I’m a solutions-based type of person: if I see a problem, instead of lamenting it or panicking, I immediately start to formulate a solution. So when faced with a problem like snoring, I’m not interested in buying earplugs for my spouse or sleeping in a different room – I want a solution.
Unfortunately, when it comes to snoring, it can be difficult to figure out what exactly the root of the problem is. There are various possible causes of snoring, so we’ll have to find out some things about your lifestyle before we can pin down your cause.
How snoring happens
To understand these causes, you need to understand how snoring works. Snoring occurs when your airway becomes blocked, either partially or completely. This obstruction causes the tissue in the back of the throat to vibrate, and that’s what creates the sound of snoring. But what is causing your airway to become blocked? That’s where the variables come in. Here are some of the most popular reasons for snoring, and how to determine what you need to do to fix it…
… if you smoke – smoking can cause the muscles in your mouth and throat to relax, which allows them to block the airway. What you need: If you’re a tobacco user of any kind, cut back or consider quitting altogether.
…if you drink – drinking is also a notorious muscle relaxer, leading to the same problems as smoking if you drink too close to bedtime. What you need: Cut down on your alcohol consumption, and try to finish your last glass of wine at least a few hours before bed.
…if you’re overweight – Being obese or significantly overweight means you have excess tissue around the throat, which will cause your throat tissue to harden. This constricts the airway, leading to snoring at night. What you need: Obviously, losing weight will help, but that’s a hefty challenge for everyone.
…if you’re a male – just being a man puts you significantly more at risk for snoring. What you need: There’s really nothing you can do about it, but just know men are already at a disadvantage here. Something to keep in mind.
…if you have sinus issues – if you deal with seasonal allergies or some other sinus issue, it will definitely impact your ability to breathe. Those sinus problems will force you to rely on your mouth for oxygen, putting undue stress on your throat and causing snoring. What you need: Take a long-lasting medication to keep your sinuses open while you sleep.
…if you have sleep apnea – many cases of sleep apnea go undiagnosed, usually because it’s a hard problem to recognize. Snoring is sleep apnea’s primary symptom, but a healthcare professional needs to diagnose it. What you need: If you’re a heavy snorer and also find yourself unnaturally sleepy during the day, you may have this condition. You should consult a dentist immediately for a proper diagnose and to discuss treatment options.
Topics: Snoring Treatments