, the person who snores may wake up frequently during the night even if they are not aware of being awake.
Not getting a good night’s sleep can lead to drowsiness during the day, sleep deprivation, irritability, and difficulty focusing.
As if those problems aren’t enough, the lack of sleep can also lead to less sexual desire (lower libido).
But wait, there’s more, and it’s worse.
Snoring can decrease the amount of oxygen in your blood during sleep. This can lead to high blood pressure and an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
Finally, snoring may be a symptom of sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is when you stop breathing for more than a few seconds during sleep.
The truth is, anyone can snore.
However, while 45% of men snore, only about 30% of women snore.
You are more likely to snore if you are overweight, have narrow airways, or are older.
In addition, any time you have nasal congestion or drink alcohol close bedtime you are more likely to snore that night.
I like to divide snoring solutions into 2 types:
- those that help you snore less
- those that make it so you don’t snore at all
First, let’s talk about how to lessen your snoring.
1. Sleep on your side
It seems that people who sleep on their back are more likely to snore than those who sleep on their side.
Therefore, try sleeping on your side and see if it helps.
2. Orthopedic or Anti-Snoring Pillows
Some people have trouble with neck and back pain when they sleep on their sides. If that’s you, then try one of the many anti-snoring pillows.
These pillows are contoured to support your head and neck when you lay on your side.
3. Snoring Mouthpiece
A properly fitted dental mouthpiece can help keep your jaw and tongue in position to decrease or even eliminate snoring. You can get a dental mouthpiece from your dentist.
Or, you can buy an over-the-counter mouthpiece. These are often sold to prevent TMJ or bruxism. Look for a brand that allows you to mold it to your mouth (usually by heating it).
4. CPAP Machine
The CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine blows a steady stream of air into your nose and mouth to keep your airway open. You need to wear a face mask with a hose connected to an air pump.
The CPAP solves many snoring and sleep apnea problems. However, many people find it uncomfortable and over 50% of people stop using it within a year.
These snoring solutions work, though none of them cure your snoring. That is, if you stop using them, your snoring problem will return.
Now let’s look at what steps you can take to never snore again.
There are several different surgeries that doctors have developed to cure snoring.
In this article I won’t go into details about the surgeries. It’s enough to say they all try to solve your snoring problem by removing or stiffening tissues in your mouth that vibrate when you breathe.
As with any surgery, the potential risks include bleeding, infection, and pain.
Physical exercise to cure snoring can take two forms.
First, being overweight is one of the well-known risk factors for snoring. Therefore, any exercise and eating plan that helps you lose weight should cause you to snore less.
What is even more interesting, there is research that shows people who exercise tend to snore less even if they don’t lose weight!
My guess is that regular exercise results in better muscle tone throughout your body. That includes the muscles of the throat, neck, and jaw. When those muscles are more firm, they do not relax and block your airway as much during sleep.
Second, you can do special exercises for your mouth, throat, and neck that are designed to eliminate snoring.
These exercises are not hard and take only a few minutes each day to start reducing your snoring problem.
Many people who continue with these exercises find that their snoring is completely eliminated. That’s a cure without any negative side effects!
I hope this short article has helped you.