We are all familiar with snoring. If we are not the main culprits of this noisy nighttime problem, we know someone who is. Snoring affects about half of our population, and 25% of us are habitual snorers.
But why do we even snore? When we go to sleep, our neck muscles relax. Sometimes they can be too relaxed. This causes your upper airway i.e. nose and throat, to become too narrow for enough air to travel to the lungs. When this happens the surrounding tissue vibrates and results in sounds we recognize to be snores. The narrower your airway becomes, the greater the vibration and the louder the snores.
Asides from being a nuisance to your friends or your partner, snoring also affects how you sleep. It reduces the quality of your sleep, could result in sleep apnea or lead to chronic sleep deprivation. Ever woken up in the morning tired, cranky and not quite feeling like you got a good night time’s rest? Snoring might be the cause. Good news is there are natural snoring remedies that can help.
What’s causing me to snore?
A couple of factors come into play here. One popular one is weight. Carrying excess weight around your neck and throat can cause snoring. Then there is good old biology. In general, men have narrower air passages than women and are most likely to snore.
Sleeping flat on your back could also make you more susceptible to snoring. Even the shape of your mouth or a stuffy nose from a cold could make you sound like an old engine revving up.
Another very popular one is the structure of your entire nasal cavity. Deviated septums, nasal polyps and enlarged tonsils could be the cause of your snoring.
How you snore could also be telling of why you snore. If you snore with your mouth closed, you could be snoring because of a problem with your tongue. While if you snore with your mouth open, a problem with your throat could be the cause of your snoring.
Identifying why you snore is very key in figuring out how to make it stop.
Here are a few steps to help you fight this problem:
1.Stop alcohol intake:
Alcohol reduces the resting tone of the muscles in the back of your neck so usually, when you take alcohol at least four hours before you sleep, there are very high chances you would snore.
What is interesting to note here is that people who do not snore normally, might actually snore if they go to bed right after heavy drinking.
2. Weight loss:
This is not to say slim people do not snore too but if you never snored before you added weight but now snore, then you might want to consider losing a few pounds.
3. Change sleeping position:
When you sleep on your back, there might be higher chances that you will snore when you sleep. This is due to the fact that your oesophagus collapses into your throat, thereby by blocking your throat and air in take. Sleeping on your side might help prevent this.
4. Watch the pillows:
Dust mites accumulate in pillows and can cause allergic reactions that can inadvertently lead to snoring. So do your best to clean off dust around your sleeping area mostly.
5. Work out your tongue and throat muscles:
You snore when your tongue and throat muscles are too relaxed. Strengthening them would help you stop. There are a couple of exercises which could help you strengthen you do this. A great and easy hack to get some throat exercise in is singing. So throw yourself a concert in the shower or your car. Your partner or roommates might find it annoying but it’ll be less annoying than your snoring. To work out your tongue, place the tip of your tongue behind the top of your teeth and slide it back and forth for a couple of minutes a day.
6. Examine your diet and cut down on inflammatory food:
Dairy and gluten products are well-known culprits for causing tissues in your nose and throat to become inflamed. You don’t have to completely cut out that yummy glass of chocolate milk you have every day. Pick out some days where you have some plain tea instead and don’t have it too soon before bed.
7. Get some steam in: Use a facial steam bowl to open up your airways just before you go to bed. This comes in especially handy if a stuffy nose from a cold or allergies is the cause of your snoring. First, fill a large bowl with hot water. Next, drop your head over it. Get close enough for the steam to do its job but not too close so you don’t get burned. Drape a towel over your head to lock in the moisture. Taking a warm bath or a hot shower also has the same effects.
8. Get enough sleep:
Exhaustion can relax your throat and tongue muscles and cause you to snore. It’s important to get 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night. Ironically sleeping pills and sedatives also have the same effect on your throat and tongue muscles. So if you have trouble sleeping you might want to explore some natural home remedies before reaching for those pills.
9. Elevate your head while you sleep:
If sleeping on your side instead of your back doesn’t stop your snoring, you might need to prop up your head a little bit. This will ease breathing and open up your airways. Using a pillow or two should do the trick. You could also slightly the front of your bed by a couple of inches.
10. Stay hydrated, shower before bed:
Drink plenty of water. The secretions in your nose and soft palate become stickier if you are not well hydrated.
Also, shower before bed to keep you fresh and do not forget to sleep on your side and most importantly, get enough sleep.