We don't often think of snoring as something damaging or inhibiting, but that's exactly what it is. Often, snoring is laughed about as a funny noise that people make while they sleep, without any thought about the cause or effect.
This needs to change.
In this article, we want to tell you as clearly and simply as possible what snoring is, what causes it, what it's effects are and what you should do about it.
What is snoring?
Snoring is what occurs when there is a partial obstruction in the airway while someone is asleep. The obstruction causes the soft tissue at the back of the throat to flap and vibrate, causing the noise we call snoring.
What causes snoring?
There are a number of factors that can cause you to snore, but some of the most common include:
Being overweight - the excess fat can put undue pressure on your throat.
Drinking alcohol in the evening - this can cause your muscles to relax further than they would.
Sleeping on your back - this causes the tongue to fall back and obscure the ariway,
What are the effects of snoring?
One of the main consequences of snoring is Obstructive Sleep Apnea. You can learn more about this condition from out blog post here, but in short, it is a disorder where obstructions in your throat cause you to wake up multiple times in the night, leaving you much more tired than you should be and increasing your risk of heart attack and stroke.
Another main effect is the impact that snoring itself can have on the snorer's bed partner (or even those sleeping in other rooms if the noise is loud enough). The simple fact is that loud noises make it harder to fall asleep, meaning that those who share a bed (or a house) with snorer can end up getting much less rest than they might otherwise, leading to increased irritability, anxiety, and lack of concentration.
What should you do about it?
Sometimes the solution to fixing snoring is straightfoward. If it's caused by alcohol relaxing the muscles in your throat, don't drink in the evening. If it's cause by sleeping on your back, try to sleep on your side.
But at the end of the day, snoring is really something you should speak to your doctor about. The potential health issues that cause it and the effects it can have on you and others makes it worth sorting out with a professional.
Have a chat to your GP, and get in touch with us. We'd love to help.
Sleep well, live well.