Snoring is something that most people do on occasion, even if they're not prepared to admit it. But for some, snoring is a serious nightly issue. Recent studies indicate that 80-90% of people with a snoring partner fail to reach REM sleep - a vital component of our nightly sleep pattern. And the most severe cases of snoring often resort in partners sleeping in separate rooms.
So What Actually Causes Snoring?
Snoring is caused by the vibration of soft tissue in your upper airway during sleep. When you are asleep, your airways relax and narrow. If your airway is too narrow air has to travel more quickly to supply enough oxygen to your lungs. This increased speed reduces the air pressure within your airways. This causes the airway to deform or collapse and the tissue to vibrate. It’s these vibrations that are associated with the sound of snoring.
Just imagine how the increased pressure of your body forcing breath through these reduced airways gets louder and louder. The loudest of snorers have been shown to produce a noise level of up to 80 decibels. This is the noise equivalent of a loud alarm clock or functioning dishwasher. It is therefore not difficult to see why snoring can so easily disturb others sleeping in the same bed!
Snoring over a long period of time can cause damage to the blood vessels and muscles within the nose, meaning it can get louder over time. But snoring isn't exclusively an issue related to muscle tone or blocked airways. Factors such as age, weight and whether we consume alcohol or cigarettes, can all similarly result in snoring.
How Your Sleep Position Affects Snoring
People are more likely to snore when lying on their back as the head is pushed towards the chest, constricting the airways. When lying on either side, the muscles can still completely relax but the head and neck have more space without restriction. It can even be comfortable to flay the neck somewhat backward – which can result in airways restriction but in the opposite way. However many individuals move whilst asleep, meaning that even if they fall asleep whilst lying on their side, they later roll onto their back, which means the snoring starts all over again!
How To Combat Snoring
If snoring is driving you and your partner to despair, now's the time to confront the issue head on and stop snoring in its tracks. The good news is there are tons of tried and tested remedies out there to choose from of which target the root causes of snoring and offer effective solutions. At Bed & Bath Emporium we sell an anti snore pillow from We Sell Sleep.
Sleep Apnoea: When Snoring Gets Serious.
Sleep apnoea is a respiratory condition related to snoring that causes interrupted breathing during sleep. The most common form of sleep apnoea, obstructive sleep apnoea, is when airflow during sleep is prevented from entering the lungs by an obstruction. The obstruction is because of a lack of muscle tone in the upper airways, which causes the it to collapse. If at any point there is question as to whether you or your partner may be suffering from sleep apnoea, seek medical assistance. Although these symptoms may not sound extreme sleep apnoea is a very serious disorder that can lead to excessive fatigue, poor concentration and a heightened risk of accidents. It's also associated with depression, diabetes, weight gain, heart disease and liver problems. So it's vital that anyone showing symptoms sees a doctor at the earliest opportunity.
Other Things You Can Do To Stop Snoring:
Two of snoring's biggest enablers are cigarettes and alcohol. So cutting back, or giving these up altogether, could also see your snoring come to an abrupt end. Not to mention benefit your health in other ways too.
Alcohol makes the muscles in the back of your throat relax, aggravating the breathing problems that lead to snoring (as anyone who's shared a bed with a drunken partner will know).
Smoking also leads to breathing problems that similarly cause obstructions of airway tissue when we sleep. Leading to vibration of the tissue, which makes the snoring sound.