Snoring is the noise of tissues vibrating as air tires to flow through a blocked breathing passage. The sounds can vary from an almost soothing whisper to an astonishingly loud noise that can be heard throughout the entire house. Don’t waste time trying too many treatments through, it’s much more useful to find the cause of your snoring and tackle that. This checklist should help…
Are You Overweight?
Find out by checking your Body Mass Index (BMI). You can do this dividing your weight (kg) by your height squared (m). If your BMI is greater than 25 your are overweight. If your BMI is greater than 30 your are obese. Another measure is your collar size. Over 16.5 inches and you’re likely to snore because the muscles around your windpipe can’t support the fat around it when you’re asleep. In all these cases you need to lose weight even a small loss can improve symptom. Men tend to put on weight around their necks and waists, whereas women seem to put on weight around the thighs. So when you lay on your back your fatty tissue adds pressure onto the airway, blocking it off and making your snore. Women airway is not collapsing and not just because of where her weight is, but because women’s airway walls tend to be less flexible and therefore less prone to yield to pressure where they’re asleep.
Do You Smoke or Drink?
Cigarette smoke irritates the lining of the nasal cavity and throat causing swelling and catarrh. If the nasal passages become congested it’s difficult to breathe through your nose because there’s less airflow. And because congestion gets worse with each cigarette, the more you smoke, the worse you’re snoring. Even passive smoking can cause chronic inflammation of the nose and throat passages, thus increasing the risk of snoring. Until you give up don’t smoke for at least 4 hours before bed. Drinking triggers snoring as it reduces the tone of the muscles that keep the upper breathing passage open. So keep to the limit and avoid drinking just before bedtime.
Do You breathe Through Your Mouth?
Open your mouth and make a snoring noise. Now close your mouth and try to make the same noise. If you can only snore with your mouth open then you are a “mouth breather”. You’ll probably wake up with a dry mouth and sometimes a sore throat because of the strain of snoring. When we breath in through the nose the air passes over the curved part of the soft palate in a gentle flow into the throat without creating unnecessary turbulence. When we breathe in through the mouth, however, the air hits the back of the throat head on can create enormous vibrations in the soft tissue. Try to breathe through your nose and ask your pharmacist for pharmacist for gadgets such as chin strips that help keep your mouth closed. To help clear your nose, put a few drops of eucalyptus on you r pillow case.
Are Your Nostril Too Narrow?
Looking in a mirror, press the side of one nostril to close it. With your mouth closed, breathe in through your other nostril. If the nostril tends to collapse try propping it open with the clean end of match stick. If breathing is easier with the nostril propped open (try both side), you may need something to open your nasal airways. Small or collapsing nostrils can prevent you from breathing through your nose. This encourages mouth breathing, and it’s the air hitting the back of the throat that causes the snoring noise. Try nasal strips which you place on the outside of the nostrils to stop them collapsing.
Do You Sleep On Your Back?
This can cause snoring as it allows the fresh of your throat to relax and block airways. Also the fatty tissue around your neck can add pressure on the airway. Sleep on your side, if possible. A well know trick is sleeping with a tennis ball sewn into the back of your pyjama top.