Sleep Disorders Other Problems Snoring

Up to 50 percent of people snore at least occasionally, according to the Mayo Clinic (2009). Consistent snoring can disrupt a bed partner’s sleep and may indicate a serious health condition.

Causes of Snoring

Snoring occurs due to multiple factors, some more serious than others. Enlarged tonsils, adenoids or excess tissue at the back of the throat may cause snoring. People who are overweight often have excess throat tissue, increasing the risk of both snoring and sleep apnea. Nasal congestion or abnormal nasal structure also contributes to snoring.

Alcohol consumption relaxes the throat muscles, so drinking before bedtime increases the risk of snoring. Men are more likely to snore than women.

Sleep Apnea and Snoring

Obstructive sleep apnea, which occurs when tissues in your throat obstruct your breathing while asleep, is characterized by long pauses between breaths, irregular breathing and snoring. Sleep apnea is dangerous because oxygen flow to the brain is cut off during pauses in breathing. As oxygen levels decrease, carbon dioxide in the bloodstream increases. Eventually, the lack of oxygen causes people to wake up people suddenly, meaning their sleep is constantly disrupted.

Sleep apnea is linked to more than just fatigue. Sleep apnea can also cause heart problems because of low blood oxygen levels.

Snoring Cures

Snoring remedies range from lifestyle changes to anti-snoring devices. Avoiding alcohol before bedtime will stop snoring in some people. Losing extra weight usually provides some degree of snoring relief.

Other snoring cures include changing sleeping positions. People who sleep on their backs are more likely to snore because the tongue falls back into the throat, blocking airflow. Snoring remedies can be as simple as sleeping on one’s side or stomach.

Anti-Snoring Devices

A number of anti-snoring devices can be purchased, including oral appliances and nasal adhesive strips. CPAP machines are also possible snoring cures.

Nasal strips are some of the simplest anti-snoring devices. A small adhesive strip is worn over the bridge of the nose while sleeping. The strip lifts the nasal passages open. Keeping the nostrils clear improves breathing and helps stop snoring.

Oral appliances are the more complex of the anti-snoring devices. In addition to providing snoring cures, oral appliances are also used to treat sleep apnea. An oral appliance is a custom-made dental mouthpiece designed to keep the airway open by repositioning the tongue, soft palate and jaw. While oral appliances are potentially effective snoring remedies, some people cannot get used to sleeping while wearing a mouthpiece.

A CPAP machine, or continuous positive airway pressure machine, is one of the most complicated anti-snoring devices. CPAPs are used to treat sleep apnea and can also stop snoring.

CPAP treatment requires people to wear a mask while sleeping. The mask connects to a pump that blows a gentle stream of air into the airway to keep the airway tissue from collapsing.

In addition to anti-snoring devices, snoring cures include surgical correction. Surgical correction to stop snoring is not appropriate for everyone. Anyone considering surgical snoring remedies should discuss the matter carefully with a doctor.

Resources

Bupa. (2008). Snoring. Retrieved August 10, 2010, from http://hcd2.bupa.co.uk/fact_sheets/Mosby_factsheets/snoring.html.

Mayo Clinic Staff. (2010). Snoring. Retrieved September 14, 2010, from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/snoring/DS00297.