What is Snoring?
Snoring is a very common problem affecting around 40 percent of adult american population, which is more than 1 in 3 people! Most people spend time on trying to figure out the causes and just kind of live with the condition. Often the reason for this being that snoring is a rare occasion and happens for example only when one drinks alcohol before bed. However being passive can actually have serious implications on your quality of life and health overall, not only your health but the health those cohabiting with you. Moreover, in some cases snoring can even be life threatening!
If you think about it, snoring actually takes place when airway passages are partially blocked and your system is trying to get all the oxygen it needs to function. With a naked eye, it is impossible to actually tell the extent of this blockage and for that reason it is very important to learn more about the causes of your or your loved one’s snoring and seek appropriate treatment.
It is worth to mention a startling statistic: snoring is sadly one of the top reasons for divorce! It can ruin relationships and quality of life of those couples where one partner snores. This condition can be extremely annoying to live with and more importantly it can interfere with their health, causing them to be sleep deprived, fatigued, irritable and unhappy. Libido and intimate life often suffer as well leading to marital disputes and health issues.
Don’t be worried however, you are on the right path! By taking the first step and trying to learn how to stop snoring you are one step closer to becoming a healthier sleeper!
Lets look closer at the act of snoring!
Snoring is the act of breathing loudly. More accurately, snoring results from the vibration of respiratory structures in the throat during an inhale which happens due to partial blockage of air movement. The obstructions in the throat makes the breathing itself a rather difficult, strenuous process accompanied by a noise. The blockage can take place anywhere in the airway depending on the condition of the snorer deep inside the throat near the vocal cords to the edge of the throat near nose. The reason why snoring only happens at night is because that is precisely the time when the muscles are relaxed the most.
There are various reasons of snoring, ranging from those myths carried forward through generations such as a belief that overindulgence in the pleasures of life is the main reason behind snoring to more reasonable and medically proven causes such as:
- Overweight and obesety
- Consumption of alcohol and other depressants such as sleeping pills
- Habit of smoking
- Wrong sleeping position, particularly sleeping on the back
- Stuffiness or congestion in nasal passages
- Habit of breathing through the mouth
- Nasal and throat deformities
- Tongue falling back into the throat
- Old age – muscles in the throat losing elasticity
At times, it is difficult to determine the cause of snoring. This might happen when there are not one but multiple reasons for the same, which is often the case. Such snoring is colloquially referred as multifactoral snoring. For instance, you might be snoring as you have a habit of sleeping open-mouthed, but breathing open-mouthed while sleeping might be the result of some kind of allergy, be it nasal congestion or some other. Moreover, having had a few drinks before bed will aggravate the snoring of such an individual even more. When there is such a situation, then nasal congestion needs to be cured first, then the breathing problems and alcohol consumption should be paid attention to and ideally last drink should be had 3-4 hours before bed.
Before seeking treatment for a problem of snoring it is important to understand what is it exactly that is the reason for your or your loved one’s snoring in particular. To help you determine the reason for snoring you can take an online snoring quiz.