Snoring is really just noisy breathing during sleep. When air isn’t moving freely in and out through the nasal passages or throat, the noise of snoring happens which has the potential to keep the whole family awake But snoring is also a whole lot more than that!
Snoring can affect up to 90 million American adults, many of whom snore on a regular basis. Persons with a high risk of snoring include those who are overweight, getting on in age, suffer from allergies, or have some other health problems that may exacerbate a snoring problem.
Not only does snoring keep your sleeping partner or family awake at night, it can also interrupt the sleep of the one who is snoring, causing an unrefreshing night with fragmented sleep patterns. This can then lead to problems staying awake during the day, fatigue, memory loss, as well as poor performance at work. Heart disease, sleep apnea, and other health problems may all be linked to snoring.
While you are sleeping, gravity can cause the tissues in the back of your throat to fall backward. Your tongue muscles tend to relax and the back of your neck can become loose. This can cause constricted airways which ultimately can lead to snoring. This is one of the most common causes of snoring and can be particularly prevalent in those who are carrying excess weight.
Head Positions to Stop Snoring
Certain positions of your head and body while you are sleeping can either make snoring worse or help to relieve it. Sleeping on the back with the head flat is considered to be the worst possible position for sleeping when it comes to trying to beat snoring.
Try out these sleeping positions to minimize problems with breathing during sleep that leads to snoring:
Lifting up your head and neck during sleep can help to fight against gravity’s power over closing up your breathing passages. Also, when the chin drops down and falls open, this can cause restrictions to the air passages and promote snoring. If the head is elevated with a wedge pillow or adjustable mattress, snoring may be minimized.
Turned to the Side
People who sleep on their backs are much more likely to have problems with snoring as this position can engage gravity and cause the throat muscles and tissues, as well as the tongue muscles to fall into each other and create airway blockage. Turning to the side allows the breathing passages in the neck to stay open, meaning less friction occurs and therefore less snoring.
Sleeping on the side is better for snoring problems but many people struggle with retraining themselves to sleep any other way than on the their backs. Some people find that attaching a tennis ball or golf ball (tucked into a sock) to the back of their pajama top can help them to retrain themselves to sleep on their sides. Other people make use of devices that can be purchased to set off an alarm when they roll over onto their back. Once the habit of sleeping on the back is broken then you can stop using the device but you’ll stay off of your back. This should help to minimize the amount of snoring you do.
Specialized pillows are also available for purchase that allow people to sleep more comfortably on their side. These pillows offer neck alignment for side sleepers, to make sure that the neck is kept straight and the airways kept open.
Although not as ideal as side sleeping, people who sleep on their stomachs are less likely to snore than those who sleep on their backs. Sleeping on the stomach still keeps the jaw from falling open and the tongue from sliding back into the throat to cover up the breathing passages and cause snoring.
If you struggle with snoring, this could be a symptom of an underlying health condition such as allergies, asthma, deviated septum, sleep apnea, obesity, or others. It is important to get the proper medical care to treat the reason that you are snoring in order to prevent it from developing into something more serious. Check with your doctor if you have a snoring problem, and try these positions to help reduce your breathing problems at night.
Last Updated on