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Snoring 101: Why Do We Snore & How Can We Stop?

Snoring 101: Why Do We Snore & How Can We Stop?

Posted On: June 14, 2020

Why do we snore? Is there a remedy for snoring? This article explores the various reasons people snore & what we can do to stop.

According to a study done by Consumer Reports, consumers spent over $41 billion on sleep-related products in 2015, and that number is expected to rise to $52 billion by this year.

There are a plethora of different causes for sleeping problems, yet the most common type of sleeping disorder is caused by snoring. Snoring is not always something to worry about, however, if it is caused by a blocked airway, then finding a remedy for snoring could save your life.

The problem is, how can you find the right remedy for snoring if you do not know what is causing it in the first place? Thankfully, we’ve created this article to teach you everything you need to know about snoring.

Keep on reading to learn about the causes of snoring, and what you can do to stop snoring, so you can get back to sharing the bed with your spouse, without the need for earplugs!

What Causes People to Snore?

Before we cover the treatments for snoring, it is important to understand what causes it to happen in the first place. There are multiple different causes for snoring, which range from mild to severe health conditions.

The common sound of snoring is caused by the tissues in your throat and nose vibrating while you sleep, causing little waves of sound. This happens when the airways of the throat and nose become partially blocked, therefore preventing the air from moving freely while you sleep. Some people who have an excess amount of tissue in their airways are prone to vibrate more, which causes them to snore more easily.

The common reasons why people snore are:

Sleep Positioning

When you sleep on your back, your airway becomes relaxed and narrows. This also causes your tongue to fall to the back of your throat, tightening the airway even more, which causes you to snore.

Congestion Or Deviated Septum

A deviated septum is a structural problem in the nasal canal, which causes a restriction in the airway while breathing. This can become more clogged overnight, which forces you to breathe through your mouth and leads to snoring. This is the same scenario if you are sick, because of congestion, which means that you may only be snoring while you are sick.

Overweight or Out of Shape

People who are overweight tend to snore more because of the build-up of fatty tissue and lose muscle tone that surrounds the throat. If this is the cause of your snoring, the remedy would be to lose enough weight that it comes off your neck area so that you can breathe better while you sleep.

Age

As we age, the muscle tone begins to weaken in our throat, and the throat eventually becomes narrower. While there is no cure for aging, there are some activities you can do to strengthen the muscles of your throat.

Smoking, Alcohol, or Pharmaceuticals

Certain medications, such as muscle relaxants, cause the muscles in the throat to relax, which leads to snoring. Alcohol and smoking also lead to poor quality sleep which can cause snoring.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a serious sleeping disorder where the tissues in your mouth or throat completely block your airway while you are sleeping. If you wake up in the middle of the night gasping for air, suffer from anxiety while sleeping, or feel tired during the day, you should check with a sleep doctor about the possibility of having sleep apnea.

Why Do You Need Treatment?

For some of the above reasons for snoring, such as sleeping on your back, nasal congestion, and age, the treatment lays within the cause itself.

For example, if you are congested, you may need to take a decongestant, use a humidifier in the room, or maybe you have a mild allergy to something in the room you are sleeping in such as a cat, etc.

If you are snoring while sleeping on your back, or if your husband is snoring on his back, try placing a large body pillow under the back to prevent the body from turning onto the back while sleeping.

However, if the cause of snoring is sleep apnea, you must seek treatment as soon as possible. A study from Yale discovered that every four years that someone suffers from untreated sleep apnea, their risk of a heart attack increased by 30%.

Home Sleep Tests

Due to incredible advancements in the technology of CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machines, you can now be tested in the comfort and convenience of your own home. These new devices are called auto-CPAP devices which automatically adjust to your respiratory needs throughout the night.

Home sleep tests utilize a portable computer monitoring device that measures your oxygen saturation, heart rate, and records your breathing patterns while you sleep. This computer is attached to a small harness around your chest so that you can sleep in comfort.

In-Lab Sleep Tests

The in-lab test is great for diagnosing and treating multiple sleeping disorders. This includes neurological disorders, movement disorders, breathing disorders, and more.

When you are ready to fall asleep, the technicians will attach electrodes to your scalp to measure your brain waves, eye movement, and heart rate while you sleep. You will also be videotaped while you sleep to ensure nothing has been missed during your sleeping cycle.

If it is suspected that your snoring is related to sleep apnea, the doctor will prescribe a CPAP study to test the difference that sleeping with the machine does for you.

Need a Remedy For Snoring?

Now that you understand the common causes of snoring, it is important to test out the correct remedy for snoring. This way, you can find out what works best for you and help you (or your partner) to sleep soundly again.

If you are ready to find out what causes your snoring once and for all, contact us to schedule an appointment.

Dr Jochism

Dr. Sean Jochims, Neurologist

Dr. Sean Jochims graduated medical school with the prestigious Rick Wartgow Award for dedication to medicine. He also received Excellence in Teaching Awards as chief resident in neurology at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

Education
  • Medical School: Medical College of Wisconsin
  • Internship/Internal Medicine: Northwestern University
  • Clinical Neurophysiology Fellowship: Rush Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center, Chicago
  • Participant at Atlanta School of Sleep Medicine
Board Certifications
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