Whatever the reason for your chronic, continuous snoring, be it that you’re getting older, drunker or fatter, you’re probably getting on your bedmate’s nerves, not to mention wiping out any chance they have for a good night’s sleep. Trust me. Now, I’m not talking about the occasional ‘mild’ snoring that you do when you sleep in a certain position, or when you have a cold – we all do it. My dog snores. Babies snore. I’m talking about those loud, intolerable, ground shaking snuffelupagus snores that just won’t quit, minute after minute, night after night. Flashback to my dad. Thank goodness my mom couldn’t hear a thing without her hearing aids in. Doesn’t mean us kids couldn’t. OMG.
I read somewhere that sleep partners of heavy snorers awaken over twenty times per hour. Holy sleep deprivation, Batman! Do yourself and your slumber buddy a favor and take care of it.
First, you need to rule out sleep apnea. If your partner notices that while you are asleep you literally stop breathing for, like 10 seconds or more at a time, or you wake up super tired and you’re excessively sleepy during the day, then you could have sleep apnea. It’s a life-threatening condition and you probably don’t even know you have it. It needs to be diagnosed by a doctor or a sleep specialist. Make an appointment with an ENT, an otolaryngologist (say that 3 times fast) or sleep clinic. Right away.
Plain old snoring, not to be confused with sleep apnea, is characterized by loud breathing sounds, dry mouth when you wake up, no excessive sleepiness during the day and no cessation of breath while you are snoring. It happens when the tissue at the back of your throat vibrates because you either have too much tissue or you have jiggly tissue that vibrates easily. It can also happen when your tongue obstructs your respiration. If you’re single, then you might not even know you snore. However, if you don’t feel rested when you wake up, it could be the result of nighttime snoring. Maybe you should video tape or audio tape yourself in bed…sleeping. That’s always fun.
The reason you snore may not be your fault but it is still completely annoying. You may have been born with a narrow throat or developed a narrow throat around middle-age. Men generally have more narrow air passages than women, so you have that going for you if you’re a guy. Or maybe you have chronic allergies, or sinus infections. Been there. But when it comes to things that you have control over, like how much you drink or smoke (okay, maybe you don’t have control over those), or how fat and/or out of shape you are, or if you sleep on your back, then you might try controlling those things. You’ll realize general health benefits and probably see an end to your snoring condition. When my guy Todd gets just a few pounds overweight, there he goes. Snores like a freight train until he loses the weight.
If you can’t stop getting older, or stop drinking, smoking, having infections, being male, being fat or lumpy, or sleeping in the wrong position, then I suggest you consider the following:
1. Get a special snore pillow designed to support and position your head correctly. You’ll find all of our snoring products at Shop By Condition: Snoring at www.AllegroMedical.com.
2. Get a simple snoring device, like the Snore Wizard.
3. Try sleeping without a pillow at all. Ummm…yeah.
4. Attach something bulky and uncomfortable to your back. It will train you to sleep on your side if you are a chronic back sleeper.
5. Elevate the head of your bed by four or so inches. It supposedly makes your tongue and jaw move forward.
6. Skip that second martini and lay off the ice cream before bed. Both alcohol and high-fat dairy/soy products can cause problems. Alcohol, because it relaxes your airways; and dairy because it creates mucus in your throat.
7. Blow your nose. Boogers are not your friend. If you’re really stuffed up then try some nasal strips, but avoid antihistamines because they relax your throat muscles.
8. Consult your doctor to see if you are a candidate for surgery or a CPAP device (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure). A CPAP forces air into your mouth through a mask and makes you breath.
I’m sorry you snore, but see, there are things you can do about it. Or, if you are the victim of a snorer, then print this blog, highlight the headline and leave it on your partner’s pillow.
Let’s make this a better world, people, one night at a time.