Snoring may be distracting, especially to a partner or anyone else nearby, but it’s not unusual. In fact, about half of all people have snored at some point in their lives, and there are plenty of possible causes. Snoring is very common and is not normally caused by anything serious. Read on to discover why we snore, and how to stop snoring.
Snoring is brought on by your tongue, mouth, throat or the airways in your nose vibrating as you breathe. It happens because these parts of your body relax and narrow when you’re asleep, restricting the passage of air.
Some of the causes of snoring are as follows:
Smoking irritates the membranes in the nose and throat, which can block the airways and cause snoring.
Alcohol creates a sedative effect, which relaxes the jaw and throat muscles. As a result, these muscles collapse onto the airway, restricting airflow and in turn causing snoring.
Lying on your back makes the base of your tongue and soft palate collapse to the back wall of your throat, creating a vibrating sound during sleep.
As you age, your sleep habits change, and some find that it takes longer to fall asleep. Snoring is affected by this as the throat muscles and tongue tend to relax more during sleep with getting older, causing a vibration on the inhale that leads to snoring.
Certain physical problems in the nose and throat can contribute to snoring. An example of how a condition can effect snoring is a deviated septum, which occurs when the wall that divides the nostrils is shifted to one side. This makes you more likely to snore while you sleep.
Sometimes snoring is caused by conditions like sleep apnoea, which is when your airways become temporarily blocked during sleep.
Sleep on your side
Sleeping on your side can help reduce snoring as it prevents the effects of your tongue and soft palate collapsing to the back of the throat. You can encourage your body to sleep on its side by using TEMPUR® pillows suitable for side sleepers.
Stopping smoking will reduce both swelling, which causes an exudate of mucus often called post-nasal drip and narrowing in the airways. As a bonus, your snoring should decrease – or even be eliminated completely.
Reduce your alcohol intake
The best way to avoid snoring attributable to alcohol consumption is to steer clear of alcohol in the first place. Limiting your alcohol intake will not only help reduce snoring but also improve your sleep quality.
After alcohol passes through your digestive system, it enters your bloodstream on its way to your brain. From there, it disrupts your sleep patterns, which – you guessed it – increases snoring.
Improve your sleep
There are many ways by which you can improve your sleep. One is to replace your existing mattress with a TEMPUR® memory foam model. Memory foam gives the neck proper support and prevents blockage in the airways, which is the chief cause of snoring. TEMPUR® has a variety of different memory foam mattress feels and sizes to optimise your sleep.
If all else fails, consider changing your bedtime routine or asking your partner to use earplugs if your snoring affects their sleep.