- Essential Takeaways
- · While many people snore, it is usually intermittent, mild to moderate snoring that doesn’t affect their or their partners' sleep quality and is easily remedied by small changes in behavior. However, there are some cases where moderate to severe snoring could be a sign of an underlying health problem.
Snoring is an extremely common sleep behavior, defined as “a respiratory sound (or noise) which originates during sleep”, or “loud upper airways breathing” that can “be classified as mild, moderate, or severe on the basis of frequency, body position, and disturbance of other people.” While many people snore, it is usually intermittent, mild to moderate snoring that doesn’t affect their or their partners' sleep quality and is easily remedied by small changes in behavior. However, there are some cases where moderate to severe snoring could be a sign of an underlying health problem.
Don’t know whether your snoring is mild, moderate, or severe? Be sure to download the SleepWatch app, where you can record and track your snoring.
Ways To Reduce Mild to Moderate Snoring:
Change Your Sleeping Position
If you’re a back sleeper, try switching up your sleep position to your side. When you lay on your back, your tongue can fall into the back of your throat, obstructing your airflow. Sleeping on your side is an easy way to prevent this from happening. However, if you just can’t shake sleeping on your back, elevate your head and throat by propping up a pillow behind you to ensure your airways stay open.
Avoid Alcohol Before Bed
Even if you’re not a regular snorer, you may notice that consuming alcohol in the hours before you go to bed causes you to start! This is because alcohol is a depressant that can cause the muscles in your throat to relax, making snoring more likely. If you usually drink before hitting the sack, try reducing your number of beverages, or stop drinking at least four to five hours before going to sleep.
Keep Nasal Passages Clear
Sometimes snoring can start in the nose instead of the throat. If this is the case for you, keeping your nasal passages clear is key to snore prevention. Ways you can do this include taking a hot shower to open up your nasal passages, using a salt water rinse or neti pot, or utilizing internal or external nasal strips.
Change Your Diet or Exercise Routine
People of all shapes and sizes can snore. However, if you’ve recently gained weight and your snoring either started or increased in intensity, it may be worth making lifestyle changes to reduce your body weight. This is because overweight individuals may have extra tissue or weight in or around their throats, leading to airway obstruction.
Severe Snoring and What It May Mean:
If your snoring is disturbing your partner, you feel drowsy or fatigued during the day, you’re experiencing headaches, or you wake up feeling like you’re choking during the night, these could all be symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most prevalent sleep-breathing disturbance, affecting 24% of men and 9% of women in the general population. An estimated 82% of men and 92% of women have not been diagnosed. If you suspect you have sleep apnea, try talking to your doctor or taking our at-home sleep test to detect sleep apnea.
Did you enjoy this article? Check out our tips on How To Get More Restful Sleep.
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