Snoring . . . most of us either do it ourselves or live with someone who does. Even if we enjoy snore-free nights, we often know a family member with the problem. But beyond being simply an annoyance, we often don't consider the possible health risks associated with this condition.
Snoring occurs when air passes by soft tissue in the palate and at the back of the throat. In and of itself, snoring doesn't pose a serious health risk. However, if snoring is accompanied by inadequate amounts of air reaching the lungs -- a condition known as sleep apnea -- this can lead to detrimental health consequences.
Natural Ways to Conquer Snoring
If you think you're doomed to snore (or your partner is) for the rest of your life, fear not. There are some easy fixes you can try to quiet the nighttime noise:
1. Change position.
Lying on one's back sometimes causes the tongue to fall towards the top of the mouth and the back of the throat, resulting in snoring. Instead of assuming this same position every night, simply find a way to encourage yourself to lie on your side. Body pillows are a great way to retrain the body to sleep in different positions. Some people will put a pillow under their lower back or even a small ball that prevents them from laying flat.
2. Skip the cocktails.
Those who consume alcohol shortly before bed are risking snoring by relaxing the muscles of the throat. A single glass of wine four hours before bed can cause snoring to occur in those who are sensitive to these effects of alcohol. The same can be said of sedatives, too.
3. Drop some weight.
Anyone who has recently gained weight and also developed a snoring problem will have to consider using a diet to bring the snoring to an end. What happens is any additional fat (even small amounts) around the neck can cause pressure on the soft palette, which leads to snoring.
4. Get a nose guard.
There are some over-the-counter nose guards that can help keep the airways open during the night. This ends the issue of air dragging through the throat and often brings snoring safely to an end. In more serious cases, medical devices and even surgery are available for those suffering from sleep apnea.
5. Consider your head.
Is your head in the right position for healthy sleep? How old is that pillow? Old pillows are full of dust and dander, and they may fail to support the head or neck properly. This means simply purchasing a new pillow designed to encourage sleep, and putting it in a dust-free cover, can easily bring a complete remedy to your snoring dilemma.
While snoring may not be associated with sleep apnea, those who are experiencing chronic fatigue, pain, shortness of breath, or heart palpitations would do well to consider taking action steps to alleviate this condition. Speak with your doctor if you think there is more behind your snore.