Snoring is an extremely common problem and it has been estimated that approximately 40% of men have at least mild snoring problem, while this percentage is a bit less for women, around 30%. Research has suggested that habitual snoring is so common among people throughout the world that it can be said that one out of every four people is a habitual snorer.
Snoring is characterized by the noisy breathing from the mouth and nose during the sleep. Many times when an individual snores or makes a loud and noisy sound while sleeping, he or she is considered to be in deep sleep.
What causes snoring?
Normally, the muscles in the tongue, throat and roof of the mouth relax during the sleep causing the narrowing of the passage for air to move through. Sometimes, air fails to move through the passage smoothly, causing the tissues of the throat, tongue and roof of the mouth to vibrate. As a result, the muscles that are generally relaxed during sleep starts to vibrate and causing sound.
In medical terms, snoring can be said to be a result of irregular airflow and vibration due to the partial blockage of airways. Respiratory flow limitation occurs due to the narrowing of upper airways. Narrower the upper airways, greater the vibration, and louder the sound.
Many times, snoring is associated with a decrease in the quality of life as it causes a feeling of being ashamed. Snoring generally happens during the night when everything is naturally quiet. A person himself is unaware of their snoring, but it disturbs the sleep of another person, sleeping next to him. Snoring causes the feeling of excessive worry and the feeling of being ashamed of disturbing the sleep.
Snoring can’t be a result of one particular factor, but it can occur as a result of various factors. There are various different risk factors for snoring, but most often snoring is considered to be associated with obstructive sleep apnea.
Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep related breathing disorder which is characterized by the partial or complete halt of breathing despite an effort to breathe. In obstructive sleep apnea, a person stops breathing for a short period of time. He or she tries to breathe but there is a little or no flow to the lungs. The stoppage of breathing lasts for at least 10 seconds and may persist for a minute or longer. This causes a lack of oxygen, the brain responds to a lack of oxygen by alerting the body, so that normal breathing is restored.
Obstructive sleep apnea increases the chances of snoring. When the airflow is partially or completely blocked the risk of frequent and loud snoring increases. When the airways reopen the snorting sound occurs.
Apart from obstructive sleep apnea, some other risk factors of snoring include:
- Research has shown that people who are overweight are more likely to experience frequent snoring problem at night. In medical terms, obesity is a medical term used for people who are overweight. Obesity is a health problem which is characterized by the accumulation of excessive fat in the body. This accumulation of fat in the body can be responsible for a different number of diseases, ranging from mild to severe.
Being overweight is also a common cause of frequent and loud snoring. This is because a person who is obese has an accumulation of fat in the neck which causes the throat to become narrower and more likely to vibrate easily. Therefore, weight management in one of the ways to prevent and reduce snoring.
- Excessive consumption of alcohol is another common cause of snoring. Evidence suggests that people who drink alcohol excessively commonly complaints of snoring. No doubt consumption of alcohol has a wide range of negative health outcomes, and snoring is just a mild form of a health problem associated with it. Alcohol increases the relaxation of muscles in the throat, as a result, the vibration and sound become frequent and louder.
- Many times people have a habit of breathing through their mouth and this could lead to increase in the chances of snoring and this is because breathing through the mouth increases the intensity of vibration at the back of the mouth, resulting in louder noisy sound.
- Sleeping on the back can also cause snoring as it can affect the way air passes through and cause an obstruction in the airflow. As a result, muscles start to vibrate and cause sound.
- A stuffy or blocked nose can also cause snoring as it requires some extra efforts to breathe normally and this could lead to the buildup in the tissues.
How to stop or treat snoring?
There are many medical treatments available for snoring such as Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) surgery, thermal ablation, Genioglossus and hyoid advancement, and many more. But natural ways are always preferable. Yes!! There are many natural ways that can help you in reducing the frequency of snoring significantly. Some of the effective ways are as follows:
- Increase regular physical activity.
- Avoid sleeping on your back.
- Maintain your sleeping pattern.
Annie is the oldest writer at Cheap Medicine Shop and is the subject and publishing expert. She has a graduate degree in medicines along with a diploma in creative writing.