Instead of normal, quiet breathing people make when they sleep, snoring is loud and annoying! People who snore make all sorts of noises during sleep. Everybody snores occasionally, but when it becomes chronic, it can disturb your partner’s sleep and have far-reaching effects on the quality of your sleep and overall well being.
Snoring is incredibly common, particularly in men. Almost 24% of men snore regularly, but they’re not alone. 17% of women snore too.
You’re much more likely to snore if you drink alcohol in the evening. Taking sleeping tablets or sedatives to help you sleep can also increase your risk of snoring. Some people only snore when they sleep on their back, while others snore in all sleeping positions.
Snoring can occur when the muscles in your mouth, tongue and throat relax when you fall asleep. They can fall back towards your throat making the airway very narrow. As the airway becomes narrow, the more forceful the airflow becomes and this can cause the vibrations which lead to the noises associated with snoring.
Things that make snoring more likely include
- Being overweight
- Being a man
- Growing older
- Hormonal changes
Snoring is also linked to sleep apnea. Three in 10 men and nearly two in 10 woman who are heavy snorers suffer from some degree of obstructive sleep apean.
There are a number of self-help snoring remedies you can try. These include
- Sleeping on your side
- sleep in a reclined position
- lose some weight
- Stop smoking and avoid alcohol in the evening
- Avoid sedatives and sleeping pills
- Regular exercise
There’s also a large number of anti-snoring devices available including anti-snore mouthguards that help move your lower jaw forward.
CPAP therapy can also be used for snoring and is highly effective at eliminating snoring.
If CPAP or oral anti-snoring devices haven’t worked for you a surgeon may recommend other more invasive procedures to help open up your airway. These included
- Somnoplasty – reduces the amount of soft tissue at the back of your throat
- Sinus surgery – can help snoring caused by a blocked nose
- Removing tonsils and adenoids may help if they are restricting your airway.